Greetings from the Calgary Stampede OH Ranch everyone!
So far we’ve talked about the guiding principles that will lead us forward here on the OH Ranch, but what’s day-to-day life like on a working cow ranch?
Well, our day starts a lot like yours: with a cup of coffee. At 6:30 a.m. Rob, the Ranch foreman and I are up and out, with one of us heading to Steer Flats pasture to check on the pregnant cows and see if anyone is calving. Right now, we have 45 cows waiting to have their calves.
[The OH cattle on Steer Flats pasture. Photo taken by my wife, Deb Pigeon]
If a cow is ready to deliver, we leave her alone. The less interference, the better. These cows are designed to have calves and it’s best to let Mother Nature take care of herself. So far, she’s done an excellent job—we’ve only had to assist with four out of 173 births.
When a calf is born the mother licks it dry and then we let her ‘mother up.’ Those first few hours are critical bonding time.
Around 9 a.m., Rob saddles up to do a health check on the new calves and their mothers in Spring Coulee pasture.
[Stampede horse Rooster hanging out in the horse barn]
In the afternoon, one of us rides out to check on the cows and tag new calves while the other preps for summer, fixing fences, mending saddles in the shop, and making sure the mowers and weeders will be ready for all the lawn maintenance on the horizon.
Sometimes, I’m in the office working on capital budgets and work plans. Yes, there’s administrative work even on a rural ranch.
Between mending fences, planning for summer and the other moving parts out here, it’s the simple things about calving that make this time of year truly special. A calf hitting the ground in good health. And when the two-week-olds start racing around like a bike-gang, butting heads and thinking they’re hot shots.
[Play time, a test of wills.]
The view isn’t half-bad either.
You can find more about the OH Ranch on the Calgary Stampede website here.