When I Ride…

The Louisiana Round Bales have arrived…

I don’t think in the 15 years we have been on this ranch, have we ever bought cow hay. Alfalfa from Arizona and New Mexico for the horses and exotics but never bermuda round bales.

We have two big coastal bermuda fields that we can usually get at least two cuttings from and have always had extra hay to help our neighbors if they are in need.  This year? We had to go searching.

One idea was to get an oilfield pipe truck, that was coming home empty, to haul some hay down from North Dakota. That fell through. We put out our feelers and cast about. Hay, oh haaayeee, where are you? Then, my husband got wind of this hay in Louisiana. Thank you, Cajuns!

Seems like everyone is getting rain but Texas!

It arrived at the crack of dawn this morning and the rhythm of the ranch just shot up a couple of notches. We were out the door, lickety split to greet the driver, show him where we will unload and then crawled into the big tractor.

I got a call the other day from a woman who said, oops, sorry. I rang the wrong number. But since I have you on the line anyway…do you know where I can get some hay?

It has really gotten pretty desperate out there and the man who runs the sale barn where we sell our replacement heifers, said that all of the cattle he has been selling lately, were shipped OUT of Texas. I know many who have sold over half, if not their entire herd.

When it does rain, and it will…the price of a cow will probably go way up because there will not be any in Texas for awhile. Texas ranchers will have to go out of state to put a herd back together. The people who eat hamburgers and steaks in the city don’t know about this kind of thing. Why should they? I saw on TV the other night that many kids in school don’t even know that meat comes from cows. They just eat it not knowing it’s an animal.

God has made us stewards. Stewards of the animals, the land…It’s an important responsibility and ranchers take it seriously.

I love living my life with such a closeness to our animals. I love to listen to the livestock eat. It is a comforting sound, the crunching and muffled contented sounds of horses gathering that last piece of hay or the cows scooting feed along the surface of the metal feeders, sniffing and licking every last little bit.

I am so grateful that we are still able to provide for them. Still keeping our fingers crossed, hoping for rain. Saw an armadillo licking a dripping sprinkler in the yard last night. When you see that, you know it must be dry.

This entry was published on October 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm. It’s filed under Ranching and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “The Louisiana Round Bales have arrived…

  1. Pingback: Random Quotes « Little Things of Life

  2. I’m so glad you found hay for your herd. Sad situation for the ranchers and their animals in our state. 😦

    I enjoyed the photos of your delivery in the early morning light, as well as your narrative about watching and listening to your animals at feeding time. Now that armadillo getting a drink from ‘the last drop’ on your sprinkler — that’s a sign of this drought for sure!!

    I put a link to your post on my blog tonight. I wanted to share it with my readers. 🙂

  3. hi there. came over from Little Things of Life. Congrats on securing some much-needed hay! i don’t run cattle here, only have to feed 2 horses, but even that has stretched the budget with hay and feed costs this year. and our hay crop was so pitiful, but the neighbors were grateful for the few bales they got off of it to feed their beefers.

    God bless you! May it rain soon!!!

  4. Hello Lissa, you might find it interesting to know that, visiting family at the ranch in Saskatchewan, Canada last week, several family members and neighbors were in the process of shipping hay to … you guessed it … ranchers in Texas.

    I heard many conversations sympathetic to the lack of rain; we’ve been through it, too, and you’re right, there’s not a better sound than hearing your cows happily appreciating their hay supper.

    Cheers to you .. and I hope the rains come soon.

  5. We are getting rain as I’m writing this. It is beating down on the tin roof so hard i can barely hear! I know the hay from Canada is a welcome sight. Thank God!

  6. Hi. I found you through emjayandthem and I’m in NE Michigan.
    We personally ship hay to Texas (and other states too) a few times each year. It was a stellar year for us here hay-wise. The trouble with trucking it down there (for a reasonable cost) has always been the back-hauls. I guess not much needs to come back this way. Darn it. Love that Texas hill country as we lived in SA for about a year and found it a great place to run to when we had the chance.
    Looking forward to reading your blog! 🙂
    p.s. Congrats on finally, finally getting some rain there!

    • Oh, thank you for your comment! Yes, we had rain and as I write it’s drizzling on us again. We are all crossing our fingers for maybe one cutting this year. We are thankful you and other states had stellar years or we would have just been plain ol’ out of luck. Thanks for dropping by!

  7. Hi Bug! I love your writing…Wish the whole world knew about you. You remind me of a terrific writer named Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times. Check him out sometime. xoxoxo Mothra

  8. drewbeez on said:

    Nice article, I’m a Dallas native and its been so dry the lakes were in real trouble. We finally got some rain I just hope they can fill up completely before next summer or we are in big trouble. Texas has only one natural lake, Lake Caddo. The water for the entire state comes from man made lakes. It was so bad they said it was hotter and drier than the dust bowl period. Its shameful that parents don’t take time to teach our youth. I would consider myself a bad parent if my child didn’t even know what beef was. I’m a big farm/ranch supporter…NO FARMS NO FOOD!!!

    • Thank you for your comment. The experts say we are in for 9 more years because of El Nino and such. I’m praying they are wrong. God bless and thank you for educating your children about the importance of farms and ranches.

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