by Tammy Taylor
I’ve had many people tell me they wonder what a typical day at a Texas ranch might be like. So last year I published a post detailing a day in our lives here in our NE Texas paradise. But that was during the heat & drought of summer, a very different kind of day than in the cold of winter.
So I thought it would be fun to let you walk around with us today to see what a day at the ranch is like when it’s c-c-c-cold outside! C’mon, put on your mud boots, bundle up in your heaviest coveralls, grab your gloves & follow me – it’ll be a blast!
Well even though winters are pretty temperate this far south we’ve been dealing with some bitter cold lately. It seems every winter we get at least one batch of ice & snow and this winter has been no different. We also got a couple of rain/sleet showers earlier in the week. So not only is it cold but it’s also good & muddy outside. This morning a reinforcing cold front came barreling through on top of the cold front that was already here. That brought even colder temps & blustery bone-chilling winds up to 30 MPH to bring that wind child way, way down. Now remember what we learned before? What does weather like this mean, kids? That’s riiiight… newborn CALF time! (unspoken ranch law apparently)
This heifer wasn’t due to throw her first calf until next week. But since we’ve got inclement weather today, well due to unspoken rancher’s law, today it is! This unexpected calf surprise changes the work schedule right off the bat. So we bundle up in our insulated coveralls, mud boots, heavy gloves & ear muffs. RancherMan & I just about did the back-stroke across the swampy pastures all the way to the far side of the east pasture to check on things. Looks like the calf is fine but mama is still passing quite a bit of afterbirth. That’s not unusual but we’ll keep an eye on her for a few days.
After we got the calf checked over and attached her official ear bling we raced back to the house to warm up a bit. Bbbbrrrrrr it’s so cold out there. That the icy wind will suck the air right out of your lungs. My cheeks stung and my hands burned as they began to slowly warm. I really don’t deal well with the cold! But the warm-up didn’t last long…
You see, we recently sold our bull yearling and we need to get him tested per Texas Animal Health Commission regulations. We also want to run a fertility test on him while we’re there so we can assure the new buyer he’s getting a clean, quality breeder. The forecast has rain, snow, sleet and more rain in the foreseeable future. So we need to take this tiny window of opportunity & get this boy loaded up and hauled to the vet for his day-o-fun.
But the temps are still in the 20’s and the trailer hookups on the truck are frozen into a solid sheet of ice. RancherMan had to get a hatchet & gingerly break the ice around the hitch to expose it. And then he had to thaw the brake outlet so that we could plug in the electronics. But at last that was complete. Thankfully we were able to get the trailer hooked up & backed to the chute without sinking too deep in mud.
We also have an A.I. job scheduled for a nearby rancher soon, So we’ll need meds to sync the rancher’s heifers for a hopefully successful breeding session. Since those meds have to be purchased at a vet’s office we asked about their availability. The vet arranged to get the meds for us so we can pick them up while we’re there with this bull. Multi-tasking – the true country way of life! We finally get the bull to the vet, the tests run, the meds for our A.I. job picked up & soon we’re speeding back home.
It’s mid to late afternoon by the time we get home & there’s not going to be much daylight left today so we need to hurry & get some hay out to refill all the hay rings. This cold, wet, blustery weather means we’ll need to keep the cattle well fed so they can keep their energy levels up. And like I said earlier, there’s MORE NASTINESS COMING!
So once again we don our heavy insulated coveralls, leather gloves, mud boots & ear muffs to brave that cold wind. Of course the tractor bogs down with the weight of these still-frozen bales in the wet cold mud. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Now that the calf has been tended to, the bull has been tested, meds have been obtained for a future job and all the cattle have been fed, it’s (THANKFULLY) time to do some work inside. I must enter the new calf’s information in our database, noting dam & sire information, birth date, identifying information, photograph, etc. Baily’s none too pleased that my laptop’s taking up HER rightful place in my lap… LOL. Patience little girl, patience.
Thankfully as busy as it’s been today, supper tonight will be a snap. Y’all know I love the Cook-Once, Eat-Twice method of cooking! I’ve got Salisbury steaks already made up in the fridge and some leftover gravy to ladle on top of them. I’ll just whip up a couple of sides and a hot supper will be ready quickly and with little effort. After we eat, my handsome RancherMan builds a fire to finally completely warm this tired body of mine.
It’s been a cold one today and when you’re a rancher that inclement weather actually means you’re out in the weather more, You don’t get to stay inside. Let me tell ya, we earned our keep today that’s for sure! But that’s ok, I love this life we live. The work we’ve done today has been meaningful to us – work that speaks to our hearts. You can’t ask for more than that!
I hope you’ve enjoyed spending the day with us here at the ranch. Y’all come back now, ya hear??
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page . It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing! And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram
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