Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pretty, Precious and Crybaby life circle +o

Ok, so I said once my stint as President of the Washington Cattlemen's Association was over I would get back to this blog on a much more regular basis. Since we had our WCA convention last week and I am now "free" I am going to do my best to deliver on this promise. Three things are going to happen to make this possible.

1. I wont worry so much about content or if what I post is "blog worthy". I will try and get more content here and if my readers like it great, if not they can go f*ck themselves, I mean they can move along to another blog.

2. I will try and be much more regular here even if it means shorter posts on a more regular basis. Some days might be nothing more than a picture or video or a short little life story.

3. I will continue to provide some humor and light heartedness to my posts but will focus more on regularity than perfection of content, even if the post is something from the past instead of current day.

So to start this program out I am going to go back to a specific cow that has been around since early in this blog. I think that focusing on her past and current life will be something that those that know the cow/calf business will enjoy and those that don't know will provide a timeline of how female calves become mother cows in an operation such as mine.

Today's blog post follows the life of "Precious" who is the daughter of "Pretty". Pretty is a fairly large Charolais cross cow that made her entry into my herd as a daughter of a cow I bought. Pretty is a mostly gentle easy going cow but she is the type of cow that you DO NOT mess with her newborns. Her maternal instincts are very strong and protective. In fact, she is so motherly that you do NOT mess with any OTHER cows calf if Pretty is in the vicinity. Pretty got her name because she is a white cow in a virtual sea of black and red cows and in our herd is unique. Her ranch tag is #2302W and she gave birth to "Precious" in January 2010. As you can see Precious was not tagged at birth and there was no obituary for me in 2010.

Precious spent her early tagless days doing just what all calves do here on the ranch, suckling her mother, playing and sleeping. After Precious became a bit older I was able to catch her away from her protective momma and give her an ear tag. In the tradition of her obstinate mother she lost her tag early in life as you can see in this picture of her in April 2010 as she made herself comfortable in some grass straw. Precious continued to grow up and was weaned from her mother in November 2010 and was also chosen as a "replacement" heifer to be added to our herd. 

In the spring of 2011 Precious and her fellow replacements were pastured with some low birth weight Black Angus bulls to be bred. Precious bred rapidly and then later in the summer was lost for a short time as related in the blog post "Finally" in August 2011.

Precious was confirmed pregnant in November of 2011 and Dakota and I anxiously awaited her calving day. I make my first calf heifers learn to eat cornstalks just like they must do as adult cows and this picture is Precious and her mother Pretty in January 2012 as they both approached calving time. 

Precious proved to be cow worthy as she gave birth unassisted to her first calf "Skittles" on February 12th 2012. Don't ask me about the names as that is Dakotas department! Her black brocklefaced bull calf quickly became a favorite of the whole family and Precious did a wonderful job as a first time mother without the anger of her own mother. 

 As you can see Precious never did get a replacement ear tag but we know who she is and as a first time mother did a tremendous job of raising a calf. Skittles is not quite show steer worthy but he is a good calf and is going to be a wedding present for my oldest daughter Amanda and her fiancee Kenneth who are getting married in December. Precious and Skittles are pictured here in September 2012 shortly before weaning time. 

   As you can see the circle of life continues, the +o brand lives on and managing momma cows to produce healthy, wholesome, nutritious beef is what we do as we continue to manage and care for our land, our cattle and our family.

 By the way, Precious' little sister "Crybaby" #1302W is pregnant with her first calf and will be a momma sometime in early 2013. Here she is as a baby in early 2011. Is there any question about why I love what I do? Oh remember all pictures can be viewed in full size by clicking on them!

Today's Cowman music selection comes from one of my musical heroes Dwight Yoakam. Dwight is so talented and today's song comes from his recently released new album "3 Pears" The album is a bit different but brilliant as usual and this is the title track. I am hoping for "3 Pairs of cattle" in 2013 as Pretty, Precious and Crybaby each bring a new bovine life into this world. Thank you to all of you that follow this blog, I hope I can get back to giving you regular posts as we charge towards 2013!