Monday, February 15, 2010
We have a lot of animals. And I mean a lot. We have horses, cows, bunnies, cats, dogs, chickens (sometimes), ducks, and other domesticated animals that live with us now and then. Of all of the animals we have, I think the one animal that has the best life, the guy that has it made more than any of our other pampered pets, is Rocky, our bull.
Yep, Rocky has the occupation most males dream of. First of all, Rocky is a big dude. He's a a ten year old Black Angus and Tarentaise cross. He weighs in around 2000 lbs. He eats pretty much all day everyday. So, you want to know why he has the best job here? Well, Rocky's job, albeit an important one, is what most 16-30 year old males dream of doing: his purpose in life is to impregnate 25-30 females of his species every summer.
But it's not summer here for long. So what does Rocky do the rest of the year? For most of the year, Rocky just hangs out around the ranch. He might hang out in the pen down the road or he might hang out at the ranch in Walden. Wherever he is, he is usually all alone. When he's alone, his day is all on him. If he feels like eating hay for an hour then staring at a post for an hour, he can. If he wants to test how loud he can say "mooo" then have a bathroom break, he can. If he wants to slobber all over himself without moving a muscle in his body, he can. No woman is there to remind him he needs to shave or that he should maybe consider taking a shower. No one is nagging him to to pick up his socks, turn down the t.v., or fold the laundry. He just gets to be 100% male.
Like I mentioned, things get exciting for Rocky in the summer. Come June or so, Randy Sue pushes all of her cows and calves out onto thousands of acres of open space to graze and roam about. Soon after, Rocky is pushed out to chase down and impregnate all those good-lookin' cows. Let me tell ya, he's rearing to go every year. He chases after those cows, bellowing out as he searches for them and those heifers moo back in return.
Rocky does his job, and he does it well. One of the reasons Randy Sue chose Rocky's cross breed was because Tarentaise generally produce smaller calves. So, while Rocky is huge, bulls can be much huge-er (yes, I know that is not a real word). Rocky's size means easier births for the cows and thus a higher survival rate for the calves. Tarentaise are also known for their ability to subsist on what is available to them in their area. Whether they get to eat tall green grass or short sparse shoots and weeds, they tend to turn out okay. And any heifers we keep as replacements have high fertility rates and calve unassisted in most situations. The Tarentaise bred cows also demonstrate strong maternal traits and optimum milk production.
The black angus part of Rocky and the cows mean the calves have sound feet and legs, they usually have no horns, and they can adapt to live in almost all weather conditions. Angus bred calves also have superior feed conversion and natural marbling of their meat.
Rocky, here's to you. Our all-man, all-bull king of bovines.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Drowsy Water Ranch is Number One!
Big News! Big News!
We just heard that we have been chosen by tripadvisor.com as 2010's Number One All Inclusive resort! We are thrilled, flattered, excited and giddy. Most of all, we want everyone to come find out for themselves what set us apart.
Friday, March 27, 2009
New Baby for Drowsy Water Ranch
I've said it before and I'll say it again: living on a family ranch in Colorado means you get to experience life up close. Births, deaths, traumas and triumphs are all just part of the job. Today's post is about one of the happiest (and cutest) parts of the living on a Colorado dude ranch--the babies.
We had our first baby calf towards the end of last week. She is a heifer (girl-cow) and comes from one of Randy Sue's newest cows. Isn't she just adorable? Baby cows are some of the cutest things you'll ever see at a ranch. They are all awkward and leggy but fluffy and full of energy also. It really is a shock to the system watching a baby calf run and play and hop around like a little puppy. You almost think they must be a different species than the big, slow, chubby-chicks they have for moms.
Don't get me wrong, the moms are no joke. Can you imagine getting pregnant every year, being pregnant for nine months, then having your baby in an open field laying in the snow and cold? Seems like they'd get sick of it. But, every year they guard, protect and care for their little calf with the utmost of seriousness and concern--just like any other mom. Honestly, having cows around was part of my reason to decide to forgo much medical intervention during Peyton's birth. If a cow can have baby after baby while laying down bellowing in an open field with no help, then, by-golly, I should be able to have a baby just fine in a warm room surrounded by a swarm of attendants catering to my every need. Sure, like people, it's not always that simple but cows seem to live through the experience no matter how painful it might have been. That was the lesson I learned from them and it's a lesson I wouldn't have learned if I didn't live at Drowsy Water Ranch.
Once again, I've digressed from this family ranch blog to odd topics of motherhood. Lucky for me, we have many more calfs on the way that will need ample ooh-ing and ah-ing.