A Day on a Ranch Where Your Beef is Raised

Ever wonder what happens on the ranch where your food is being grown and raised? I am personally intrigued by food production – I love learning about different ways food is grown. I recently got to see where/how tomatoes are grown in large fields and I was in pure awe.

So today I’m sharing a typical Saturday around our ranch, where we raise cattle that go into the beef supply. I say “typical” with the disclaimer that no day is ever the same and various challenges/last-minute tasks are bound to pop up (such as truck snafus). Also, this is a showcase on a weekend because the Ninja and I both work full-time jobs so we do most of our intensive work on the weekends, unless absolutely necessary.

This glimpse into our life occurred on a late September Saturday.

8:15 am – We drink coffee/water and munch on granola bars as we head out the door

The mineral provides valuable nutritional boosters to cattle diets.
The mineral provides valuable nutritional boosters to cattle diets.

8:30 am – Feed all the horses, feed the cows in the sick pen and put out mineral for the cows. The mineral we are putting out for the cows supplements the grass they are eating so that they meet their nutritional requirements for vitamins and minerals – we give this freely to all of our cows.

9:00 am – Get in work truck to go check for new calves.

9:02 am – Jump start work truck…

9:10 am – Head out to pasture to check on cows and look for new calves.

9:15  am – Literally, five minutes later, use the jalopy (makeshift tractor) to pull the work truck out of mud (twice)…

9:25 am – Tag, vaccinate and administer booster shot to new calf – yay for baby calves! The tag in the calf’s ear serves as identification and the vaccination and booster are to protect the calf against diseases and give it a mineral supplementation boost.

9:50 am – Give all horses routine dewormer. This is part of our health program for all animals on our ranch – dogs, cat, cattle and horses all receive regular deworming treatment.

10:10 am – Fan belt on work truck breaks. The Ninja investigates where to find new fan belt/fix it while I go to the feed store, pick up cubes for the cows and feed for the horses and get it unloaded. Cubes, also known as cake, for the cows are a very good source of protein that can be used to supplement cattle that are on grass with not much nutritional value. In this case, we are giving cubes to the sick pen cows since they aren’t able to be out on the pasture grazing fresh grass and are only receiving hay.

I feel that it’s worth noting that I didn’t get the truck stuck either time. But I did get the side-eye for taking this photo.

11 am – Head to town (in non-work truck) to run bank errands and pick up meat from the local meat processor.

12:15 pm – Grocery shopping for the week – including steaks for date night later that evening.

1:30 pm – Eat lunch and watch first half of K-State vs. Florida Atlantic football game (we obliterated them, Go Cats!)

3:00 pm – Head outside to gather cows from west pasture and move them to the east pasture to hang out with their lady-friends who are already there. We did this to rest the west pasture from grazing so that the grass could recover and grow back before fall/winter arrive. This is called rotational grazing and it helps preserve the soil and grasses for future years.

5:30 pm – Circle back to those cows in the sick pen. The cows in the “sick pen” are there because they have sore feet from fescue foot – we treated them with an antibiotic based on advice from our veterinarian and monitored them for an improvement in their health. They have since returned to full health and have rejoined the herd in the pasture.

Cattle eating hay
These cows are being monitored for improvement in their health

6:00 pm – Feed horses, dogs and sick pen cows. Fill all water tanks and play with the dogs for a bit.

7:00 pm – I get started on supper while the Ninja tunes into the Ohio State football game, which ended up being delayed until 8 pm. So we watched Michigan State whoop Notre Dame, which I highly enjoyed.

11:30 pm – I was awakened from my spot in the recliner and urged to go to bed!

So that was our day – others are less busy and some are far busier! For example, this past weekend we bought a new cow for our herd, dug up our yard with a trencher for fixing water lines and putting in some new automatic waterers, I had a baby shower and we moved the cows (again) to fresh grass.

Does our “typical” day vary from  yours?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~