Due to dry conditions and a shortage of feed, we gathered our cattle off the range a week early. Carolyn (my daughter-in-law) and I spent several days rounding them up.
Even in this dry year, many of our good range cows did not want to come home. They know how to utilize all of the range and were still working the outlying regions, so it took several days to find them all.
We also found the three that had been missing for more than a month - ever since hunters left a gate open in early August.
We started using the walkie-talkie radios when gathering the cattle off our upper mountain pastures (a week later) to bring down to the ranch to pregnancy check and vaccinate. Those radios will certainly save us time and miles in the future when gathering cattle.
We worked Michael and Carolyn's cows Sept. 18 and weaned their calves and Bangs vaccinated the heifers. We did the same to ours on Sept. 21.
It was much easier doing the split herd in two days; we actually got done before dark. We had a good pregnancy rate this year, and we were pleased with the size of the calves, considering the dry range.
Andrea felt badly that she couldn't help with the roundup or cow working. Next year she should be back in the saddle again, we hope.
She is progressing with her physical therapy, driving herself to town now for her sessions. She still has stiffness in her knees, especially the one that had deep burns (and a heavy skin graft over it), but she is slowly getting the range of motion back. Her elbows have been more worrisome. The raw areas have been enlarging rather than healing due to the joint motion.
When Lynn took her back to Salt Lake for a checkup Sept. 27, the doctor didn't like the looks of the elbows and scheduled more surgery on Oct. 5. She was dismayed at the thought of more surgery, but this will be minor compared to what she's already gone through.
We are trying to prepare for winter and calving season. Because of our hay shortage, we are going to sell some pregnant heifers and young cows. With fewer cows, our January calving season will also be a little easier. Maybe things will be more normal the following year when Andrea may be more able to help again.