Uprooted Magnolia

Our Little Pinrow

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on April 2, 2012

Patrick calls him Pinrow. Don’t know where he got that from but I’m going with it… I guess.
Anyway, our little bum is doing well and is a handful. After we got him from the meadow to the barn, it was a battle to get him to take the colostrum and his first feeding. He definitely wouldn’t have made it with his mother. He was so limp that first day and would not have gotten up to suck.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

On the second day, once the colostrum had settled in his belly, we were finally able to get him on his feet. He stumbled around for a while like he’d had one too many.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

He would jump and buck and really enjoyed his new found legs. I think he startled himself with his smooth moves.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Then he fearlessly came right up to me. I had to get Patrick to help me get him started on the bottle. He just didn’t know what he was doing since he was out of sync with his instincts to suckle his mother’s teat. But it didn’t take more than a day for him to get a handle on the bottle.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

And now, he’s happy and healthy and full of life. Therefore getting in the pin with him can be brutal for me. He will chase and butt me so hard with his head, it’s better to just feed him through the fence.

As much as I enjoy feeding him, it would be so much better if he had a cow momma. All I can do is keep him alive and well. I can’t provide for him what a real momma would. He’s a sweetheart and I love looking in his deep blue eyes while he sucks. So, I’ll simply cherish this time with him while I’ve got it. ♥


Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 22, 2012

We got a set of twins this morning. The momma is only accepting one.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So I’ll be momma for a while.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

We’ll draft this little booboo onto a cow that loses her calf in the future. But for now, I need to head out to give her a hit of colostrum and some milk.
We’re almost done calving out the black cows, now it’s time for the reds. ♥

Who’s the Boss?

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 16, 2012

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Apparently the heifer is. She busted into the corral where her calf was and he sucked her dry. We talked to the vet and he said to just leave them together and just see what happens. He’s still rather skinny but seems happier than before and gets up on his own. Maybe he’ll be okay after all. Most times human interference in cases like this is for the best but this is one of those times where we’ll just have to leave them together and wait and see. We are not completely out of the dark but we’ll leave it up to nature.

After a tumultuous week, here’s hoping for a good weekend.


Up and Down

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 14, 2012

Round and round. The circle of life continues.
I forget how stressful calving can be. I’ve only been at this, and mostly in the background, for 2 years but here in my third year I’m more involved. Everyone so far is doing great but our calf from the first heifer is struggling. She unfortunately is not able to mother her calf. She loves him, she hums to him, but her milk has blood in every quarter and it is making him very sick. So two nights ago we took him from her. Awful experience, but it was a necessary move to keep him alive. Patrick tubed him with colostrum that he had in the freezer and yesterday I tried to feed him milk through a bottle. He just wouldn’t suck and was completely uninterested. So Patrick had to basically sit on him and force feed him to get his belly full. I’ve never seen a calf not eat! I bottle fed a couple bum calves last year and they would back me into a corner sucking on that bottle! So this morning Patrick went down there and heard him bellowing loudly. Turns out he is hungry but because he did not start off sucking when he was born, he doesn’t suck the bottle very well. He’s special we’ve decided and have hopes that we’ve turned a corner today.

On a different note, Crop Ear made it through another winter!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I’ve seen in her these past few evening by the river as we go check on the calves and cows. She’s part of our family and I’m always happy to see her when she visits.

ready, set, Calve!

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 12, 2012

The babies are landing, the babies are landing!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. We had to pull 2 calves in a 12 hour period this weekend.
And it’s only the beginning.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

