Cattle: Year

A rancher’s year weaves together the rhythms of his local environment with the demands of raising and selling thousands of head of cattle. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

Carlos Cornay is a third-generation rancher based in northern New Mexico. Carlo’s family has been ranchers since 1865. He tells us why this is the best time of year to raise calves.

“We can’t calve before March 1st because it’s too cold. You lose a lot of baby calves in storms and cold weather. So we bring ’em on from March, April and May and then that way we’re sure of having a better percentage of the calf crop. We have ’em right before green grass. Soon as the green grass shows up, the cows start producing more milk, and the calves of course will do better with more milk. That’s when they get fat, and grow.”

Although spring is a time of particularly intense activity, the rest of the rancher’s year isn’t exactly idle either.

“We calve out the cows in the spring of the year, then in the summertime we do a lot of haying and fence repairing and all that, and in the fall of the year when we sell the calves in October, we take ’em off of the mamas and we sell ’em. They either go to order buyers or they go to wheat or somewhere and then the cows we just turn them out for the winter, and then we start supplementing them the first of the year. There’s only one drawback, we just get paid once a year, that’s in the fall of the year when these calves are going to market, or buyers come and buy ’em here. We get one paycheck and we got to make it last.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

Cattle: Year

It's branding time on a New Mexico cattle ranch, but when you're raising and selling thousands of head of cattle, there's work to be done all year long.
Air Date:05/17/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

A rancher's year weaves together the rhythms of his local environment with the demands of raising and selling thousands of head of cattle. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

Carlos Cornay is a third-generation rancher based in northern New Mexico. Carlo's family has been ranchers since 1865. He tells us why this is the best time of year to raise calves.

"We can't calve before March 1st because it's too cold. You lose a lot of baby calves in storms and cold weather. So we bring 'em on from March, April and May and then that way we're sure of having a better percentage of the calf crop. We have 'em right before green grass. Soon as the green grass shows up, the cows start producing more milk, and the calves of course will do better with more milk. That's when they get fat, and grow."

Although spring is a time of particularly intense activity, the rest of the rancher's year isn't exactly idle either.

"We calve out the cows in the spring of the year, then in the summertime we do a lot of haying and fence repairing and all that, and in the fall of the year when we sell the calves in October, we take 'em off of the mamas and we sell 'em. They either go to order buyers or they go to wheat or somewhere and then the cows we just turn them out for the winter, and then we start supplementing them the first of the year. There's only one drawback, we just get paid once a year, that's in the fall of the year when these calves are going to market, or buyers come and buy 'em here. We get one paycheck and we got to make it last."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.