Many of you have a 9-5 job, 5 days a week in a town or city. You have no connection to the rural community. Heck, there are even those who live in the rural community, and still have no connections or the slightest idea what a Farmer or Rancher does.
Many of you have no clue where your food comes from, and that’s okay. For now. But you will eventually need to know. Because your food does not originate from a grocery store, gas station, or a restaurant; it comes from a Farm or Ranch.
That’s right, your food doesn’t magically appear all clean, shrink wrapped, and packaged for your delight at the supermarket. It doesn’t come magically precooked. Someone has to do the work for it to get there.
A Farmer grew the vegetables that grace your table’s side dish. A Rancher raised the meat you dine on with so much relish. We grow/raise the food, and it is then brought to your preferred store where you can purchase to your hearts delight.
I am a Rancher as most of you know from previous posts. I raise Angus/Hereford beef cattle, and I love what I do. We don’t work from 9-5, 5 days a week like many people.
We are a 24/7, every day of the year, even on holiday’s kind of operation. All day and All night if need be. We take very good care of our livestock, and are sure to use the best and healthiest practices for the animals possible.
So for example, last night, I was up after dark, helping a calf drink milk from its mother. You see, sometimes cows don’t mother up right away (this means they don’t get attached to the baby the minute it slides out of their bodies, its nature, it happens sometimes) they need to lick the calf clean and wait patiently for it to rise unsteadily to its legs so it can nudge her udders looking for milk.
Most of the time, the pair are successful, and mother and calf can be left alone. But in cases like last night, they needed a little help.
A couple of days ago one of our first calf heifers (a cow that is calving for the very first time) calved (gave birth) she licked the baby clean, and then wandered off. Now, in this case sometimes the momma comes right back after letting the calf rest up before trying to eat (being born is hard work!) but, this cow didn’t come back. In fact, she ignored that calf all day. Even after it was up and moving.
So, like any good rancher, we brought the cow and calf up into our working shed, and put the cow into the chute. (A chute is a piece of cattle ranching equipment that is used to hold the cow standing steady, and makes it so that injuries hopefully don’t occur, when dealing with animals of any kind, one must be cautious, and use Veterinary approved techniques such as this) There are small wooden panels at the bottom of the chute that can be removed just for these occasions.
It allows a gap wide enough for a calf to get under the cow to suckle till he’s got a full belly.
So, that has been on the daily to do list since that cow calved. Many times throughout the day the cow will have to be brought in to allow the calf to drink. Sometimes, if we are lucky, they will both figure out what’s what, and won’t need further help. Other times, we don’t get so lucky, and we end up with a bottle calf.
Either way, I’m just happy that both are alive. For now, we will continue to help them out and see where the road takes us all. Here’s hoping the cow stops being a butt-head. (Yes I said butt-head, when one has children, you tend to not use swear words as much as you may have lol.)
So, before someone tries to tell you that Farmers and Ranchers don’t take care of their animals, tell them this story. We take the well being and health of our livestock VERY seriously. This is our livelihood. We love what we do.
To all other Farmers and Ranchers out there, you are doing an awesome job dealing with all the weather related damages and natural disasters being thrown your way!
Prayers to all of you and to those fighting the wildfires, and who have lost homes, and animals!
On a bright note, we finally got a decent rain shower last night! The grass is starting to green up and it smells so fresh outside! I’m so thankful to God for the rain!