As a ranch mom of three boys, I get asked how do you do it all? Honestly, I don’t. I have an amazing supportive family to help me with raising the boys on the ranch. Ogilvie Stock Ranch is a family ranch and we all share the responsibilities together. My mom and dad keep the day to day of the ranch going. I help, with the boys, whenever we can. Here is a look into what January is like on a family cattle ranch.
Family Helping Family
The boys and I love our daily morning and evening chores together. While we are doing the barnyard chores, my dad is in the tractor feeding hay to the calves, feeding the main cow herd and making sure the bulls and horses have hay. Some days the boys will take turns going up to the main cow herd with him. Depending on the weather, the daily chores can take a few hours to all day.
On a daily basis in January, my mom holds down the fort with the majority of the financial bookkeeping and office tasks. I look after the beef orders, cattle records on CattleMax and the purebred cattle records through the Canadian Hereford Assocation. We all work together, outside with the animals when we have tasks to do. In January, this is usually involved treating any calves that are sick or injured, vaccinating the heifers, and moving animals when needed.
We also put horn weights on the bull calves and the boys don’t let us forgot that we must work the show cattle as often as possible.
A Typical January Day for a Ranch Mom
My typical day in January starts around 5am – 6am when I work on some office work until the boys wake up. We then have breakfast and head outside to do the morning chores.
The boys do their school at home through Kool, which is an amazing program. Once we get in from the morning chores, they meet with their class and teachers almost every morning by zoom. We then work on their school work for the remainder of the day.
Sometimes during the day, we have appointments in town, beef deliveries and/or school field trips. Kool is really great as the boys have field trips with their class within our local area almost once per week, such as skating, sledding, museum tours, Big Little Science Centre and art classes. Since winter is a bit of a quieter, we try to fit in cross country skiing a couple times per week and a family fun activity on Sundays.
The boys and I do the evening barnyard chores or my parents fill in for us, depending if we have appointments in town. Then we have supper, read books, do puzzles or watch an episode of one of our favourite tv shows such as Heartland or lately, Gold Rush.
Calving is Around the Corner
The days are getting longer, which means calving is just around the corner. Therefore, we are starting to gather the calving supplies and plan our bulls and breeding for 2023. This year we are excited to be doing some artificial insemination on some cows and implanting some purebred Hereford embryos. Right now we are doing lots of bull research so we can make a decision on what semen we would like to purchase ready for May.
As we near the end of January, the count down is on for the beginning of March when calving will start. February will be a busier month as we will need to get the barn and calving pastures ready and move the cow herd closer to home.