Good Mother
Category: Live from the Ranch
I wish we had an entire herd of cattle modeled after this cow. She is one of the first calf heifers that we are watching over at the MZ Ranch and she managed to slip unnoticed under the radar until about two weeks ago. This is a good thing because she was able to have her calf on her own without our help as first calf heifers often need. Unfortunately we noticed her because he calf, after a few days of normal life, became unable to use her hind legs. Her mother would graze nearby watching over her calf during the day, then at night would lay down next to her calf and keep her warm through the night. We brought the calf into the holding pen so we could keep an eye on her and help her out getting her much needed meals. Her mother is punctual and every morning is waiting at the pen so she can stand patiently and let her calf suck. We are giving the calf medicine and extra special care, all hoping that she will recover. Her mother is calmly waiting with us. This is a photo of the cow, her calf sucking (hard to see) and Charlotte one of the interns here at the MZ. As you can see from the photo, she is a very mild tempered cow who enjoys the social interaction, especially when there is some hay involved. We also gave her a blue custom necklace to help identify her among all of the other black cattle.
Posted by Duke I. on 05/30/2013

Branding At Zapata Ranch
Category: Live from the Ranch
This is the time of year that, in the past, would be full of photos and stories about one of our favorite activities on the ranch. Branding. The Chico crew has been flat out with other drought induced chores and we have been forced to postpone our branding until later in the season. I have been living and working at our sister ranch, Zapata, and our branding is in full swing here. We had a successful third branding of the season yesterday and turned 100 or so processed calves back to their mothers at the end of the day. This is a photos of the branding crew, Kate working the rope while others are scrambling to flank the calf and get it back to the herd as quickly as possible. It is a great time of year and I look forward to the start of branding season at the Chico.
Posted by Duke I. on 05/29/2013

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