gathered at the creek and shelter trees in back of the home on a chilly Sunday Feb. 16.
“The pick and roll is handy for feeding hay bales, and I have been giving an extra 5-10 pounds of hay with these extreme temperatures,” said Zach Tessier, who owns Tessier Herefords with Lacey and their two kids, Hadley Jo and Hayden.
Temperatures have plunged to 7 to 17 below and everything in between. When the wind strikes, the wind chills can become strong in the prairie, but one day the temps rose to 17 above zero, then plunged to 10 below the very next day.
“It has been cold for a longer time stretch this month, and we are hoping the weather breaks before calving,” Zach said.
North Dakota winters are always unpredictable, which is why the Tessiers believe in growing hardy bulls that can make in out in the rough Badlands, no matter what the weather could bring.
The bulls are looking good, as they continue on high End 14 pellets, free choice hay delivered each day, and some rolled corn. Of course, free choice chelated minerals are always out for the bulls.
Zach will be taking the registered bulls for carcass ultrasounding next week, checking for ribeye measurements, intramuscular fat and other data important to commercial cattlemen.
He will also be getting scrotal measurements, along with yearling weights on the bulls before the sale.
“We’ll be adding a supplement report to the catalog on all the extra data that has come in on each bull,” Zach said.
The Tessier Hereford bull sale will be this weekend, on Saturday, March 2, beginning at 2 p.m. Call Zach at 701-290-6132 in the evening if you want more information about the bulls. Ten Hereford bulls will be in the sale.
Lacey added the catalog have been mailed on this week.
In addition, customers can check out videos and photos of the bulls on the Tessier’s new website at www.tessierherefords.com. There are also links to it on their Facebook page at /www.facebook.com/tessierherefords, where visitors can find lots of bull photos posted.
In spite of the winter storm the first week in February, Zach was glad there wasn’t a lot of snow to move, but the extra work involving the cold temperatures more than made up for it. Dressing up warm in layers before heading out in the bitter cold is the order of the day.
Lacey feeds the cows and bulls during the day when Zach is at work. She is pretty hardy herself and can tackle just about any job around the ranch when Zach is away.
The two have a few projects to finish before sale day, including getting the place ready for calving.
“I need to bring the heifers and cows up to a grazing pasture of about 100 acres right in front of the house where we can keep a close eye on them as calving will be starts soon,” Zach said.
Lacey said the A-I cows will start calving Feb. 25, and there will be steady cows calving after that. She checks on the cows in the mornings, while Zach takes over at night.
“I won’t be getting a lot of sleep during calving, but I am used to it,” he said. It happens every year about this time.
Zach also wants to clean out the barn and put fresh straw down for the cows and their calves, so they will stay warm.
On the home front, Lacey said, “One day last week it was 32 below zero when I took the kids to school.” She dressed the two kids up warm with mittens, coats and hats, and off they went. “They are still enjoying school.”
Lacey also had them go out to the garage to clean up after their new puppy. They were out there for more than an hour, so she went to check on them.
“They said they were cleaning and organizing the garage, and they did a great job. I gave them each $2 afterward, and they weren’t even expecting it,” she said.
Meanwhile, “We checked on the two calves in the barn and they are handling the cold. They have mom, plus plenty of straw,” Lacey added. The two cows calved early, as they were bred heifers purchased from another ranch last year.
Hopefully, the Tessiers hope temperatures will be a bit warmer come sale day. This week, the sun has come out in the afternoon and temperatures are already rising.