Southern Plains Bison Pointers Nov 2017

What ‘the heck’ happening Out There! This is a normal question in the southern plains this time of year. Everything has been so green and the bison living has been easy all summer long. All at once the rain stopped, and just in time to stop the growth of planted winter feed and/or native cool season plants. The other factor in many southern plains operations is the exotic grasses (warm season) like Coastal Bermuda, which once brown goes completely ineffective as nutrition. So – what (is) going on out there? As I wrote in my last blog,  this is the time of … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2017

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2017 Bizy-bizy-bizy! November is fast and busy with the business of planning for winter, marketing, and herd health management strategies. If you missed the fall planting season in the southern plains, you will need to plan for hay and other nutritional supplementation for bison herds. If you (did) plant during the fall ‘dust-in’ season – you’re probably either waiting for a rain or re-planting because of armyworms. It’s nature and there are no victims, only outcomes – and no ‘crying’ in baseball. That being said, and painfully true, the more native habitats are likely emerging for … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Aug 2017

2017 has dealt us an interesting August.  We’ve seen rain and relatively cooler ‘dawg-day’ temperatures intermittently. The grass is jumping, and out-running the herds, and the livin’ is easy. This has also made for an interesting southern plains summer in other regards. The plant community has become atypical. So you might be asking at this point; can’t this guy ever ‘just be happy?’ and I would agree with that reaction while laughing with you, and/but! It is the charge of a habitat/ ranch/ farm manager for bison to look (and) see. Keep in mind that many times, and in conflict … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers July 2017

The ‘Dawg-Days’ and ‘Hands Off Help’… Well, it ain’t very cold out there, and this time of year is always the hardest for Texas & Southern Plains Bison. Our charge as humans is to plan accordingly and provide the bison with the ability to be resilient and get through all the aspects of their doin’s, and ours, alive and well. Planning sounds easy when you’re sitting around talking about how to get an honest day’s work from one end to the other, but it is always hard to feel what the day may become until you’re smack-dab in the middle … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers-June2017

The heat lamp is on which means everything changes for our herds. One of the things that changes is decisions we make about animal-ops and how we consider their well being affected by the ambient temperature.  When the heat rises so does stress, and that leads to additional ‘weakness’, or reduced resilience. This means we do as little ‘with them’ as possible that involves handling, or creating any hardship cycles in the habitat. It’s Texas and the Southern Plains and there is no relief, even in the evening. This can be the reason for late born calves which were conceived … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers May 2017

Everything is changing and throughout the month of June, southern grasslands and prairies will go through 3 stages that effect herd health. While up north the first green up is just now in full swing, in the south we are at the end of the first growing season and in ‘green up’ of second one – called the warm season.  This means a few things that you should be aware of as you watch and visually inspect the body-score of the herd. April is lush and extra nutrition is plentiful during that period, but it is followed by a late … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers April 2017

Calving Season Tips & Texas Bison Week Tis the season to be cautious and reject the human tendency to over attend nature. That’s easy to say, but hard to do with your money on the table and your compassion for the animals turned up to high trying to be a good care taker. Personally; I have a few rules for myself that make things easier to deal with. Rule #1: never cause suffering or allow it. Rule #2: Do what you can – and leave the rest to good ole Mom Nature. Bison, whether ranched or other, are still very … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers March 2017

Calving season has begun and if your are among the blessed living history ‘with bison’, there’s nothing like the colors of spring and early summer made more brilliant with a newborn crop of sable American icons alongside their brown mothers. As caring stewards, we try and prepare for the worst during calving season, but with bison normally have little to no trouble. therefore I like to have an orphan kit ready so when something does happen – I can react immediately. An easy mistake to make in calving problem scenarios, is accidentally causing a high level of stress to the … Read more

Southern Plains Bison Pointers Jan 2017

Green-ups -a -commin! And – quick! Most regions in the southern plains are breaking over into a lush state of pasture and range conditions, while the high plains will take a bit longer. Many herds are now in the process of working herds and preparing to balance their AU’s to the land. Because of our ‘spring explosion’ that is normal, working herds a bit deeper into winter and up against ‘green-up’ can work well for managing parasites. There will also be a wide diversity in plants that normally occur that are naturally occurring wormers such as wild onions, willow chutes … Read more

Southern Bison Plains Pointers November 2016

Fast Times Where the Buffalo Roam   Everything is happening all at once and my advice is to: get ready – get set – & SLOW DOWN.  In the southern plains we tend to work herds later in the year than in the north, mostly because our weather cooperates and the calves tend to be heavier and more able to leave their mother seamlessly.  Our cool season grasses and other forages also tend to kick into gear about now, so working to early may interrupt some late breeding. Personally I consider a late bred cow half full, rather than half … Read more