Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.

What's your health score?
Just Take Your FREE Health Assessment: Click Here
Please DO NOT copy or reproduce my photos or writing in any way without my permission...just ask!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Congratulations to Number Three!

She FINALLY calved!!!

You did a fine job girl...she had this cute lil' one all by herself! It's interesting that this calf came out with the Jersey color tone instead of the red Hereford like the other two calves. But, she was a nice small calf...perfect for Number Three's first calf.

Newborn Heifer Calf
She's just a cutie!

Her breeding is a bit of a conglomeration; half polled Hereford, quarter Chiangus, eighth Angus and eighth Jersey.

Newborn Heifer Calf
I guess this position gives her more stability as Number Three continues to clean her up.

It sure doesn't take them long to get up and rompin' around! This is a pretty cute video!

So, we're done calving for this year. We'll be getting the bull in fairly soon...and expect to have five calves next year!

Rurality Blog Hop #14

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Let's Play With Cows!!

Yep, I think it's been almost a month since I last posted! I'm still here...and very busy obviously. It's spring, so there have been numerous brandings, my Mike Bridges horse clinic, last weekend I hosted the Tom Blasdell cow dog clinic for two days and the following day My Man and I went to two small brandings in one day...and it's so dry that we're irrigating the alfalfa between freezing temps...just a bit chaotic!!

Stay tuned in the next few days, I've got a special give-away coming up that you won't want to miss!!

In the meantime, here's a bit of fun from the cow dog clinic with Rastus~

Is It My Turn Yet?
"Is it my turn yet?" asks Rastus.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When Thoughts Come True

How many times have you ever thought of something that could happen...and then it does?

Feeding the herd this mornin', I tripped while pushing the wheelbarrow, fell forward and landed with my lower teeth on the rim of the metal wheelbarrow. Tripped over a damn rock...which I have done too many times to remember~and always thought "what if?"

One tooth is broke in half and a couple others are loose...split my lip of course, and I look like I was in a fight...and lost.

Off to the dentist...hope they can fix me up.

It can only get better from here today.
One of my favorite views...clouds and blue sky over the rim rock.

Rurality Blog Hop #11

Sunday, April 14, 2013

RIP ~ Tat the Barn Cat

Tat died of old age yesterday morning...we'll be burying him this morning.

Tat was a cat of his own...which I think most cats are. In August of 1997, I got two free kittens which I wanted as barn cats, and they were named Tiz and Tat. Well, Tiz had other ideas; he promptly made himself at home at the neighbor's place...on their bed! They loved him dearly, so how could I take him away from such a great home.

Tat didn't want anything to do with people, he would hang around and occasionally rub your leg, but petting was not allowed by his standards.

I quickly glanced at his file this morning and took a total of the medical bills that I had kept; $740. Whoever says owning a pet in not costly doesn't take care of their animals! He got kicked by a horse one time and it knocked the hip bone out of the socket...$300 later he was a good as new. Then he developed a urinary tract infection and has been on special (expensive) food ever since. But, you just do what needs to be done.

Tat the Cat
~Rest in Peace Tat~

Tat had become a "mud room" cat in the past couple of years as we knew that he wouldn't be able to withstand the harsh winters here in Harney County. He was already very thin and didn't have much of an appetite, but quit eating a couple of days ago. He only showed any sign of pain a couple of times...and whenever you petted him he purred like crazy...to the very end.

He had a good long life, but my mud room is sadly quiet.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Post Number 701...But Who's Counting...

No posts for two weeks...here anyhow...but I have been posting my Photo A Day HERE. I have to confess that it's not easy for me to have two blogs going.

My Man and I took a day trip a few weekends ago to the south end of Harney County to visit my Ol' Man Toby...and his family. He and the kids are doing fantastic!!!

Young Rider
Monte riding Toby with his pup in chase. The beautiful Pueblo Mountains are in the distance. I wish I could have grown up like these kids...they're amazing!

Top of P Hill
Our route took us from Princeton to Diamond and then Frenchglen. This photo is taken at the top of P Hill above Frenchglen. The Malhuer Wildlife Refuge lies below. The scorched trees are from the devastating Miller Homestead wildfire from last summer...but look at the beautiful green grass coming up!

