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Author Archives: Ladder Ranch

About Ladder Ranch

I am a rancher and writer who lives in Wyoming

Sage chickens–sort of

chickens at Chain Lake

So just when you think you’ve seen it all…

A couple of days ago, Pepe called Meghan at the cookhouse. He is tending sheep on our permits on the Red Desert. I heard Meghan say, “gallinas?! domesticados?!” (chickens?! domesticated?!).

Apparently, someone turned loose some hens and one rooster. Meghan called the BLM Range Conservationist, who tried, unsuccessfully, to catch them. The Chain Lakes allotment is checkerboard, with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department owning every other section. Mike, the Range Con, then turned the matter over to the Game and Fish.

They are fowl, if not fish.

What’s amazing is that they haven’t been eaten by coyotes!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Animals, Nature and Wildlife

 

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Waiting for the green

Cows at Powder Flat

 

 

Waiting for the green

Snow melt seeps and soaks the roots

Of summer’s bounty

finding the burrs

plenty to eat

 
 

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’till the cows come home, and baby calves on the ground

Casey, Taylor and Chad supervising unloading the cows

Each winter, we send many of our cows to Laramie to be wintered by our friends, the Spieglebergs. They raise a lot of hay at their high altitude ranch and give great care to our cows. Now it is time for them to come home, so they are arriving, one truckload at a time.

In the meantime, we are seeing new calves on the ground. We’ve had some scary weather with high winds and low temperatures, but for the present, we have bare meadows, warmish days and nights, and a lot of fun overseeing the new babies.

coming home

Meanwhile, back at the mud puddle–Maura, McCoy and Tiarnan

Siobhan watching the cows cross the bridge, headed for the Lemmons pasture

Cows and baby calves in the Ames Field

Black baldie mama

hanging out in the Lemmons Place

 

 

 

To lamb or not to lamb, that is the question

If it’s March, it must be time to pregnancy test. We breed the best of our Rambouillet ewes to Rambouillet rams, thereby ensuring a new crop of replacement ewe lambs, as well as their brothers/cousins. Since purebred whiteface lambs are more vulnerable at birth, especially the twins, we pregnancy check the moms so that the ewes carrying twins can lamb in the sheds. The rest of the Rambouillet ewes are bred to our Hampshire rams. Their lambs have hybrid vigor and usually do fine with drop lambing on the range. Our friend Geri Parsons from Optimal Livestock Services comes up each March at mid-pregnancy to check the ewes and call out “single”, “twins”, “open” and even “triplets”. Meghan and her crew appropriately marked the ewes with a paint dab on their heads to signify their status for later sorting. Geri usually braves chill winds and long drives for several days to accomplish this task. Here’s some photos of this year’s pregnancy checking.

Ewes, waiting for the verdict

Pepe at the chute, Geri’s office in the tent

 

It was REALLY MUDDY!!!

Chris bringing up the ewes

Pregnancy testing crew–Sam the Border collie, Modesto, Maeve, Meghan, Pepe, Tiarnan, Geri, Chris

 

the view from Eagle’s Nest, looking east

 

 

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Still winter

winter sunset

winter sunset

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife

 

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February Thaw

Lemmons Meadow

Lemmons Meadow.

 

It’s been a weird winter so far. We’ve had lots of snow, lots of thawing, and a lot of bare ground for February. The critters are glad for the warmer temperatures.

cows with puddles

cows with puddles

Bucks in the Mouse Pasture

Bucks in the Mouse Pasture

horses in the Wyoming Field

horses in the Wyoming Field

Casey training horses

Casey training horses

 

 
 

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Hoarfrost Haiku

hoarfrost-on-fence

Hoarfrost stars sparkling,

meteors blazing a cold

ephemeral light.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry

 

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