On Saturday night, a cow was bawling around the meadow for a couple of hours but couldn’t have her calf. Patrick got her in the calving barn and could feel that the little one had not entered the birth canal. She needed assistance because it was definitely time. We put on shoulder high gloves and helped the calf enter the world. Now, I have only attended this procedure one time before but this time I had to help. It was breathtaking and nerve-wracking. The cow took to her calf and they are fine and in the meadow with the others.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Then Sunday morning we had a heifer trying to calve but was having a hard time. We got her in the calving barn and this one was much more difficult. Being a first time mom, she didn’t know what was happening. All she knew was that her belly hurt and these people are strapping hardware to her rear-end. The calf finally entered the world and it took a little while to get it breathing. The heifer didn’t know what to do with this thing lying on the barn floor so we left her alone. I peeked through the window a few minutes later and saw that she had finally gone over to it and was licking it clean. GOOD sign. But when we went back a couple hours later, the calf had not sucked. NOT GOOD. Patrick milked the heifer and we bottle fed the calf to get it through the night. Momma was a kicker and we think she was kicking it off of her milk bag. Finally this morning, there are signs it sucked and the heifer is being VERY protective. We’ll go down a little later to tag it, check the sex, and put them out with the rest of the cows.
Until then, Imma take a nap.

[Pictured here are calves and cows that have birthed naturally in the meadow. The special cases haven’t had their portraits made just yet. Been too busy bringing them into the world and I don’t think you want to see those details.] 😉

Wyoming Longhorns, Part I

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on February 28, 2012

I’ve been pawing at Patrick to take me to the Wilson Ranch for a while now. Every time we head up Hwy 34 to the plains to fix fence, I can always see their cattle way off in the distance.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

So he finally called them up and they invited us to come up Saturday afternoon. I was thrilled!
Not only because I was going to be up close and personal with award winning Longhorn Cattle, but they are calving right now!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

These little angels are born smaller than the average calf so during calving season, the mommas and babies are enclosed in a high fence pen. Coyotes just love the smell of a fresh born calf and can snatch one away before momma even knows what happened.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

These cows are fairly gentle but knew quite well that we were strangers.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

A few of them kicked the dirt but fortunately no one charged us.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

©Leah Yetter Photographer

The baby beauties are born with only nubs on their head. (Lucky for the momma, am I right?)

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Some are born solid white and will develop their coloring over time.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

They were all pretty curious and happy to pose for a portrait.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

It’s amazing how aware and careful they are with their horns.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This little one is loving her scrub down. Notice the tongue!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

I love her calf bucking in the background. There was a lot of that cuteness going on.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

At a couple weeks old, they start munching on little bits of hay.

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Look at the little nubs coming out.  And I just love those ears!

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Inside the calving barn, the family brands grace the wall.

Stay tuned for more. The next stop is with cows that are yet to calve. They were sunbathing by the crick (creek). 🙂

Catching Grasshoppers

Posted in Calving, Cattle Roundup, Photography by leahyetter on April 11, 2011

The calves are growing up. They are still munchkins compared to their momma but they get feistier and run faster everyday.

They cautiously approach me full of curiosity when the rancher is unloading a bale of hay.

But today is branding day for these guys and gals and it won’t be as easy to get this close to them.

We’ve got to catch these little grasshoppers first.

Wish us luck because this will probably be our view for the next couple of hours before we get them pinned.

Young and Feisty

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 31, 2011

We’re busy around here.  Remember, I often use the term “we” loosely. I do help out, like cradling a newborn that’s too cold and the momma can’t take care of  it in the beginning. Mostly though, I stand back with the camera. I’m loving being around these little munchkins but it just means a lot of work for the ranchers.

Once the calves are born and have sucked, they get their ears pierced.

It’s not the prettiest accessory but it serves it’s purpose. It helps to pair them with momma if they get separated.

Some are born fast and feisty. That means you’ve got to chase them through the meadows and grab them up when they hide in the willows. They have to get their ear tag and be inspected by the rancher to check their health.

Sometimes milk bags can’t provide so eventually the Rancher becomes the Mother.

Sunset is a favorite time. That means a couple if not a few hours of sleep before it starts all over again.

But it’s not just the ranchers that are busy around here. While we’re calving, the gobblers are strutting and the hens are watching and waiting for their knight is shining armor. I’ll have those photos for you tomorrow.


Posted in Calving, Love, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 17, 2011

I can sense the curiosity in the comments yesterday about the mother cow humming to her calf .
Allow me to explain.

