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Lessons In Ranching

●  So You Want to Help
"When there is any talk of moving cattle, there are plenty of people who eagerly express their desire to 'help'. In most cases the job can be done just as well without you - maybe even better. But if you are invited to participate, bear in mind a few simple rules whose observance will make it much more likely that you will be invited again."  Click for more...

●  Is It That Romantic?
"Most of us have watched Western movies and seen many episodes of TV Westerns where the heroes are seen doing little except riding horses all day long. And the adventures I chronicle in the book Ain't This Romantic likewise focus on horses. But most people have a romantic idea about ranch life that isn't based on reality."  Click for more...

●  Ranch Hand Job Description
"Calving March, April - Daily feeding - Make sure all cows and calves eat and drink every day - Check cattle - every 2 hours from daylight until dark - once during the night and more if storming - Be sure that every calf is fed and dry as soon as practicable."   Click for more...

●  Branding 101
"In the large acreages of the west, branding is a necessary part of cattle management. It is impossible to keep all of the livestock within the fences all of the time. The pastures are often miles from home, and it may be weeks between checks of the cattle. There are usually mountains and valleys, trees and brush for the cattle to hide in. Livestock can disappear for months - branding provides a "return address" for cattle and horses."  Click for more...

●  Intro to Calving
"To understand my life you must understand calving, as calving season is the peak season in a ranch cowboy's life."  Click for more...

●  Branding 101
"In the large acreages of the west, branding is a necessary part of cattle management. It is impossible to keep all of the livestock within the fences all of the time. The pastures are often miles from home, and it may be weeks between checks of the cattle. There are usually mountains and valleys, trees and brush for the cattle to hide in. Livestock can disappear for months - branding provides a "return address" for cattle and horses."  Click for more...

●  Cutting Pairs
"The primary type of ranch found in Montana is the cow-calf operation. Calves are generally born in the spring and sold in the fall, when they are shipped to feedlots in the Midwest to be fattened for beef. There are numerous occasions during the year when cattle must be sorted, and it is essential that the cow and her calf are not separated."  Click here for more...

●  Feeding Cows 101
"The grass in Montana is some of the best in the world. Cattle grow quickly through the summer, and gains are cheap. In fact, the whole romantic idea of cowboys and cattle drives began with trailing herds of cattle up from Texas into the rich prairie grasslands to fatten through the summer before being shipped by rail to markets in the east."  Click here for more...

●  Roping 101
"I do like to rope.  Unlike most western riders, my lariat is not hanging on my saddle as a decoration - it gets used. (See "Bull-Roping" from the book Ain't This Romantic?!?)Click here for more...

●  The Economics of Ranching
"Ranching is easy ... right?  All you have to do is watch the cows eat grass and make you money.  Wrong!  Many people dream of doing it, and if it was that easy everyone would be doing it.  So let's take a look at the economics of raising cattle and see why all ranchers aren't driving Cadillacs."  Click here for more...


Montana Cowboy College

Kent Hanawalt
46 Fiddle Creek Road
 Livingston, MT  59047
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