The Cavalry
Category: Live from the Ranch
The last week and a half, we've had two guests visiting, Hans and Alex.  This is Hans third time on the Chico and Alex's second.  With all the shifting and shipping of cattle, there's been a lot of riding and long rides at that.  Luckily for us though, Hans and Alex have been able to step right in and help out.  I don't think the cavalry usually had the ability to call in more cavalry, but that's what this feels like.
Posted by Stuart P. on 05/08/2013

Category: Live from the Ranch
With only a few snow showers this spring adding up to at most a few tenths of precipitation, we've entered into a new phase of reevaluating and then implementing.  Today we continued our work of bringing in dry cows yet to calve to sell next week and aggregating our cow/calf pairs into our pastures with sub-irrigation.  It's not ideal, but it's pretty easy to see from the picture above it's the only place with green grass.
Posted by Stuart P. on 05/02/2013

Whip Broke
Category: Live from the Ranch

Last week marked the end of Coleman's 7 month internship on the Chico.  Over the course of his internship he took Bunk from a nuisance horse that reared on folks, to a battle horse that takes a leak while you crack a whip off it.  Bunk and staff will miss him.
Posted by Stuart P. on 05/01/2013

Quonset of Dreams
Category: Live from the Ranch
A highlight of all our hard work in the Quonset is a new basketball court.  Last night Lola was the only spectator, but the people will come.
Posted by Stuart P. on 03/04/2013

Upgrades Part Deux
Category: Live from the Ranch

Spring cleaning has hit on the Chico.  Amy has been heading up making improvements to the guest quarters down at May Camp this week.  Between the new paint job and the flagstone work, we've outdone ourselves and are now in need of a new grill to maintain standards.
Posted by Stuart P. on 03/02/2013

Category: Live from the Ranch

Coleman and I have been working in the Rose Alfalfa field this week so it's ready to irrigate by the end of next week.  The main goal has been resetting about 1,200 ft of gated pipe that over the years has become a bit difficult to work with.  We pulled each 30 foot section of pipe apart and now are in the process of putting it back together after patching holes and taking out bad pieces of pipe.  Here Coleman uses his noteworthy strength and finesse to join up two pieces.
Posted by Stuart P. on 03/01/2013

Calm Evenings
Category: Live from the Ranch

The headquarters lake sat still yesterday evening after a full day of moving cattle around down south.  It was a good reminder that a new season on the Chico is getting closer.  With March comes wind (and hopefully some of that white stuff in liquid form).
Posted by Stuart P. on 02/26/2013

The Quonset
Category: Live from the Ranch

This week has been dedicated to reorganizing and improving the Quonset (the big red hangar looking structure at HQ).  Here Harper is planing 1 of 6 new work benches we're building for the metal and auto mechanic bays we're creating in the Quonset.  He's planing it smoother than Suave's new felt brim.  For those unfamiliar with Suave's new headwear, it's pretty darn smooth.  For those familiar with the Quonset, note the west door is open in the background.  Eli, Michael and Dawn's 7 year old boy, swears he's never seen it open in the 5 years he's been here.
Posted by Stuart P. on 02/07/2013

Category: Live from the Ranch
He's still alive and kicking it.  Cholla is a hell of a drug.

Posted by Stuart P. on 01/31/2013

Artificial Rain
Category: Live from the Ranch

Harper and I were tasked with the project of unclogging the pipe exiting the Rose Pond, which we use to irrigate our alfalfa field.  The project was long overdue and one that had dogged us in the past.  We started by using metal pipe, human strength and a sledge, progressed to more pipe and come alongs, and ended with the contraption pictured above: 150ft of pipe chained to the front of the Chevy.  After hours of driving the 150 ft of pipe in and out of what we figured was a lot of mud blocking the hole, a steady stream of water started to flow and by this morning, water was gushing out.  We may still implement plan D just for a good time, which was to build a boat covered in target explosives of Jonathans', float it out over the entrance to the pipe and make it rain.
Posted by Stuart P. on 12/06/2012

Back Home
Category: Live from the Ranch

The crew celebrating the last group of bison to process

We wrapped up Bison Works on the Zapata last Saturday and the crew has since returned to the Chico.  It was a week and a half filled with rounding up bison, bringing them into the corrals/alleys/chutes and processing them, all under the watch of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.  It's a fitting backdrop for an exciting couple weeks of work.
Posted by Stuart P. on 11/15/2012

Last but not Least
Category: Live from the Ranch

The Beefmasters finished up the weaning/preg checking season on a high note.  They bred up at 85%, which was the best of the three main Chico herds.  Their horns are always a bit more intimidating as they get packed into the alleyway, but they sure look good with their heads high.
Posted by Stuart P. on 10/26/2012

Corn Starch
Category: Live from the Ranch

Before arriving on the Chico, one of our guests this week, Matt, was told by his brother-in-law to use corn starch to prevent saddle sores.  Matt didn't end up using the corn starch he bought, but left it for us to test out.  If it works I'm planning on looking into getting a Clabber Girl sponsorship for Bison Works.  If it doesn't, I'm not planning on trying out the option Matt chose instead of corn starch and now swears by, pantyhose.  Needless to say, it was an entertaining group on the ranch this week.
Posted by Stuart P. on 10/17/2012

Catch Up
Category: Live from the Ranch
I've been a bit lazy with my blog posts as of late.  Here's a take at catching up.

Bringing in the bulls for sorting and shipping last week, we had one of the first full days of cloud cover and rain that I can remember since April.  It was a fitting attempt at readjusting Olivia for London weather as it was one of her last rides before heading home (she's riding the lead in the pic guiding them into the corrals).  Olivia worked as an intern for 3 months and it was great having her here.  We wish her all the best.

This guy got a bit over curious about the pipeline project and fell in a trench.  His stint at being a giant gopher was short lived though and we pulled him out with no injury to the calf and a happy mom in the end.

Brent enjoying a beer as the sun set and the water rose in the brand new tank.  All good things.
Posted by Stuart P. on 09/19/2012

Nosey Neighbors
Category: Live from the Ranch

A few of our neighbors' yearlings we're hanging out at the gate today.  Curious little girls and just like all behaved young things, really good at making a line.
Posted by Stuart P. on 09/05/2012

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