Scars on the Land
The land will recover from the fire...the juniper trees are a noxious weed that suck up 30 gallons of water a day taking moisture that is needed for the grasses to grow and sustain cattle, wildlife, and wild horses.

Up 'n Over
We traveled the length of the Catlow Valley seeing nothing but cows and wildlife. I saw a small herd of Big Horn sheep but couldn't get a photo. Hart Mountain is in the distance.

Steens Mountain Over the Fence
We arrived at Fields which is just a few miles from the Nevada border. It's beautiful, rugged, and desolate. I think I could live there! Steens Mountain in the distance.

Alvord Desert
After our visit, we headed back north to home via the Alvord Desert...a huge alkali desert running for miles along the east base of the Steens Mountain.

As with any trip...it's good to go, but just as good to get back home!

Rurality Blog Hop #10

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Orphaned Calves~Trials 'n Tribulations

There's no better explanation than trials 'n tribulations when you try to graft a cow to a calf. It's something that I hope we don't have to go through again...but I doubt it...if you're going to raise any type of livestock, sh!t just happens no matter what you do to prevent it!

As you might remember, the lil' brown calf died on March 9 and we brought home the orphaned black calf on March 10. We've been struggling to get the cow to accept the calf ever since. The calf wants nothing more than to have a mamma that he can nurse from...Annabelle is just being a stinker...she threatens him by slinging her head at him and stomping her back hooves...but doesn't ever actually hurt him.

The day before yesterday, I was ready to through in the towel and just bottle feed the lil' guy...it would be a lot easier than going through the frustration with Annabelle. We took off the hobbles and turned them both out with the rest of the herd hoping that she'd step up to the plate and take care of her calf...24 hours later...nothin' doin'. I decided we'd get him separated out and just start the bottle. So, I've got him alone in the pen and am working at getting him into the stall to feed him and Annabelle comes running and bawling to the gate "what are you doing to MY calf?" Pffttt...alright, I put her in the pen with the lil' guy and she wants nothing to do with him. CRAZY damn cow! So, we bottle fed him and left him in the stall for the night...and fed him again in the morning.

Meanwhile, I'm Googling last resort ideas for grafting a cow and a calf...and came across an inspiring blog post at Double H Photography (photography, writing and ranching in rural Wyoming). She had written a post called "Calf Adoption Services" where her fiance had a bottle calf that didn't know how to nurse from a very willing mother cow (he wanted his bottle!). I know, the opposite of what my problem is...but she said "This would not happen like this at my house."

So...what did they do at her ranch? Maybe she could give me some pointers...couldn't hurt to ask, so I emailed her, and she sent me back a couple of very encouraging replies. "Sounds like you've won half the battle, if not the war, since she at least likes him when he isn't trying to eat!" said Heather.

Day 11...the best feeding so far.

So, My Man and I are back at it again...I had visions of udder utter bliss between the two of them after they had been together for five days...OK...then there's reality where things take longer than anticipated. It could be worse...so, keep going and keep trying.

We've always had to put her into the lead up to the squeeze chute so she wouldn't threaten the calf when he tried to eat. This morning, I gave her a bit of hay (she had not had any hay since last evening's feeding), got her to stand against the fence in the corner, threatened her with my stock stick when she was going to be nasty to the calf...and the calf nursed while she ate...it was success! She didn't act nearly as cranky!!!

When the lil' guy had his fill, I put him in the arena next to her pen with water and a handful of calf starter grain, gave Annabelle half her breakfast, and plan to go out at noon to do it all over again. The plan is to keep her a lil' bit hungry, and she gets a reward for standing for the calf...and she also gets to have her bag pressure released...I hope she'll put two and two together and realize the lil' guy is a good thing.

Rear approach...it'll be so nice to see him stand next to her instead of behind her. But this is where the calf feels the safest...even though he keeps getting cow crap on his head...poor thing!

There you have it...we'll just keep pushing forward and pray for the ultimate success...a pair!

BTW...thanks Heather for all your help!

Oh...another BTW...my "pool time" photos from yesterday were taken almost two weeks ago when it was almost 60 degrees and Rastus just wanted into any water he could find. Now we're back to ice on the water tanks again and feeding in insulated bib because the wind chill is down to 10 degrees. Yep, it's spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrate National Agriculture Day!

March 19 is National Agriculture Day..."so what" you say?

