Patches


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We had to put our cat Patches to sleep the other day. Even though you know she was very old and has lived a good, long life it is hard to say good-bye. She was with our family over 17 years which is a long time to have a pet around. Patches lived most of her long life as a city cat; living in our house and then moving with our son Alex to his college apartment. A couple of years ago when Alex made the 21 hour drive to Washington, Patches moved with him.

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Once she arrived at the ranch, Patches found her own way of dealing with the other critters already here. Mostly she ignored them – though she did love sitting on a shelf overlooking the chicken pen and taunting the dumb clucks below. I don’t want to say she was anti-social, but I think she just didn’t approve of the other animals around here.

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She did always seem to enjoy it when we were working on a new project though. She would appear and make herself right at home.

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She had a knack for always being able to find the most in-the-way place to be and staying there.

Patches loved the cattle handling pens Rick and Alex built last year. She treated them like her own personal climbing apparatus.

She enjoyed her last couple of years here at the ranch. She learned to appreciate new things like rolling in dry cow manure – something she never had the opportunity to enjoy as a city cat.

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When my children were youngsters we had three cats, Velcro, Lucky and Patches. They have all gone on to feline heaven now, it is the end of an era for our family.

Amelia Again

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know about Amelia our adventurous chicken who doesn’t like to stay within the confines of the chicken pen and coop. In case you’ve missed her previous adventures you can read about them here. She’s been pretty quiet lately and I hadn’t really thought about her wandering ways. Then I went out to feed the dogs

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and saw that she is up to her old tricks.

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Though she can’t make it over the fence anymore,  she can still scurry out as soon as the door of the coop is open. And apparently Amelia thinks the dog’s food tastes pretty good. Molly doesn’t have a lot of patience with her though, and quickly herds her back to the coop.

Winter Morning

A winter morning feeding on the ranch.  First open the shed, sometimes you have to wake up the cats who are still snuggled in their bed. Harry especially enjoys sleeping in.

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Feed the chickens and let them out to roam.  Toss vegetable scraps for them.

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Load the tractor bucket with the first load of hay.

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Drive down to the feeding troughs and distribute the first load of hay. 

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Make sure you spread the hay out evenly among the troughs so the cattle don’t fight over it.

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Drive back up the hill to get another load of hay. The trusty canine companions lead the way in case you might get lost.

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Load another bucket full of hay from the stack . . .

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and drive it down to the feeding station to feed the steers and bulls. Around here it is ladies first and the boys have to wait.

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Check the watering troughs and make sure the cattle have plenty of fresh water.

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The new troughs we installed this summer are very popular. 

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After all the cattle have been fed, take mineral supplements out to the feeders.

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Put a bucket of minerals in each feeder so the cattle have all the nutrition they need to stay healthy.

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Clean out the cattle sheds. By this time the hens have started laying their eggs, so it is time to check the nest boxes for eggs. Sometimes the hens don’t appreciate that so much.

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And finally after the cats, dogs, hens and cattle are fed and watered, it is time to go in the house for breakfast! And after breakfast, you can start on your projects for the day.