Zapata Ranch Daily Journal

To view entries by location, click on a ranch name: Zapata Ranch // Chico Basin Ranch
April 10, 2014


Green-up is finally here but just barely.  The cattle, bison, horses, and wildlife are “chasing” the green grass coming up; however, the term “chasing” means precisely how it sounds.  There’s not enough green yet to go around which means animal condition is still on the downhill.  Once a grazer tastes green they will no longer touch the old dormant feed even if it is plentiful and even if they would benefit more from it.  As the ground temperatures raise more

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April 8, 2014

The Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes is a place I take for granted until I take a bit more time to realize what I’m actually looking at.  That or have friends/family visit.  I thought this picture that one of my friends took on a recent visit did a good job of capturing the dunes.  Looking at the photo you might think we were in the Sahara Desert, but we’re just hanging out in the San Luis Valley with 14,000ft peaks in the

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Butchering at the Chico
April 4, 2014

Ranch Roundup

Spring is here! And across the Chico and Zapata, that means cattle work, extra muddy ground and our annual beef butchering.

Branding fire
April 3, 2014


Branding is one of the first things that we do during the year, it marks the beginning of the season.

Weekly Roundup
March 20, 2014

Ranch Roundup

A snapshot of the past two weeks at Zapata: moving calves, building fence, welding and spotting elk.

March 12, 2014

Making Plans

Calving this year will be a lot less intense than last year. We have mostly mature cows on the ranch this spring, plus our commercial herd of bison made up of young females, few of which will be having a calf this year.