Monday, March 18, 2013

The Cycle of Life on a Ranch



It’s been a time of comings and goings on the ranch this week.   

Now deep in the middle of calving season, we’re watching and welcoming new life in our pastures.

Each day and each evening, we travel out into our pastures and check on the progression of pregnancy of our cows and try to determine if any of the girls are in any danger.   

For us this means eye-balling the growth of her udders, watch for dilatation in her rear, and see if anyone is fence-lining, acting uncomfortable in the fields, off by themselves, or laying down and stretching unnaturally.

This is always an exciting period as we stay on alert for problems, then celebrate the successes of new life on the ranch.  And this year is no different.

But as we’re said hello to the newcomers in our large animal community, we also were saying a goodbye in our small animal family.   

“Midnight,” the last of our family of rabbits, died Friday evening.   

 He succumbed to a short, but serious viral infection which took him very quickly.

We never chose to keep rabbits, actually.   

I was talked into taking Midnight’s mother, “Blue”.  Blue had been an “Easter Bunny” for a friend’s family who didn’t want her much after the holiday.   

We had a covered pen available, and it seemed like a good idea.  Our ranch visitors would love to see a rabbit up close.  So I agreed to make the acquisition.

Two weeks after I got Blue, I noticed little pockets of fur all over her bedding.  She must have fleas, I thought, so I bathed her and applied a tube of Advantage. 

But it wasn’t fleas.  It was nesting.  A few days later, I came out to find my Blue Bunny with what would become a rainbow of babies attached to her teats.   We built additional housing and gained more pets.  Rest assured, we made sure the males and female rabbits were safely segregated.

Rabbits live a long time.  Ours saw children grow and leave home, and others return in their place.  Midnight, who had been the runt of Blue’s litter, was to live the longest. 

He was a sweet soul and will be missed.


 

- Sanne Collins
   From the Ranch in Florida
 


What’s Been Keeping Me Busy Lately

Love Those Wide Open Spaces is a blog designed to follow my daily life as a freelance writer and rancher.  It’s a life full of constant change and a wide scope of interests.

Freelance writing, by its definition, requires the ability to write on a variety of subjects, to juggle many assignments during the times of plenty, and to fill the void when checks are slow.   That said, I’m always writing.

Much of my work is done for others such as corporations, websites, or articles penned under another’s name.  I’ve sold the rights to these works, so they can’t be shared. 

However, many of my projects are available under my own name and can be read right here on the web.    

 You can click on either the site or the story below to see them.

Check out what’s been keeping me busy lately!



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