Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Choices & Perspective

Last night Honey came home & talked about a family he met at the co-op.  They were a couple in their 50's-60's with their 20 something son. 
They were traveling in a covered wagon. 
From Arkansas to Nebraska. 
They left home in November.
They stopped in to buy some corn & hay for their 3 horses.
They did stop for a while in Illinois this winter & work.
The horses were in good shape (not skinny).
The people were clean, nice & happy.

Of course after they left there was quite a bit of "shop talk".
WHY would you do that? 
Just BUY a truck.

I was really impressed that Honey had quite a few questions in return for the guys.
Why NOT?
What if they just WANTED to?
It would be neat to REALLY see the country like that?
What IF they couldn't afford a Truck?
The wagon WAS really nice.  It had a completely enclosed (clear plastic) front that they had some Amish make for them.
Don't you think it would be really nice to just live that simply?  No bills & debts?

Hmmm, wow, we have come a LONG way in the past 2 years in our way of thinking!  Today, we ran the truck to get some new tires before Honey had to go to work.  We traveled only 10 miles west, and we saw them setting out for the day (8 or 9 miles west of where they were at noon yesterday).    Indeed 2 big paint horses pulling a covered wagon & leading a third paint horse.

I know that we get LOTS of questions about why we have chosen our way of life & finishing cattle.  I am constantly defending my choice to harvest our calves younger & at 1000# instead of the 1300# (FAT) cattle.
It is wonderful that Grass-Fed & Pastured Beef is becoming more widely known!  (Even our Banker yesterday knew about grass-fed beef!)

If I had to make choices again about downsizing & completely changing our operation 2 years ago ...... Would I do it the same?  YES!!!  I might change some details, but the BIG picture would stay the same.  We'd still be in debt, but, we'd still be cattle ranchers.
We'd still have to have off farm jobs.
We'd still be moving towards more grass & less corn.
We'd still be working towards raising ALL of our own feeds (but we'd still buy our outside feeds from our neighbors)
We'd still have our wonderful Maine-Anjou cows!

And yes, Freedom would still get loose on a regular basis, no matter how many new knots we tie on her *locked* gate.  (She was in the front yard again this morning)

I'm off to work on our website & get some prices up, so drop me a note ebersolecattleco(at)yahoo(dot)com if you're interested in learning more about our fall GRASS-FED beef & setting up a payment plan to reserve your beef!

I hope you have a great day!  The sun is shining & we're off to go play in the barn.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fall Calves

Fall calves are being weaned.  Its nice when you wean fall calves this time of year, they've mostly weaned themselves.  Not much bawling, or crying, because they've naturally weaned themselves.  They've been on grass & hay all winter with their cows, so they are great foragers.  We like to keep them on the cow through the winter to help them learn to forage & keep drinking from thier mamas.  The extra protien from the milk keeps them gaining a little weight & be healthier calves.

I LOVE our fall-calves.  They don't take much work when they're born & are quite easy to wean.  Another reason that they get along great after weaning is because they will stay on grass.  We try to keep all of our Fall Calves for 100% Grass-Fed Beef.

We don't have a big group of Fall-Calvers, but they're a nice little group.  This year we have 12 extra Fall calves.  So..... I'm having a special on our Grass-Fed Beef.  If you reserve your Grass-Fed Beef now, you will recieve a 5% discount.  These calves will finish in Late November.

I encourage you to keep checking back.  Each calf that is reserved will be updated with their growth & progress on this blog.  By reserving your beef now, you'll get to watch your calf grow & see the beautiful pastures where they reside.

I look forward to talking with you!!

Now for the ranch update. .....
Wow, such a long time since we've all spent a night away from the ranch!  We had to do some paperwork in the big city, so Honey had to leave the ranch.

Now, this may seem small to you, but it is a BIG day when I can get Honey off the ranch & out of the truck when we go into town!  He'd rather be my driver & "watch the truck" when we go to town.  After all of our paperwork was finished, we dropped off Squeak @ Grandpa & Grandma's.  We were then VERY brave & took the girls to a movie.  (Did I mention that we worked a full day on the ranch first?)  So, we took them to see "How to Train A Dragon" in 2D at....9:30.

All of us really enjoyed the movie, J.ust a Cowgirl was a little worried & scared at parts (she's really tenderharted).  So, we enjoyed a late night off the ranch & spent the night in the Big City.  On Sunday, we even went shopping.  Honey lucked out, & Squeak was sleeping, so he didn't have to go inside the (GASP) Mall.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!! 

Sorry for the bad picture, it was taken @ dawn this morning.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Ranch additions

We added two new KIDS to the Ranch this weekend. 
Yes, I know Pygmy's??? REALLY??? 
Yes, call it a moment of weakness when I brought home 2 Pygmy Goats in my Dog Box last summer!
And, YES, the Billy is still here.  But, He does need a new home!  AnY oNe????  Bueler???Bueler???

Honey keeps calling him Enchillada or Mexican Food.  And, If some of these (we now have 6!) don't find new homes they will be sold for Mexican food.  They are pygmy's but they have a little meat on their bones!

We're currently trying to convince Just a Cowgirl to get a couple of Boer or Nubian goats!  At least they would be a little bit easier to market & she could show them.  We have repeatedly told her that you can't show Pygmy's @ our county fair.  (shhhhh, please don't add a new class for her, pleeease). 

But, Honey has resigned himself to the fact that a couple of the little critters will be staying around. 
IF they stay in their pen & don't rip more feed bags.

Really, Honey is quite a sofitie.  The kidding story is rather cute!... read on...

We were standing by the road chatting with a neighbor guy, when the girls came running over that "SHE HAS A FOOT!!!".  I had them run back & forth (to the pen) and check if there were 2 feet & a nose.  Uh OH!!! no Nose!   Honey grumbless "I'm not pulling a goat".  They guys chuckle & I go over to check it out.  2 min later, Honey is at the goat pen & wrist deep in a goat, because I couldn't find the head.  I could tell the kid was already dead, but we had to help the nanny & others that were in there (she was HUGE).  After a lot of finageling, we finally had to just pull the kid with the head back.  The kid made it out, but was already dead.  We let the nanny work a little while, & then helped her with the next two kids because they ended up both being head first (no feet in front) & they both survived!

Its really beautiful to see a hardened cowboy pull a little pygmy kid, because he wouldn't consider letting it suffer (or his girls).

This is why I'm lucky to be married to such a great cattleman, rancher, and wonderful father!

Btw, Honey loves the camera more than I do.  This face is the best it gets when a camera is involved.  Even if he's really excited that ECC Ultimate 889U won his Division at the American Royal.  Ultimate is still for sale, let me know if you're interested in a great bull!