Chico Basin Ranch

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch


The Chico is an 87,000 acre cattle ranch on the eastern plains of Colorado. Its sprawling ranges of short grass and sandsage prairie, spring-fed lakes, and creeks are home to diverse populations of birds, pronghorn, deer, fish, prairie dogs, coyote, badgers, and much more. Owned by the Colorado State Land Board and managed by Ranchlands, the Chico also offers education, farming, recreation, sporting, arts, and hospitality programs.

October 2, 2014

Fall is Here

Yesterday, after the clouds cleared from the storm, Pikes Peak’s shoulders were covered with the first snow of the season. Mornings are now crisp, the middle of the days warm, the range gold, yellow and tan and full of grass from the wonderful rains this summer. Fall is in here in full force. The snow tells us what we already know: winter is on its way. We are all looking forward to the new season

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September 26, 2014


Most of the time when I’m out on the ranch, it feels pretty far from town, highways, and street signs. But every once in a while, I’ll see a stark contrast between the way of life here and with the urban environment, reminding me that we are not so far away on the ranch. Although it’s not the clearest picture- below is a view of cows drinking from a water hole on a crisp morning, while people drive to work

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September 15, 2014


It is coming to that time of year again-estimating our forage for the dormant season. Even though we still have of a couple months left for the cool season grasses to grow, the warm season grasses have pretty much completed their growing season. We have spent the last couple weeks working  and re-working on grazing plans, determining how much grass we need to get through the winter and how much we have. Here’s a photo of us walking through one

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September 10, 2014

Movin’ the Mob

Our big commercial herd, or the “Mob” as it is affectionately known, has gotten pretty easy to handle considering the large numbers of cattle involved. Skipping over a pasture while on rotation still takes a lot of teamwork, and just plain work, to keep them moving past fresh feed toward the next gate. It can also raise a good cloud of dust. Young Duke is working the side near the front, keeping that lead moving toward the gate.

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August 18, 2014

New Friend

When the kids are out riding you never know what they will find.  This little fellow came home in Cole’s pocket the other day.  He seemed quite content with human companionship.

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August 11, 2014

Ranch Roundup

This month on the ranches, we welcomed rain on the Chico, had our last branding, worked in the leather room, moved cattle with guests and of course, worked on the dirt bikes and trailers.

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August 2, 2014


It seems that we are always fixing one thing or another.
Whether it is a truck, a fence, or water system, it is always something.
The past few weeks we have seen them all. We’ve serviced all the vehicles,
we fixed the washed out fences and now we fixed the pump. Pictured here is Jason
saving the day by pulling the pump to change the motor
and teaching me about the system. It was great opportunity
to learn about hydraulics and electrical systems. I’m also very

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July 31, 2014

Kit, the Ranch Cow Dog

There’s a different feel at Headquarters now. If you go there very much you notice it from the moment you step from your truck, because the first thing you normally look for is Kit laying in one of his nests yowling you over for a pat.  Kit, the ranch border collie, passed on last week. He’d been going downhill for a few weeks and we were all waiting for the worst. What happened finally was one morning we couldn’t find

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July 18, 2014


Badgers are pretty elusive animals, and most of the time when you see one, it’s running away and quickly disappears into a hole. I was lucky to get this picture when I saw two scampering along among a prairie dog town. The first disappeared as normal, but I managed to capture the second one right before he followed the first down a hole. A moment later, he reappeared, just the top of his head, wondering what I was doing in

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