Christmas Week On The Ranch

Christmas week here on the ranch in Wisconsin means many are off from school...

Christmas week here on the ranch in Wisconsin means many are off from school...

Christmas week here on the ranch in Wisconsin means many are off from school, families & friends are coming together and usually the ground is covered with snow which means we finally get to have some fun snowboarding & snowmobiling. We also have normally transitioned into full winter hay feeding mode for our bison herd. This year things are a little different...while we had what I would call a cooler and wetter than normal October, the months of November and December have been warmer than normal and extremely dry here. I dont remember a fall where the ground has been frozen and dry without mud or snow cover for this long. While its a bummer for those of us who enjoy winter sports and not having a white Christmas sure isnt any has allowed us some much needed extended time to work on projects here at the ranch. This last month has been crazy busy here, thanks to our customers, we have been slammed with orders that need to get organized, booked and packed, which is all handled by my wife Roxy, our daughters and myself. Roxy and our daughters also help me take care of the herd, which means we all have a full plate! Having some extra nice weather has allowed us to keep the ICON Meats orders flowing while still being able to complete what we need to before winter really sets in, which I am sure it will. We saw a winter like this a few years ago, where it started off really slow but then snowed over 100" here at the ranch in the month of February! That winter we spent countless hours moving snow and even had to plow out fence lines as the snow was so deep the herd could walk right over the 5'-6' tall fences if they wanted.

By the looks of the 10 day forecast we will be grazing our herd until the new year with only minimal hay supplementation, which is great as it saves us quite a bit of time and money each day when the herd is able to feed itself. While I really enjoy being out with the herd in the winter, and feeding them is quite enjoyable to one here enjoys digging and cutting net wrap from frozen snow covered bales. It can be a heck of a workout trudging around in the snow and sometimes we have to use a pipe or baseball bat to beat the bales to break the ice loose to pull the net wrap or twine off. With the amount of animals we are running in our herd this winter we will average around 30-35 round bales a week and we used to feed 20-25 round bales a day when we ran larger herds. Thats a lot of hay over the course of a winter! I could go on and on but we have orders to fill for shipment tomorrow so we need to get working on that...

We hope everyone reading this has a wonderful Christmas Holiday and we cant thank you all enough for the support!  

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