Only 2% of the population lives on farms or ranches. So many of you wonder, “What is it like living on a ranch?” ReeRee, even at 1.5 years, is starting to figure it out. Living on a ranch is wonderful in wonderful weather, when wonderfully warm feelings of luck surround you. But life isn’t wonderful all the time. Ranching is a responsibility that lasts 24-7. You need to feed the cows every day, you need to check for signs of health issues every day, you need to check their water every day, you need to feed the bucket calf twice a day.
Even in the worst weather, you have to feed that calf. Bucket calves are the burr in the side of ranchers. They are orphans, or in this case, a twin. The mother was only able to take care of one calf, so today it was ReeRee’s and my job to feed this twin.
As I mentioned earlier, March was a blustery month. The twin was in a small pen behind the arena (a large sandy corral where Newt practices bulldogging and roping). ReeRee had a blast feeding the calf his “sippy of maulk” (ie. the calf bottle filled with reconstituted powdered milk) that morning. The morning was calm, but as evening wore on the wind picked up to 40 mph.
I realized my mistake after Newt dropped us off to feed the calf. The calf jumped up and sand flew from his black coat and sandblasted ReeRee and I. ReeRee started crying and rubbing her eyes. I put her on the other side of the fence, but she cried harder. “MOMMMMEEEEEE!” The wind sucked up dirt from the road, the arena, the corral and spit it directly into our faces.
I left the calf to move ReeRee to the north side of the shed. Mistake- the shed smelled of skunks. That’s where Porky received his Pippy LePoo perfume. Back around to the pen to be sandblasted. ReeRee’s eyes watered, her nose ran, and dirt filled her ears as I jammed the calf in the corner to finish his bottle.
What is ranching like? Well, you work when you have to. Not when you feel like it.