Matt got off work early on Friday and we headed south to the ranch to work cows. We pitched our tent at the ranch and crawled into our sleeping bags for the night. I slept on the cot. It was fabulous! The kids love to go camping, but they were a little wary about camping at the ranch. Kendal said she wanted to camp in the quakies. I guess that will have to wait until real summertime, as there is still snow in the quaking aspen!
|Sorry April, just too cute not to capture!|
Saturday morning we woke up and got busy. Mark and Em cooked a gorgeous breakfast and I loved every bite. By 8:00 am, we were setting up for the day and getting ready to work calves. Working calves with the Cranes means branding, vaccinating, ear tagging, ear notching to check for BVD, a few 'cheerios' for some of the ones that won't remain bull calves, and just checking for general good health. Matt also ultrasounded a bunch of the first year heifers to see who was pregnant and who wasn't. The mother cows were also worked which means ear tags and ivermectin pour on, plus a few absesses lanced and other nasty things taken care of!
The kids were wonderful help. Kelsey is not the kind of gal that LOVES helping dad at the ranch, but she had a ball and was so helpful. She loves playing and working with her cousins.
Emmitt and Larry were sent on an errand to the trucks for something. You can see our green dome tent (it looks like it is on the back of Mark's truck!) and Mark and Emiko's trailer where we spent the night.
Matt ultrasounding heifers to check for pregnancy.
Emmitt and Ayden enjoying fruit snacks in the morning.
April, Emiko, and Kelsey getting our tables all set up.
One of Kelsey's jobs was being the 'lube girl.' Not the best title, but very important to her dad as he ultrasounded the heifers. She is smiling with her jug of lube!
Working the all the calves was enjoyable compared to the mother cows. They are smaller and much easier to run through the chutes, and not quite as ornery as those mothers!
Matt and Mark take a tiny little ear notch out of each calves' ear to send off to the diagnostic lab to check them for a disease called BVD, Bovine Viral Diarrhea or something like that. It keeps the herd healthy to get rid of the sick ones. That was another one of Kelsey's jobs. She kept track of each ear notch in baggies marked with the calves' tag number.
Judd and April are great kids. They help out at the farm and ranch every day doing whatever needs to be done. Here they are pushing calves down the chute with their little brother Larry in the very back.
And I must apologize for this one of Larry, but it is another one I just couldn't help! His chaps and little wrangler behind taking care of business was so cute!
Emiko's dad came to help as well and is also my uncle Alton. Long story, but Emiko and I are first cousins and we happened to marry brothers. Crazy I know! He is a laid back kind of guy like my dad (they are brothers) and it was fun to have his help. He has a good sense of humor that kept the Crane boys nice and mild!
More April, Judd, and Larry. It was great having their help with the calves.
When they cut the calves out from their mothers, I stayed far away. I have been kicked a few times by an ornery old gal, and I didn't need that happening right now with being as large as a house and as fast as tar. Emiko broke her finger earlier this spring already by an ornery mother cow and I really don't need anything to happen!
While we were busy with the calves, Larry and Emmitt took advantage of the run off from the irrigation water. They found these blue tubs that Mark and Matt use for mineral supplements for the cows, packed them up to the water, and then tried to float the water. It wasn't really deep enough, so they rocked and rocked them to get some motion going. They were so dang cute! Kendal and Ayden kept busy most of the day playing their little bodies out as well. All the kids wore their irrigation boots, and for some reason Kendal LOVES mud, so she was as happy as a little pig for most of the day! I just realized that I didn't get any pictures of Kendal. I guess that means she had a great day playing hard and far away from me and the camera!
Please forgive this picture as well, but I had to document that I was there and somewhat useful I stayed on the OUTSIDE of the shoot with the poker sticks to help push the larger calves, or loaded the tag guns for Mark. I don't realize how hideous I look to others until I see pictures of myself. I had no idea my tummy was hanging out all day between my pants and shirt (the white little strip). I can't see that part of my body, so I just think all is well! WRONG!
Larry and Mike in the chutes having a little break between cows.
My sweet Matt. He works hard at the ranch and loves doing what he does. Thank goodness he loves it, because it is a dirty, hot, rough job!
This is Emmitt after a few hours in the water and mud. He was soaked, and so were his socks and both pairs of boots I packed for him. It was such a nice weather day though, he dried out pretty quick.
Emiko pushing the bigger calves. She is a good woman to work her normal job, and then work at the farm doing whatever needs to be done as well.
When they were separating and cutting out the mother cows, Mike was showing Larry how to rope and it was the cutest thing. Larry almost caught one and was so excited. I am glad he didn't catch one, because that old gal would have drug him around a bit because Larry is the die hard type of kid that wouldn't let go of the rope!
It was a good day. We finished up around 6:00 or 7:00 and got home all dirty, stinky, and tired around 11:00 pm. The kids slept great Saturday night. So did I. So did Matt.