Monday, March 2, 2009

Animal Rights people should visit my ranch

Yup, That's what I said, and I MEAN IT!! Anyone who thinks that most ranchers/farmers are mean to thier animals, needs to come to our Ranch!!

After the day I've had I'll chew em up and spit em out again!

To put it lightly, today was a rough one. But, I haven't cried, yet. (uh oh, the eyes are getting wattery)

Honey usually does AM chores, and this morning was no different. He was done before 7, and decided to run out back to check those cows on the 4-wheeler. (Yes, we have one of those nasty things). I was getting kids fed and ready for school. (Squeak included, since its monday).

J reported that Daddy was back, and he was grabbing a bale of hay with the tractor. He stops in the house, tells me Scooter's down in the pond, and we need beet pulp (high energy) and HOT water. I load everyone, grab some stuff, and take the Dodge out to the big pond. S%$T! The tractor was on a hill and ran low on Diesel, so he had to shut it of before it ran out (shoulda loaded the tank yesterday and filled it then). We pushed and shoved, and moved her so she was level.
It is now 8am, so, we head for the house, load J's snacks (cause she's the snack girl ALL week), load the diesel tank, and head for town. Honey calls the Co-Op and lets them know he's not gonna be in (THANK GOD!!).

We drop the girls of 1 min early, and I let J's teacher know that I won't be volunteering today. I then look at my clothes...Oh well! (note to self, make sure you have other boots handy when Honey needs you, DO NOT WEAR OSTRICH in pond MUD, everything else will wash). Drop Squeak at his school, and go to get diesel.

We formulate a plan to feed hay, get some energy into her and then make a cow sled to get her to the barn. So, we pull her up out of the mud. While we were in the house, we grabbed Honey's pump (from his Steer Jock Days) and 4 gallons of Hot water, Colostrum (energy), and 2 gallons of Fruit Punch (all the High Fructose Corn Syrup). We pumped her with 2 gallons of H2O and the other stuff.

Then we head back to the barn to make the sled. A piece of plywood, two 2x8's later we have a fancy dancy cow sled (I hope I never have to use it again!). We use the tractor and slide her onto the sled and strap her down. The sled works great to glently glid her to the barn (she was about 40 acres west of the barn). Now what? Well, we get the heater and throw a tarp over her to heat 'er up.

Breakfast time (it is 11:30). When we get back outside, we decide that she isn't warm enough, and we head to town for some LP. Yup the little tank that goes under your grill. We have a torpedo heater that works with LP, and we didn't think we had enough.

Shure enough, we fire up the torpedo heater, and she finally stops shivering.

We decide that while we keep an eye on her, we'll set the next water-er. Yeah!! It is pretty tricky working in a very tight area! This water-er goes in the middle of one of our pipe pens, so we can water two pens, thus the not much room.

Then, we have the fun part of ponies and colts "helping". In other words, their noses were in the way, the ENTIRE TIME! Leroy, what a pest. That pony is going to have a ton of fun with the kids this summer!!

After we checked on Scooter, we then decided to sort off heifers/steers for the auction this week. All the steers went, and heifers stayed. We checked nuts, and decided to just send the spring (2008) calves. Wow! We only have 8 left to send!!! YEAH!! That means I'm doing a better job of selling beef! (send me a note if you want any GREAT beef that should be harvested in late June) We get to keep 11 spring heifers. We decided to wait on the fall calves, because their nuts haven't fallen off yet.

The girls got home and Scooter was still hanging in there, so we picked up Squeak. Got home. Scooter was gone. We chored, and fed kids, and here I am. Still TRYING not to cry.

You see when a cow has a NAME (not just a number) it is a bad thing when we loose her. Scooter was a great old registered Angus cow that we bought in our first group of Sweeney cows in 2000. She has raised at least 4 cows that are in our herd right now. She was a pet. AND She was ON The LIST. That means, she got to die on the Ranch (not get culled to the sale barn).

And she did. We did everything to care for her! THIS is why I DARE any animal Rights person to stop by our ranch. If they think for one minute that we don't take care of cows. THEY ARE WRONG!! When we stopped in town earlier, more than one guy mentioned that the cost of a bullet was cheap, and she probably wouldn't live anyway. TUFF! We tried, and tried some more to save her. But sometimes a 16 year old cow just dies, no matter what you do. That's why most people cull them before they're 8. But Scooter, she was on The List.

And now, I'm going to go cry, and go to sleep.

I promise, the next blog WILL be funny!

ps, sorry for any typos or wierd phrases. I didn't even re-read this before I posted. (couldn't see thru the tears anymore)


  1. I'm so sorry about Scooter! :( What an ordeal. You did what you could for her, which was above and beyond what most people would! How old does a cow live, typically? The same lifespan as a horse? Hang in there!!

  2. Oh, poor thing. I know what you mean about the "named" ones. We are the same way. Hope today is brighter!

  3. sorry to hear but you did make her comfortable. rest assured in that. Even knowing you as well as I thought I did I didn't know there was such a writer in you :) love ALL the posts!!!

  4. Oh, what a sad thing! They others are right, you have to feel good about what you did. It still hurts, I know. Just remember how you encouraged me when we lost our calves - it is the roughest thing we do but it will pass. Here's to a better day today!

  5. Thanks everyone!
    Pony Girl - Cows are typically culled at 8 (to be hamburger). We have found that 13-15 is the oldest a cow will produce. Most cows will go downhill drastically at 12 or 13. The oldest cow right now is 23 (she lives in MT and has had 22 calves)

  6. Oh how sad... I know what you mean about losing the ones with names. Although I can get just as attached to the ones with numbers-only too!!

    At least your girl spent her last few hours knowing she was loved and cared for... more than you can say for many humans!!!
    PS Thanks for joining my posse!!!

  7. So sorry for your loss. It sounds like you did everything possible to help her. Hope things start going more smoothly for you.