Don’t let the smaller size of
this pony fool you! Misty is a
Shetland/Welsh cross who can
be pretty stubborn at times, but
is quite capable of helping Julia
with some ranch work.
The ranch sign was a fun project that Julia did with her grandpa Orville.
The steers are getting fed after they have
The cows are close to home in the winter,
and they get fed every day.
unless we are in a drought. We also have to keep the
cattle supplied with plenty of mineral. Another important
thing in summer is to turn the bulls out with the
cows. We keep ten bulls for the ranch. We turn them
out around July 10th. We also haul out 15 to 20 cow/
calf pairs to a pasture about fi ve miles away.
Summer is the peak storm season on the prairie, so
we have to keep an eye on the sky. I am interested in
weather, and South Dakota weather can get pretty wild!
Fall is when we wean calves. We gather them all back
to the ranch, sort them off and vaccinate them. We do
the traditional corral
they can still see
their moms. We
have to keep a close
eye on them during
this time, because
stress can make
them more open to
sickness. After they
settle down, we
take the cows back
to the pastures or put them on corn stalks in the fi elds
we have harvested.
When we wean, we end up with a lot more chores,
including feeding the calves daily, watching for sick
ones, and if it gets below freezing we have to chop ice
so they can get to the water.
As soon as the snow fl ies, we bring all the cattle to the
ranch. We feed the cattle every day in a fi eld just outside
of our ranch. We use a bale processor we bought last
year. It’s called a Bale King. The calves are fed hay and
creep feed for two months and then hay, silage and corn.
we sort out the
heifer calves that
we want to keep for
breeding and we sell
the other calves at
the auction barn in
town. Then before
we know it, it is
Spring, and time to
start the process all
SUMMER 2018 I WORKING RANCH JUNIOR I 9