As summer turned to Fall and Fall into Winter, we had a long list of jobs we wanted to do here on the Wheeler Ranch. Paint the chicken coop, paint the porches, paint the pipe fence – do you see a pattern here? Projects that began in the summer needed time to let the wood cure. Unfortunately, between rain and football games, no painting happened in the Fall. Winter arrived with more rain and painting was once again delayed. Spring is around the corner now and, while our list of tasks keeps growing, we’re looking forward to warmer and drier temperatures and being able to work outside. There are a few daily tasks to keep us busy including checking on the herd, feeding them, and surveying the pastures. Tuesdays include a trip into town for Charlie to go to the Sale Barn to look at the cows and calves.
Something exciting brightened our dreary winter days in January – our first calf was born. We weren’t certain if our heifers had been bred during their time with the black Brangus bulls. Since this is all new to us, we relied on books, the Internet, and experienced cattle raisers to help us learn all we could about cows and calving. Charlie and I suspected that one of the heifers was getting close to a delivery date but expected it to be a couple of weeks away. The way that she walked across the pasture reminded me of what it felt like to be nine months pregnant! One morning, Charlie went out for his morning check of the pastures and “the ladies” but quickly came back to pick me up. As he headed up the hill, he had noticed one of the heifers standing off by herself and, as he drove closer, he saw a little fuzzy black bundle on the ground beside her.
Although, I’ve been better about not naming our herd, I knew the first calf needed to be named! What better name than Genesis! This calf was officially the beginning of our cow-calf operation! We have watched her grow, play, and interact with the other cows in the herd. She was born a deep shade of black, but seems to have a tinge of red on the tip of her coat. We suspect that several other calves are on the way. It would be nice to have playmates for Genesis. She and Shadow are curious about each other but have yet to get too close to each other. It has been very interesting to watch how the cows and heifers in the herd have reacted to the new mommy and her calf. If they sense danger, they will circle around her. Some of them will groom her. As Genesis has grown, she seems comfortable snuggling up to the other cows. She quickly learned who we are and that we bring the hay and mineral cubes either to the fence or with the side by side. She loves to run around the hay bales and then jump head first into the hay bale!
Just a few more photos of Genesis from Day 1 to a few days ago.
Charlie and I are looking forward to what the upcoming months hold in store for us here on the Wheeler Country Road.