Hello everyone- and welcome back to the Calgary Stampede OH Ranch!
Now that calving has wrapped up, we’ve moved the cows over to Spring Coulee pasture for grass. Last week we processed the black calves and later this week, weather pending, we’ll process the red calves.
Calf processing takes a crew—and we’ve got a great team of 15 knowledgeable locals working with us including ropers, vaccinators, taggers and one brander. Together it took us a couple of hours to process 101 calves.
Here’s what the day looked like:
By 9 a.m. we were on horseback herding the black cattle to the processing pen where we sorted the cows from their calves.
Once sorted, the calves are ‘heeled’ (roped by their heels). They’re on the ground for about 40 seconds total and in that time we vaccinate, brand, castrate and tag them.
After we process the calves and do a final head count, we turn the calves back out with the mother cows and watch to make sure they pair up.
It’s a ranching tradition that the host ranch serve refreshments and a meal after calf processing. My wife Deb cooked ribs, roast potatoes, salads and desserts.
Other news? Well, it’s time to let calves grow up.
The bulls arrived last week and they will be turned out with the cows on July 15.
Of course the work here never ends—there’s ongoing maintenance and the constant monitoring of the cattle’s health. It’s kind of like eating an elephant. You have to take it one bite at a time.
For now, we’re looking forward to some sunshine after this much needed rain.