Once upon a time, I had a wonderful diabetes educator.  She helped me gain tight control of my bloodsugars, she helped me balance the hormones and insulin during pregnancy with ReeRee.  Then she moved to the mountains- and I was crushed.

Now Marcey is doing distance clinics and I have her back.  Yippee!

As Marcey works her magic on my basal rates and boluses, she also asks about what I’ve been recording on my sheets.

“You seem to be dropping after ‘chores’.  What are chores?” she asked last appointment.

Well Marcey- here’s a better description of chores.

First, you load the pellets from the bin.  The electric auger effortlessly moves the pellets from the huge bin and into the buckets.

Bin of pelletsThen you give them a “squeeze” to put a little love in your breakfast.  Or that is what ReeRee does…

Load pellet bucketsNext, load the buckets into the Mule.

This group of bulls gets 6 buckets of pellets.  The pellets provide protein and energy.  The hay provides food for the rumen microbes, that in turn break down the cellulose into energy for the animal.  Over 500 trillion (yes, that many zero’s) live in the rumen of one animal.  Amazing!

The crew will meet you at the gate.

Yearling Bulls ready to eatWhich makes getting through the gate without the crew getting out more interesting…

The horses are out in the pasture, so we run them through the calving lot to bring them in.  The horses outrank the cows, so the horses like to remind the cows who are boss.  Then I remind the horses who are boss (yeah- me!) and they trail into the corral to eat from the bunks.  One bucket for 2 bunks for 10 horses.

Horse eating from the bunkGrullo, the ancient retired gelding, babysits the two colts.  Grullo is giving me the evil eye.  They have a bale of alfalfa now, so they are missing the pellets.

Grull miffed- no feed todayI have to lock them out to feed the “up” heifers.  These two heifers had trouble calving and slightly paralyzed their back end.  They’ve went through a slow recovery.  We bring them hay, water, and 1/2 a bucket of pellets.

The last bucket is “fat food” for the steers we are feeding out.  No fancy auger here- you bucket by hand.

Fat steersSomeday I want to come back as a fat steer.  Lots of naps, unlimited access to high fat, high sugar, highly delicious rations.

Fat FoodThe fat food is mainly corn and pellets to add roughage.  If we lived closer to an ethanol plant, we would feed distiller grains.  Distiller grains have had the starch removed from the corn- “God’s gift to cattle” is what one of my friends calls it.

If Newt is lucky enough, my floors are swept and mopped (it takes me at least a couple hours to clean).  Then ReeRee and I can go feed the mares and bulls.  The bulls are locked away from the herd, so no babies are born too early.

Drive Spike Drive!We take the mule and buckets of cake (a larger pellet made from distiller grains).  Spike is too little to jump off the seat himself, so he (im)patiently waits for us to check the water.  The tanks were full of water and snails!

Buckets of cakeI hold one bucket out the side of the mule at a time and slowly drive and dribble the cake on the ground.  The bulls and mares also have a pecking order, so I try to spread it out so everyone gets their share.

Mares bull eat cakeFinally, chores are done.  Now back to clean bathrooms, wash the laundry, and make dinner (lunch-dinner, not dinner-supper).  Oh boy- I would rather do Mule chores.

Categories: Ranching in the Sandhills | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Chores

  1. Mike Sitz

    I loved this one!!!!

    The photos and the explanations are so good!

    Ree Ree looks cute hugging the bucket.

    I am glad your good educator is back to help you.

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