Here on the ranch everyone has a specific roll. Obviously, the ranch wouldn’t be a ranch if we didn’t have our animals to help us with jobs and for our living. So here is the the “crew” that helps get the job done:
This is Gizmo. She was the first cat I brought down to our house and she has a vital function as our supreme mouse-catcher. Gizmo also is fantastic at entertaining our puppy and letting her pull her around by the neck and teaching the puppy self-defense.
Introducing: Slinky. This fine looking cat came from a friends house who was overwhelmed with cats, and he has found his niche here on the ranch. I typically will find him and Gizmo snuggling in the hay during the cold winter days in the barn. He is a master a climbing and attempting to catch birds all day long, but he’s also great at entertaining me as I watch him egg on our puppy then quickly run away to a place where the pup can’t get to him.
Spice is a funny story. We got Spice while we were moving to eastern Oregon; she sat under my feet the entire ride to Oregon since we had no more space in my car. In October we decided that Spice would become a wild rabbit, since she clearly wasn’t happy in her cage. Despite what I thought would happen to her… She is still happily hopping around our backyard and keeps our dogs sharp as they attempt to catch her. She is good at eating all extra cut-ups of vegetables we have.
I can’t imagine the ranch without our chickens. The hens are such an important part. We eat the incredible eggs they lay and they are by far the best bug hunters in the world! We have hardly any damaging bugs on this end of the ranch due to our diligent chickens. No need for any bug sprays when you have these workers!
Frank the rooster is “the man.” He’s got tons of girlfriends and is our alarm clock in the summer. Most roosters are used for meat, but it is important to have a rooster around if you have free range chickens because he actually keeps them in a group, which helps keep them safe from predators.
The ranch literally could not be run without good border collies. This is Queeny our best cow herder. She is incredibly sharp and responds to commands really well. She is also a great escape artist and is hard to keep in her dog kennel anymore, since digging must be one of her past-times. All she wants to do is please you!
However, Rascal is still in the works. She is more then eager to chase after cows, the problem is stopping her… Rascal is a sucker for attention, and she is just darn cute. We are still working on her cow skills… It’ll just take some time.
Bella the guard dog! Bella is the newest addition to the ranch and she is my little buddy. The border collies only really listen to Sean and never stay around the house, so I decided I needed a dog, and she is everything I want in a dog! Right now she is good at sleeping, but is quite vocal if anyone comes up to the house that she is not familiar with. If I need a good laugh I just watch her play with the cats.
The sheep have several purposes. They are a source of income, meat, and are great weed eaters and lawn mowers. Currently, these St. Croix hair sheep are a select breeding operation so we are trying to sell them to people so they can use them for breeding.
Oh, Gerdie and Butch, they sure did entertain us this summer. The pigs were great at moving manure around and turning over soil, however they were a handful. Ripping down fences, making a mess out of our grain room, and destroying my yard were just a couple of the problems we had with them, but they sure are delicious.
The horses get work done! They do a lot of cow work from moving cows, roping them, and doctoring them. Some ranches now use ATV’s to do most of their cow work, but we still like to use horses, because it’s less stress on cows and horses are good for the ground. Horses are tough workers and will put in a lot more hours then you can at times!
The cows are the back-bone of the ranch. Without them we wouldn’t be out here. They provide meat for a lot of people and are so good for the land. Sean loves to work with cows and to watch positive changes to the land when cows are used properly.
Now you have met all the animals who help make this ranch possible. We respect the animals here and they respect us, but in no way do we consider them anymore than animals. In Genesis God tells us exactly what man’s roll is:
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. Genesis 1:28-30
These animals work for us and with us to fulfill God’s promise to the kingdom, and they do a great job! Everyday we wake up and look at the land and animals that He has blessed us with and pray to God that he will allow us to continue to be his faithful stewards.