Saturday, January 7, 2012

Snow, Cows, Protein Supplements....Just another Winter Day in the Mountains.

This morning I brought along the camera when we left the house to go check the cows.  

I haven't seen the grass in my yard in a very long time because the white stuff won't go away.  We've had beautiful 55°F degree days, but the snow isn't leaving.  

Our winter pastures are about an hour away at a lower elevation. We drove over the mountain to get away from the frozen tundra so we could check on the "ladies"...

As you can see, they were "checking" me out too.  One by one, a few of the brave gals approached me as I squatted in the tall grass.  They sniffed my camera and one even fogged up my lens.  What a difference a year makes! Last winter they were wild little punk yearlings that tested my patience at every turn.  This year, they're eating out of my hand.  Such is the life of a heifer. 

We're trying a new protein supplement this year.  We got a load of these tubs out of Texas, and if the cows do well on them, we may be repeat customers.  We've tried all sorts of supplements over the years, from blocks, to licks, to liquid tubs with rollers.  

Some are expensive, and some are consumed too quickly. Hopefully this one is just right.

These are pretty reasonably priced, and they seem to be true to their daily consumption estimation guidelines. The picture above is what they initially looked like, and the one below is taken after a week of licking.

I'm anxious to start crunching numbers this summer to see just how well our steers, cows, and heifers do on them.  Do any of you lovely blog readers use protein supplements to extend your winter forage? If so, what do you use?

(Sorry that I'm talking about protein supplements on a blog post.  This is probably terribly boring to you but I've got to be real.  This is our life in the winter time! Cows, cows, cows. I promise that in my next post I won't utter a word about bovines! Deal? Just stick with me.)

After we checked the cows, my son happened to have baseball practice nearby in town. Here's the view from the ball field.  You can see the snowline up in the hills off in the distance.  The entire team drove an hour from home just to find a field that wasn't covered in snow. Lucky for us, it's near our winter pasture so we killed two birds with one stone.  I think my son's traveling baseball team is the equivalent of the Jamaican Bobsled team.  For 6 months out of the year, they practice in gymnasiums and travel to the ends of the earth in search of sunshine and a dirt field to play in. 

 I guess that's life in a rural mountain community.  But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Nell-The one who bores you with talk of cows and protein supplements.


  1. Nell, love you pictures of the 'ladies', actually love whatever you write about.
    Please keep the snow there, don't need any this winter.

  2. Ya'll live in beautiful country! Despite the white stuff. ;)
    We're in for more of it tonight. But we're so dry, I really can't complain.
    We give out the same protein stuff, plus we cake them all winter. Actually, we have caked them since last winter. First year ever my hubby had to feed year round.

  3. I love all of your post about cows, heifers and steers. We actually use the same protien tubs here at home to start our yearlings in the feedlot. It seems to work well and really helps to get them on the stronger feed (corn silage, cob meal, etc). This year we actually gave it to our late calves and cows and it seems to have been helping them aswell, getting a good start for the calves and keeping our big gals heathly and ready for calving season which will be upon us in mere weeks. I love you blog and catch up on it every few weeks. Keep on truckin' cousin!