Back Valley Ranch

All natural, free range, antibiotic and hormone free, organic quality, grass fed beef.

Back Valley Ranch



It’s amazing how quickly time gets away from you when you’re working on a Ranch. The last time I blogged was back in March. It sure hasn’t seemed like that long. Maybe because I was blogging in my mind but never got around to writing it out. So this is a general update on how things are going on out here. We’ve had lots happening so I’m going to break it up into sections.

First lets talk about the babies. As predicted we had about half of our herd give birth during March and April. Then you can see where our old bulls broke down and now we’re just a week or two away from our second batch of babies to be born. These will be our Optimous Prime and Megatron babies. So far we’ve had 25 born but unfortunately we’ve lost 3 along the way. Breezey one of our backwards calves who never really perked up passed away after 10 days. We had a heifer birth a sill born baby. Then last of all as some of you from facebook know I was very sad to report that our little Tinker passed away. It is unknown as to why she died because she was 2 months old and seemed to be doing great. Even the night before she died she was running all over the place and playing like mad. Then the next morning she was acting sickly and just passed away within a few hours. It was a very sad day for us and we’ve buried her on the ranch next to Misty the 37 year old horse. It’s very hard to not have at least one or two calves die each year but so far this year has been particularly bad with losing 3 and we’re only halfway through. Hopefully the rest will come along nicely and we won’t have to lose anymore. The remaining 22 calves are doing great and are growing like weeds up on the range with their mommas.

We had a heck of a time grazing our cows on the ranch this spring due to a certain troublemaker by the name of Big Bonnie. Bonnie is about 17 years old and has been on the ranch her entire life. She’s never caused too much trouble until this year and we just don’t know what to do with her. The pasture was beautiful this spring providing lots of grazing for our girls. But this year that wasn’t good enough for Bonnie. She decided to break into the hay field and brought the whole herd with her. In one day they ate almost all of the alfalfa and almost destroyed the field. We got them out and locked Bonnie up in a 5 bar rail fence and locked the rest of the herd up in a 10 acre pasture two fence lengths away from the hay field. Well within a few hours not only did Bonnie jump and clear a 5 bar rail fence she gathered up the whole herd, busted through the barbwire fence, crossed the road and busted through another barbwire fence and was back into the hay field. Jerry and I couldn’t believe it. In all of his years here Jerry has never had a cow do that. So we then decided to bring her right to the house and stick her in with our bulls in the bull pen. Now the bull pen fence is absolutely solid and built high since it has to hold bulls against cows in heat. It took Bonnie 2 minutes to break out of that. So then we decided since it was only a few days away we would just let her out onto the range and let her start going nuts on the grass. well that didn’t satisfy her either. She broke back into the ranch and had the herd back in the hay field. Thankfully we made it through the next couple of days but it set out hay fields back and cost us a lot of money to have to feed hay when the cows should of just been able to be on pasture. Not sure what we’re going to do with Bonnie as she has great babies but we sure can’t afford another mess like that. Hopefully she will behave herself from now on.

On June 1st we brought the herd up to the cattle range for the summer. We left behind the last calving cows and put them in a neighbours pasture until they are ready to give birth. We will be bringing some of them home in the next couple of days as they are about ready. Jerry has been up to the range a few times and he says everyone is looking great. Optimous and Megatron look especially good he said considering they’ve been breeding they’re really starting to fill out and grow. Brain and Andre are also putting on some good weight.

On a personal note I’d like to announce a new addition to the ranch. Although he is not a new addition to me. I have had my childhood horse still on The Queen Charlottes with my parents and it has been my dream for him to one day join me on the mainland. That dream finally came true this April as Woody travelled many miles and is now along with Sujoux one of our ranch horses. At 22 years old he is nowhere near ready to retire and has already shown great interest in working the cows. He’s not too aggressive in the cows which is what we look for in a ranch horse but he’s not afraid of them either. Jerry has used him on a cattle drive already and is amazed at how much pep the old boy still has. He’ll make a great addition to the ranch and I’m happy that he is here with me in this beautiful valley.

As for the weather June was the wettest month we have ever seen out here. It was a mucky muddy mess for weeks and quite miserable. Even Jerrys who’s always saying “the rain is good for the hay fields” started getting sick of it. And if Jerry starts to complain about the rain then you know that’s we’re getting too much. We must of had a total of 8 inches on the ranch. The hay has done well but the weeds are getting out of control. It’s a lot of work when you have to hand pick weeds on about 18,000 acres. July so far is quite hot which means we’ll have to keep a close eye on baby calves when they come to make sure they don’t overheat.

Last year the last calf born named Lil’ was born during a heat wave in September. Lil’ was and is still very cute, however let’s just say she’s not the brightest crayon in the box. Her mother would be in the shade and Lil’ kept moving to the sun. I would move her back into the shade and 5 minutes later she was back in the sun again practically dying of heat. I had to end up locking her and her mom in a tiny shelter for a few days until the heat wave passed because she would not stay out of the heat.

Here it is now July and we are just hours away from having our first Optimus and Megatron baby. We brought home the first batch of girls about 4 days ago that we know are going to calve this month. The ones calving in August we will leave on pasture for a little longer. An unbelievable thing happened the other day that still makes me shake my head just thinking about it. We have 12 girls home right now. Three of them are ready to calve any day but the others are a good week away. So we put the three imminent calvers in the font yard and turned the others out in a pasture close by across the lake. I went to do the evening check and I saw Starlight and Claudette but no Charlotte who is supposed to be in with them. Where the heck was Charlotte? There was no fencing down anywhere and she was nowhere to be seen. Then I found her. Across the lake I spotted a blonde cow eating away with the other cows. She SWAM across the lake!!! That’s a good 300 yards at least. Now that is one determined cow. She must of used her big preggo belly as a flotation device. We can’t believe she swam across the lake like that. The most unbelievable thing though is this cow is 18 years old!!

That’s all the updates for now. There will be more to come very soon.