It has been 3 years since our first depredation. We have faced a lot of challenges. Some good, some bad. We were so unprepared for the devastation we felt when we had our first depredation. We attended every workshop we could manage to go to so that we could learn more about managing our cattle and co-existence. It has been a lot of hard work to learn to run our cattle differently on the range but it is paying off. We are seeing better conception rates and calves being born earlier even though we haven’t changed our bull turn out time. The intensive grazing we are doing now is also improving our range. We are seeing more grass.
We now run our cattle in a more concentrated herd on the range. This is allowing our bulls to be more efficient during the early part of breeding season. In 2018, before we changed our grazing management we had 13 calves on the ground, Feb. 25. This year as a result of the changed grazing, we had 54 calves on the ground, Feb. 25. With more calves earlier this is allowing our cows to breed up earlier also. We are also seeing our pregnancy rates go up. I know this isn’t supposed to happen this way but it is paying off for us.
With calves being born earlier, this means they are older and bigger when they hit the range. Hopefully this reduces the risk of being killed by predators. This also means more pounds in the fall at selling time. $$$$$
Most importantly don’t wait for your first depredation. Be proactive, attend our Strategic Ranching workshops, be open to change. Ranching is about resiliency, we are survivors, not because we bury our heads in the sand, but because we press on. Help yourself and future generations to come. Keep our family ranches alive.
In closing, just remember you are not in this alone. We at StrategicRanchingOregon are here for you, as well as Working Circle and Defenders of Wildlife. Contact us and we will try to help.