To get the calf to recognize her as it’s mother, she will hum. The hum is a low pitch, closed mouth mooooooo, obviously. Then, when they are all mixed up in the herd together, mom can hum and the calf can find her quickly. It is also a way to comfort the calf if frightened by us humans.
I remember one very snowy day last year a calf got herself turned around in an offshoot of a corral and couldn’t find her way out. The mother was already out and was humming to get the calf’s attention.  The snow was so high, up to my knees, and the calf started to panic. Patrick instructed me to go in there and hum to her. I did, and the calf turned around. I continued to hum as I led her out to her mother into the corral. I mentioned that here.

I love hearing the hum, it means she’s a good mom and loves her calf.


Springtime Calving

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 16, 2011

Yes! It is finally spring around here. It’s warming up and that means very little sleep and hard but wonderful work. Cows and ranchers are all busy. Calving is beautiful and precious but it can also break your heart. Fortunately, it hasn’t been too emotional yet.

The calves that were our early arrivals have become bosom buddies and are so entertaining.

They jump, kick and climb on anything they can get their hooves on.

And they are already munching on a little hay.

While the older ones play and eat all day, little ones are being born and are learning to use their legs.

This little one was born to the heifer (first time mother) I had to watch over the other morning. The calf convinced her that she was his mother and she is now very loving and hums to him constantly. She loves her baby and that is such a relief.

He’s so cute and feisty. I’m so glad he made it. They will join the herd soon but for now, he and his mom will stay in a corral separate from the others. He needs to get more comfortable with his legs.

Beautiful Morning

Posted in Calving, Home, Photography, The Ranch by leahyetter on March 14, 2011

I woke up at sunrise to this beautiful sky. What a gorgeous start to the day.

After admiring the beauty and singing “Morning has broken, like the first morning”, I went to the barn to sit by and watch the heifer (first time mother) that gave birth under this morning sky. It was  obvious she didn’t understand what was going on and what she was supposed to do. All she knows  is she had a belly ache and then this thing that looks like a dog is laying on the ground. I spent an hour with her and watched as she licked and simulated the baby. At this point, the calf is smarter than mom because he knows what he needs and will not give up trying to get into “the pocket”. He finally did. Phew!

Then I came in for chocolate chip pancakes. More on the heifer and calf later.


Early Arrivals

Posted in Calving, Photography, Ranching, Thankful by leahyetter on February 16, 2011

As I mentioned yesterday, we came upon 2 bundles of joy at Patrick’s place.

This little guy is one day old.

He’s already up and running and as you can see by the drop of milk on his mouth, he’s already sucked.

This calf is only an hour or two old. He was trying to stand by the time we got to them.

But the problem was that she had him across the icy, raging river. She has to cross back over to get to the feed and that means the hours old calf would have to cross as well. We raced home to get the waders so that Patrick could get to the other side and help the calf. But by the time we got back, she had already crossed. The calf was still on the other side balancing on the icy edge. She raced back over and led him to a shallow spot. Before Patrick could get the waders completely on, they were crossing. It was an absolute miracle that the calf made it without going under, but he did. It was a close call to say the least.

Everyone is safe and sound and now it is time to prepare for 300 or more calves to arrive. Let’s hope their mommas are a little smarter and have them on dry ground, away from raging waters.


Branding Day, the storm before the storm.

Posted in Branding, Calving, Cattle Roundup, Ranching, Stormy Skies, The Ranch by leahyetter on April 21, 2010

Yesterday we branded 68 calves.  We did most at the South Ranch and a few of the wilder ones at the main ranch. It’s always tough to watch the babies be split away from their mommas for their shots and the 5C but it’s only for a short amount of time. When they are released back into the meadow, the mommas are able to find the babies quickly. They mother up and get as far away from the corral as possible.

Here, mommas are bawling for their baby.

Smoke fills the air while they get their 5C.

Remember Munchkin? I finally spotted him yesterday and he’s doing great! He’s too small to be branded yet but he’s nice and healthy.

Munchkin, aka # 6000

His momma doesn’t let him out of her sight. She’s taking great care of him. Unfortunately that can’t be said for all the cows out here.

Munchkin and momma.

On our way home from the South Ranch we saw lightning in the distance. It was a nasty storm over Glendo and it was headed our way.

We got home just in time before the sky fell. And I mean it poured, thundered, and hailed like I’ve never seen before.

