CHINOOK, Mont. – The north central region is bracing for another week of bitter cold temperatures as winter has definitely settled into the area.
Hopefully, Mother Nature will loosen its icy grip by the beginning of March, when Clear Creek Angus holds its annual production sale. The sale is set for Monday, March 4, at Bear Paw Livestock in Chinook beginning at 1 p.m.
“The weather has been terrible so far this month. I don’t think we’ve been above zero, and we’ve also had about a foot-and-a-half of snow,” said Teddy Crowley on Feb. 16. Teddy and Sara operate Clear Creek Angus near Chinook with their kids, Kruz, Jaxton, and Kane.
The coldest the weather has been was a chilly 32 degrees below zero one day last week. Most days, the temps have been wavering from 15-20 degrees below zero.
“Everyone’s wearing a lot of layers. We’re all tired of the cold,” Teddy said, with a laugh.
Work at the ranch starts with feeding cows. The Crowleys use a hay processor and a hydra bed to feed hay every day, and there’s lot of area to cover up and down the hills on the ranch. A hydra bed is a hydraulic-powered bale handler mounted on the back of a pickup, which can pick up, move and put down a bale or two.
“We use both the processor and the hydra bed, and feeding hay goes faster with two of us operating equipment to feed,” Teddy said.
They are also taking out a lot of straw during the day for bedding for the pairs.
The registered bulls in the sale are still at Houlds Bull Development Center feedlot, where they have been especially cared for by the center’s team. All the bulls continue on their high roughage diet.
“We’ll take our final weights in another week, and have an average daily gain report on each bull,” he said. That report will be inserted into the catalog as a supplement, along with scrotal measurements of some of the younger bulls that they had to wait to measure.
Meanwhile, calving is about two-thirds finished at the ranch.
“The A-I ones have finished calving, and there’s only about six or seven heifers left to calve,” Teddy said.
It hasn’t been the best weather for calving, but Teddy, his dad, Ted, and brother, Clint, have the heater running in the barn, which keeps the temperature about 40 degrees in there.
“Calving has been going well, and the calves look as good as they can in this cold. We’re putting out lots of straw for the cows - they’re a hardy bunch,” Teddy said. “We may end up with frozen ear tips on some of the calves this year from the pairs we’ve kicked out after 24 hours. There’s little you can do when the mothers keep licking them outdoors.”
Teddy’s brother-in-law, Todd, will help calve when the commercial herd begins calving.
With the upcoming sale, Teddy said they have finished all the preparations for it to run smoothly. Since Clear Creek Angus is both a registered and commercial Black Angus business, the Crowleys will also be offering 155 commercial replacement heifers, in addition to the registered Angus bulls.
Weaver Herefords and My Angus will also be a part of the production sale, offering about a dozen bulls each.
The sale catalog at www.clearcreekangus.com (at the bottom of the page) shows some nice, muscular bulls.
“I think we have a very nice set of bulls we’re offering this year,” Teddy said.
The Crowleys plan to move the bulls to Bear Paw Livestock in Chinook the weekend before the sale, which would be on Sunday, March 3. Producers can come by the day before the sale and view the bulls in their pens at Bear Paw, or even stop by Houlds feedlot in Malta to see the bulls before then.
“I’m hoping the weather cooperates with us this year,” he said. Videos and photos of the bulls can be seen on the website and the Facebook page.
If someone can’t make it to the sale because of the weather or other reasons, they can still participate in the sale by bidding at Northern Livestock Video Auction (http://www.northernlivestockvideo.com.
On the home front, Sara and other family members, take lots of photos of the boys having fun fishing, helping work cows, and other photos of the ranch, which can be seen on their Facebook page.
“Sara enjoys taking photos of our ranch activities and the boys,” Teddy said.
The boys continue to enjoy school, and wrestling. With the freezing cold temperatures, the family hasn’t been able to make any of the far away meets recently.
“There are a couple of closer meets next week, so we hope to be able to go to those,” he added.
For more information on the sale, call Teddy at 406-395-4962.