This morning at first light, as I headed out through the pasture to check one of the last expectant cows, I heard at least four different rooster pheasants crowing back and forth. I'm guessing they are in the midst of mating season and hoping to attract a pheasant hen. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of ring-necked pheasants that populate our ranch and the neighboring properties that I manage. When we farmed in southern Iowa a couple of decades ago, we were in territory that was considered prime pheasant habitat. But we actually see and hear as many pheasants here on 100 acres as we did on 1200 acres in Iowa. One reason for that is because the consistent supply of tall forage that is available for our cattle also provides ideal habitat for the pheasant population. Years ago, when our daughters were little, they named the rooster pheasant that hung around the driveway and our yard "Filbert". Pictured above is the latest iteration of Filbert as I caught him sneaking past our living room window the other day.
After a seemingly endless damp winter, it was nice to see some sun in recent days. Here are a number of our cow-calf pairs on some fresh spring grass. Calving season is winding down and has gone exceeding well, so far. Our last two AI sired calves were born in the last 12 hours and that leaves only 9 cows bred to Ferdinand left to calve. It looks like almost all of those 9 cows will calve by the start of May, so it looks highly likely that our calving season will run less than 2 months.