Posted By: Jesse Williams
I am counting down the days until our cows are supposed to start calving- and I am pumped!! Is there any better time of the year when new calves are hitting the ground? I can't think of one. And because I like to be (or attempt to be) organized, I have been preparing for this season almost since last calving season ended. To make things a bit easier I developed a check list of items I like to have on hand in case we need to intervene. It isn't very often we need to, but I would rather be prepared and know what tools I have to work with rather than be scurrying around looking for something I haven't seen since last year. There are probably a lot more items I could add but I think this is a great list for beginners. Add as you go!
Our Calving Check List
Did I forget something? Feel free to comment with your suggestions!
If you're husband is anything like mine, he appreciates home made, useful gifts over store bought trinkets any day. So I thought I would share three easy DIY crafts to make your rancher this Valentines Day (that can totally be done fairly last minute!). Because let's be honest, what rancher doesn't have cracked lips and a sore back all winter from doing chores? And what rancher doesn't need a little more organization when it comes to calving? So here are a few of my very affordable, easy to do favorites!
I am not sure if this is more for my hubs or for me, but either way we fight with cracked, sore, dry lips all winter, being inside and out all the time. This is just a super easy recipe with some natural ingredients that you may even have on hand!
3 TBSP Bees Wax
3 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 TBSP Honey
1/2 tsp flavoring (I used vanilla extract)
5 small lip balm containers (I found mine at Michael's Craft Store)
In a microwave safe dish, melt the beeswax and coconut oil for 2 minutes. Be careful, it will be hot!
Mix in the TBSP of honey, stirring until combined. Then add in the flavoring/essential oil. Melt in the microwave for 15 seconds.
Pour the mixture into your containers and allow to cool. If it looks like your emulsion is settling out, mix it up again and put in the fridge for fast cooling. The recipe made 5 jars!
By: Jesse Williams
While it isn't a very exciting present- a bag of grain- it sure does feel good after a long day of chores in the cold. This super easy, quick, homemade gift will give your rancher a relaxing way to warm up or relax their aching muscles. Plus you can personalize with a fun material choice. Make one for each family member!
Cotton fabric (two fat quarters will work)
6 cups of wheat (or a preferably awnless cereal variety)
Sewing machine & thread
Pick your favorite cotton fabric, double it over and cut a 6.5" x 16" rectangle. You'll need to repeat this with another fabric choice, but you can pick any color you want as it will be inside and not visible. I picked a "lovely" pink floral pattern that has been sitting in my fabric drawer for years.
You'll now need to place the fabrics on top of each other in a specific order:
1. floral, face up
2. cowboy print, face up
3. cowboy print, face down
4. floral, face down
Pin in place for sewing.
Sew a seam along three edges (two long sides and one short side). I used a 1/4" seam. Turn the bag right side out.
Fill the bag with 6 cups of cereal grain, preferably wheat. Because we are not big grain farmers, the only thing we had in the bins was barley, which was quite dirty. I thought the awns might make the bag pokey but because of the two layers of fabric, you can't even feel them. I would still try to get an awnless variety if possible though.
You will now need to fold over the 1/4" seam on the short edge and sew the length shut. I did a double seam to make sure there would be no weak spots. Then, Voila! You have your very own microwavable heat bag. Pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and place on all your aches and pains after a long day of chores, a late night pulling calves or cold day of moving cows.
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