Articles

Putting Bulls In With The Cows on the Ranch

August 21, 2019


Hi I’m Mike, today is time to restart a
new cycle on the ranch. Calves are born every year and one of the
most important parts of that process is bringing the bulls to the cows. Moving bulls is so much different from moving
cows and working with them can be one of the most dangerous jobs on the ranch. Join us as we take the bulls to to work, on
our Wyoming Life. Welcome back, as always be sure to subscribe
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what you see and feel free to comment, we love to hear from you, learn your story and
get to know you. When you drive down the road and look at all
these fences, what we hope is that you look at them a bit differently. Behind every single fence is a story, a family,
a history and a tradition. We invite you to come along with us and explore
the ranch life and escape the ordinary as you learn our story. The ranch itself is a bit like that story,
a story that repeats itself every year. Parts of that story always change, the details,
but the main gist is always the same. We have baby calves in the spring, we make
hay in the summer, hopefully, or else we buy hay and we feed that hay all winter long. Another big part of that story is the place
where I believe our story starts over. And that is the bringing of the bulls to the
cows. Without this step, there are no baby cows
and with out them, there wouldn’t mama cows so for me today marks the beginning of a new
year, a new story and a new beginning. This year we added three new bulls to our
herd. All three are red angus and purchased from
a local producer. They are young bulls, only 2 years old but
already weighing over a thousand pounds a piece on their way to around a ton when they
are all grown up. Putting them in the with other bulls allows
them to become acclimated with their new brothers, fights will happen but over their time together
they will form a bond. They will determine a pecking order, they
will learn who is in charge and become more comfortable in their new role in the herd. The day that we put the bulls with the calves
is always met with excitement. I firmly believe the bulls know whats coming
and usually all I have to do is open a gate leading into the corrals they will be loaded
out of and they will move that way by themselves. I opened that gate last night and now all
the bulls are ready to go, in the corral and waiting. Its been almost a year since they have last
seen the cows and now they are ready to get to work. Although they are ready and anxious, its now
time for us to be at our most cautious around them. Moving cows around is relatively easy, cows
have a fight or flight instinct and most of the time a cow will run, fleeing the situation
she is put in. Bulls however have a tendency to swing the
other way and fight. I mentioned before that we have new bulls
in this group and because we do, we have decided to keep the 2 bulls that were going to be
retired from the herd with the group through this season. They have been through this many times and
because they have they are easier to move through the process. They know the trailer isn’t there to hurt
them, in fact they may even know that the trailer is going to take them to the place
that they want to be this time of year. We have 7 bulls to move today, We should be
able to fit 4 in the first trailer load which will go directly to the cows and the other
3 in the second load. Dropping off one of the younger ones to work
with the few heifers we have. As we do with any livestock, our goal is to
move them from larger into smaller corrals to work with and for these guys onto the trailer. A recent study from the United States Library
of Medicine took a look at injuries and deaths occurring as a result of bulls in the US. According to the study, of injuries incurred
while farming and ranching 30% were the cause of livestock and bulls were found to account
for 25% of those injuries. Of those more than 50% were fatal. So toying around with bulls is no laughing
matter. You never know what kind of a mood a bull
is in, and one that is docile on one day may be in a completely different mood the next. Since I am working alone today, my head is
always on a swivel, keeping an eye on who is in front of me as well as behind me and
trying to gauge their mood as I do it. Lucky for us, the bulls are in a pretty good
mood today. But they don’t get all the credit, because
even the day we choose to move them is not chosen by chance. I have found that bulls are less likely to
want to do anything if it is too hot, or too cold, or even too windy. Choosing the day to work with them is just
as important as how you work with them. As our first group moves up to the trailer
the older bulls get the idea and the young one follows along. Next we get to medicate these guys a bit. You may have noticed the flies and this time
of year they are horrible on the bulls. In order to give them a bit of relief we are
going to use Ivermectin to help control them. The medication is a pour on that will eventually
end up in their manure as well and prevent the development of fly eggs in their manure
and hopefully offer continued relief. With the bulls ready to go, we can make the
couple of mile trip to the cows and reintroduce them to their boyfriends, and the new comers
to the ranch. We do this quite a ways away from where the
cows are, letting them come together naturally. Dropping them off in the middle of the herd
has caused fights before, probably from over stimulation, and I don’t want to be in the
middle of it. Doing it this way allows them to come together
naturally at their own pace. This is the getting to know you period of
their day, the bulls will move through the herd, looking for a cow in heat and try their
luck. Which may not pan out right away, but soon
the cows will get with the program and we let nature take its course. After loading the rest of the bulls up, then
its off with them as well. Dropping off another young bull, but this
time with some first time moms, the heifers. They seem intrigued by the new kid and put
the chase on him, and maybe it will take some time for him to warm up to them, but they
sure do like him. With the remainder of the bulls out doing
their thing, the ranch will now cycle back around. Life will continue and a new batch of calves
will soon be on the way. A major milestone of the year completed, without
any injuries to us or to the bulls, which can always be a concern as well. Over all a good day for all those involved. With patience and perseverance you can move
mountains, and you can move mountains of testosterone too. Good luck boys, and a have fun, and always
remember to call her in the morning. With that job done, we can knock another one
of the list and really bury ourselves into the haying for this year. The crop isn’t great, but its better than
nothing and its better than last year. Make sure you subscribe and come back and
join us soon as we continue bringing you hay harvest from the ranch, the break downs, from
the tractors and occasionally my breakdowns as well. Even though those usually consist of kicking
a tractor tire a few times. We have a lot more on the way from right here
in our little corner of Wyoming and we want to thank you for taking your time to join
us. Search our Wyoming life on facebook and Instagram
to find us there for content you cant find anywhere else. Until next time, have a great week and thanks
for joining us in our Wyoming life.

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