This is our front deck covered in hail.

The yard this morning was covered in hail.

While looking over the grounds today to make sure there was no damage from the storm (there was none thankfully), we came across this horn. Deer lose their horns in December and start sprouting new ones almost as soon as they lose the old ones.

Deer Antler

April snow capped mountains across a green meadow on Rabbit Creek.

The calm after the storm.

I think this is just the beginning of a stormy spring.

New Arrivals at the Dakota Ranch:

Posted in Calving by leahyetter on April 13, 2010

New Arrivals at the Dakota Ranch:

This view is overlooking the South Ranch, a few miles from the main ranch.

We are having many new arrivals everyday and the milk has come in for most of the moms. Except for #3220. She wants to be a good mom and she keeps an eye on her baby but she just isn’t producing milk. Que rancher:

He was so very hungry.

Mmmm good.

He’ll be fine now. Debbie and John, the folks working at the South Ranch, will feed him twice a day so he’ll get nice and round.

You gotta have a big stick

Posted in Calving by leahyetter on April 7, 2010

You gotta have a big stick:

Don’t worry, he isn’t hurting the calf…or the cowboy. Patrick has to keep the momma away so that John can give him his tag and shots. If she wasn’t shooed away, in Patrick’s words “She’ll eat your lunch… it’s serious”.

That’s her baby and nobody messes with Baby.

Number 6000 has just given birth to this little munchkin. He’s a preemi and we didn’t tag him this day because we weren’t sure he was going to make it.

She’s a good momma “you can tell” Patrick says. She’s very concerned for her baby and didn’t let him out of her sight the entire day.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Patrick works so hard. It snowed last night and calves are being born left and right. He worked from about 1:30 am until about 7  this evening watching over the little ones and their mommas. They can freeze almost immediately after birth on a snowy night like that. He has to warm them and get them upright and suckling quickly if they can’t do it on their own.

PS: as of today, I’m told Munchkin is doing just fine.

Busy turkeys, Busy cows, means Busy Rancher

Posted in Calving, Nature, Ranching, The Ranch by leahyetter on April 3, 2010

Busy turkeys, Busy cows, means Busy Rancher:

While the calves are being born, the turkey’s are getting down to business if you know what I mean. First I’ll show you the turkeys. This guy was strutting his stuff!

After hanging out with these feathery creatures, we traveled over to see this lady give birth. It was a little messy and she’s a wild one I hear. I stayed back and watched the whole thing from afar. I’ll spare you the graphic shots and just share the sweet ones.

Notice her eyes. She watched me the entire time. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them either. The first 10 seconds he was on the ground he didn’t take a breath. Neither did me or Patrick.

He is just minutes old and she is licking him not only for cleaning, but to stimulate him to get up and suckle.  I was ooohing and awing and she looked right at me and mooed really loudly. She wanted me to leave.

I stayed long enough to watch him stand and look for the pocket (teat). Then I left them alone to bond.

Calving time on the Dakota Ranch

Posted in Calving by leahyetter on March 28, 2010

Calving time on the Dakota Ranch:

We’re calving here on the ranch and these shots are from a couple of days ago. The snow is pretty much gone today but the wind has picked up. It’s been blowing at about 30mph.

This little one and her mother got across the creek so we needed to trot them through the fence to join the others. To quote Patrick “Pip-squeak is running the show here”. The mother is playing along. The calves frolic like puppies.

I learned how to hum like momma to get the calf to follow. This one is just a couple days old and the new mom couldn’t get baby to follow her out of the corral. In comes Leah in the 6 inches of snow humming and walking along the fence line to get them to follow. I loved every minute of it and calf and momma were grateful.

We check on them several times a day to make sure everyone is well and suckling and eating. And sometimes they bust through fences so Patrick has to go to them and shoo them out of off limit areas. This calf needed a little assistance to get through the fence.

Back with mom.

Hey lady, where’s the grub?

No really. I wanna eat.


And I love visiting these 2 young ones. They love showing off for the the camera.

Nothing like pulling into the driveway with calves in the drive. I love those faces!

And in the front yard.