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And I say this with love...

Not everyone lives in a climate that typically experiences winter storms during the months of January through March. And sometimes April too.

But we do.

That’s -just one- of the reasons why we choose to calve and lamb starting in May.

Is our choice the right choice for everyone?

Certainly not.

Our context might be different from the ranchers who chose to calve, lamb, and kid during the harshest “winter-storm-months.”

And that’s okay.

But what never ceases to confuse me, is why ranchers openly complain & seek sympathy when their animals are birthing at the exact time they planned, as if it’s a “surprise” or “beyond their control.”

So I say this with absolute love: if you’ve been up all night—night after night—checking, and pulling, and intervening, and micromanaging, and exhausted, and frozen to the bone, AND WHINING ABOUT IT...

I encourage you to ask yourself why you choose to put the bull/ram/buck out for breeding when you do.

Are your calving/lambing/kidding methods “best” for:

  • your quality of life?

  • your animals (keeping in mind animal welfare and cost to feed during the 3rd trimester and lactation)?

  • the land you are stewarding?

  • your actual profit (minus your expenses, including labor & loss)?

If your answer is not a joyful and resounding "YES!" for all 4 bullet points...

What changes might you consider for next year?

My intention here is to call each one of us to question our status quo’s and whether or not they are truly serving us, our families, and our operations.

Because maybe, just maybe... If we find ourselves feeling angry, frustrated, or defensive while answering any of those 4 bullet points...

Might I suggest that our decision-making strategies could be reevaluated?

Disagree with me? Excellent. Let’s discuss.

Copyright © 2023 Tara Dukart of Seek First Ranch. All Rights Reserved

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