What Is Ag Day All About? (from the agday.org website)
Ag Day is about recognizing - and celebrating - the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to:
  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

My Man and I contribute just a tiny bit to the agriculture industry, but we are proud to produce a quality product so you can have good, safe food on your table!

We do a lot of this...

When the Wind Blows
(usually from May through early September)
...to grow as much of this as we can...

Hayin' Time Again/1
(three cuttings June, July and September)
...most of which is trucked off to Willamette Valley dairies...

(200 tons)
...so you can go to your local grocery store and buy milk, butter, and cheese!

What alfalfa we grow that isn't good enough for dairy cows, we feed to our own cows to raise a few of these...

Airs Above the Ground
(Early Girl - a 2013 calf)
...who, when old enough and fed right, will be available to you at your local grocery store.
Beef - That's what's for dinner!

Just think of all of the food products that are available to you in one place...at your local grocery store...those products didn't get there by chance or by magic. A lot of sweat, joy, heartbreak and tears goes into each of those products by farmers and ranchers all across our nation...and the world.

You gotta watch Ranching Awesome!!

And you can't forget Farmer Style!!

Say THANK YOU to a farmer or rancher today...celebrate with us National Agriculture Day!

Rurality Blog Hop #7

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Stills ~ Games

My Man and I got out of the house yesterday evening for dinner at a friend's house...and a rousing game of a type of rummy called "Melissa's Rules."  A perfect opportunity for "game" shots for this week's Sunday Stills photo challenge.

So, here are my two best shots...but the better shots were taken by our host Lloyd, and he's granted me permission to include them today. Thanks Lloyd...nothin' beats a cute puppy face!!



"Hey look...I got three 3's...

...that's pretty good! I'm learnin' this game quick...OK, you're turn...hurry up!"

Check out more "game" photos HERE.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Tune ~ Templeton Thompson

I've featured Templeton Thompson before...I always love her music. This song was just listed on YouTube, and it seemed to hit home with me. Not in the aspect of actually getting a horse rode in my case...but getting bucked off in life...you still gotta get back up in the saddle again~

And for those curious minds regarding the new calf with Annabelle, they're still not quite together yet, but it seems closer than yesterday!! My Man and I gave him a dose of Tri-Pectate (pectin, glucose, electrolytes) this mornin', and Annabelle was at the stall door lookin' very worried as to what we were doin' with her calf!!! She was talkin' to him and everything...yeah!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Life's Rollercoaster

Thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts and comments on the death of the lil' brown calf. CDNCowgirl said it very well:
"Despite what the end holds for most cows to lose such a young calf is so sad."
Yes, their beef cows...raised to be eaten. But it's so hard to stand by and watch a young life slip away...knowing you've done all you could do. But God has his own plan, and we just need to go with it.

Cindy Sue is lending her support.
It makes me feel better knowing that the brown calf's last hour of life was in warmth and love instead of dying out in the cold. A lot of tears were shed.

But, we forge forward...what to do with a cow that has lots of milk to give...but we don't know if she'll accept another calf. We decided that we had to give it a try.

We put phone calls out to all the neighbor ranches and posted on FB...then yesterday afternoon, dear friend Rancher Dan called and said he had a calf that might work for us. He was about a week old, and had been abandoned by his mother...and he'd been sneaking drinks of milks from all the other cows when he could...he wasn't shy!

So, we headed over with the trailer, got him scooped up out of the field while he was sleeping in the sun, and loaded him up for home.

We put him (a bull calf) in with Annabelle, and she wasn't violent toward him, but she didn't want him to nurse...so we got her into the first section of the lead up to the squeeze chute; a board in front and a board in back...she couldn't get away.

We brought up the lil' guy behind her, and he knew exactly what to do! So in less than 24 hours, we had a calf for her...our hopes are high that this will work!

Despite being pooped and peed on, he drank and drank...

...and drank until he was full !

I tried to hobble Annabelle's hocks, but being the rookie that I am, was unsuccessful. So, we turned her loose with him in the paddock. If she won't let him nurse today, we repeat yesterday's exercise.

It looks to me that she's going to accept him, it'll just take some time.

Last evening when we left the barn, the lil' guy was snug and warm in the calf shelter...and he was still in there this mornin'. It's good to know that he's safe...now we'll see if today will bring them closer together as a pair. Wish us luck!