Category Archives for // spring
May 28, 2014

Whitten Branding

Yesterday a few of us headed west across the valley and helped our neighbor George Whitten brand his cattle. George prefers his calves to be heeled when roped so it was good practice for those of us that are beginner ropers, those heel shots can be so tough!!!  After finishing up 100 calves we ate chili and home baked biscuits before heading back toward the Sangre Cristo’s.

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May 27, 2014

Prairie Dog Pups

Our prairie dog town in the south part of the Chico Basin Ranch is currently overflowing with pups.

May 15, 2014

Prairie Primrose

I’ve spent the last couple of days at the Chico in meetings. Yesterday during a break we took a walk out into the pasture and came upon a small group of Prairie Primrose. It’s one of my favorite flowers as it’s such a contrast to the just greening grass and gray soil. The grove we came upon was premature, just a couple of flowers.

This picture taken by Steve Weaver (stephen-weaver.com), shows how the flower can truly blanket the land when

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May 13, 2014

New Pastures

It sounds like a typical western story but after a long hard winter we are in to the growing season and the horses couldn’t be more relieved. We have split the herd in two  so that we can keep the horses we’re using right now closer to home and let the other half have downtime for another week or so further out. Each year we look to see which horses had a hard time keeping condition through the winter, if

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May 5, 2014

Dollar Lake

A time-lapse of Dollar Lake, showing the quick transition from Winter to Spring at Zapata Ranch.

April 24, 2014

Big Foot

We run our horses barefoot here on the Chico.  We have almost no rock and a horse’s foot is actually a lot healthier without a piece of iron interfering with flexion and its natural wear and movement.  Wild horses can get by with no hoof care at all of course, but domesticated horses generally need to be trimmed periodically to stay healthy.  It is a job I actually enjoy (beats shoeing), but it is hard work. I trimmed several hoses

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April 19, 2014

First Tag of the Year

I spent a little time this week getting caught up on tagging the calves of our Beefmaster heifers.  We do not tag our commercial calves, but with our seedstock herd we need to be able to keep track of individual animals in regards to parentage and general performance criteria.  Most of the Beefmaster calves will be tagged at branding, but with those belonging to the first calf heifers it is easy to get it done as they are born, since

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April 11, 2014

Just What We Need

Last Thursday we had a skiff of wet snow blow through.  It might look a little tough for the little one in the photo seeking shelter under his mom, but truth is, it is just what he needs.  Even that little bit of moisture has the prairie turning the palest shade of green.  If we could just get some follow through it might turn into something.  It is almost too much to hope for, green grass waving in the breeze

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April 11, 2014

Upper Twin Lake

A timelapse showing 4 days passing at the Upper Twin Lake on the Chico.