Reader: The Story of Colorado Beef 2020-2021: Issue 2 - Page 6

Meet a Colorado Rancher - Cripple Cowboy Cow Outfit , Rangely

( L to R ) Logan , Cooper , Jennifer , and Adeline Hill
own horses that we use on the ranch .
Describe your ranch :
We are a cow-calf business , meaning we keep cows and bulls to produce calves , which we sell once a year , a few months after they are weaned from their mothers . We live in the high desert in northwestern Colorado . The land here is too dry to grow any crops , but it is great for grazing cattle . We also raise our
Who is involved :
Our ranch is raising its 6th generation and currently supports three family households . Grandma Fran and Grandpa Jon Hill , their sons Logan and Tim , and Logan ’ s wife Jennifer and two children , Adeline and Cooper , all work and help manage the ranch .
Describe a typical day :
A typical day on the ranch depends on the season . Early in the year when it is very cold and snowy , much of the day is spent feeding horses and young heifers . A heifer is a female cow that has not had a calf yet . Then it ’ s off on either horseback or in the truck to check on the rest of the cow herd , moving them towards areas with better grass and giving them a little cake . Cake is like a protein bar
that keeps the cattle healthy during winter .
In the spring and early summer , as a lot of new calves are being born , we spend much of our time
Adeline Hill getting ready to rope a calf .
Cooper Hill riding his horse , herding the cattle .
Cows and calves raised by Cripple Cowboy Cow Outfit .
herding the cattle towards the summer pastures , while branding and health-checking the calves . Calves are given shots , just like children are , to protect them from diseases . Branding season is filled with long , hot days where every family member works together to move the entire herd and check every single animal . Once summer is in full swing and the cattle are settled on the fresh green fields , there ’ s plenty of fence fixing and ranch repair projects to keep everyone busy .
When the seasons turn to fall , it ’ s
time to gather all of the cattle and herd them back down the mountain towards our winter pastures . Fall means months of spending every day on a horse , checking every tree , hill , and valley to make sure that every cow and calf is taken off the mountain before winter hits . Once they are all home , the calves are weaned from their mothers so that they can be sold and move on to the next stage of the beef life cycle .
6 - Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom