They say it takes a village to raise a child. The same held true for our mother herd this calving season. Even with round the clock checks, we had a few escapees! A big thank you to our neighbors at the Carbondale Dog Park who kept us informed. We appreciate your extra sets of eyes!
We're happy to report all moms, babies and ranch-hands are doing great. The calves are strong enough to make their seasonal journey into the mountains where they'll spend the summer filling their bellies with high country grass.
So if your alarm clock sounds like a herd of cows early one morning in May... it's probably us. Don't worry, we'll keep an eye on 'em! We count our blessings to live in a place where cattle drives are still an important part of the community fabric.
It's a heifer! Tag #858 hit the ground on a snowy February morning and she was very lucky to have a man in a cowboy hat to help her along.
It's uncanny his ability to help his four legged friends. His gentle way and strong work ethic makes it possible to watch over the mother herd during calving season.
It's a round the clock job. No "attaboy", no raise, little sleep, and no days off. But this life is something so etched into his soul that saving #858 is all he needs to carry on.
Roosters really do crow... before dawn. When that alarm goes off morning is upon us... and it's time to do the chores.
Rule number 1: Get up. Don't nestle back under your covers. It'll just make you feel guilty knowing the animals are hungry.
Rule number 2: Get dressed without looking outside. You have to face the elements no matter what, so why know it's only 10 degrees? No point in peeking out a frosty window into the darkness. It just makes you want to break rule number one.
Rule number 3: When your done feeding, stop for a moment. Listen to all the critters happily chewing. Enjoy the warmth from the sunrise and know this is just where you want to be.
When it comes to seasons, we commonly know them as winter, spring, summer and fall. But ranchers, well they go by different seasons all together. Take January for instance. To us it means calving season. We have 300 mother cows who are about to start having babies!
This means round the clock watch for the next couple of months with Grandpa John (1st generation), Marty (2nd generation), Parker and Johnny (3rd generation), and Jerilyn and Cara all taking shifts.
It is always exciting to see the first one hit the ground and watch the herd expand. You ask why we calve when it's so cold? The calves have to be strong enough to make the trek up to the high country in the spring. But that is another season...
Keep a lookout for the first Nielsanik Beef calf of 2018. Will it be a bull or heifer?