My first week at Little Rainbow Ranch has been quite interesting. The cows (mostly black angus) get fed every day so that takes a fair amount of time with two tractors going (one silage the other hay). Also when it is really cold you have to put straw out for them so they have somewhere warm to sit. I spent about 6 hours with Chris showing me the ropes the first day and was then left to figure it out myself!!
Every day is different and I have seen lots of different things. Someone will have to tell Pa that I have seen a coyote and some deer but no moose or bears yet.
As I said there are 5 mobs of cows starting to calve right now and they keep you pretty busy with checks and feed. There are about 200-300 cows in each mob and when you check them you have to tag any new born calves with a certain colour tag and write on it the same number as the mother so they know who owns which calf.
The heifers are probably the most work and the last check on them gets done just before dark at around 7.30. Perry and I normally do this one then either Chris or Bob does the early morning check. They will do pretty much anything to save the cow or calf because they are worth so much to them and they put so much money into feeding them.
I have already seen 2 dead calves skinned and the skin put onto an orphan calf so the cow will mother it. One night we went out to a cow that had bloat and she died, so they just turned the cow upside down and cut the calf out. Unfortunately it was dead as well, but it just goes to show what they will do to save the calf if they lose a cow.
I think I have experienced everything weather wise!! Like I said there has been snow, then we had rain. Rain is definitely better than snow!!! It tends to drop to about -10 at night and has been anywhere between -2 and 8 degrees during the day. You know it's sad when you get excited about 8ᴼC and the fact you don't have to wear a hoodie or face warmer on the bike!!! It is funny to see how much they talk about the weather. Perry is always on his BlackBerry looking it up and it's constantly on the radio.
Overall I am enjoying myself so far. Things will probably get a bit hectic next week as Perry say's there is likely to be about 40 calves born a day. Hopefully we don't have as many problems as there has been so far.