Want to be a Rancher? by Darol Dickinson

Darol Dickinaon of DCCI Ranch in Barnsville, Ohio is a longtime cattle breeder, including watusi .  Although he specializes in Longhorn cattle, his expertise is universal.

At first light Joel Dickinson checks the calving pastures. Jest Respect by Hunts Command Respect, out of Jester, had given birth to an AI Drag Iron speckled calf during the night and erroneously birthed it into a few inches of fresh rain water, causing prompt drowning.

Following a serious discussion over possession with the mother, Joel took the dead calf up hill to higher dry-ground where the cow continued to lick, bond, love, and try to revive the calf.

After the mother has cleaned her calf, and is certain of the natural scent. After another
encounter, Joel took the calf away from the mother. This is how serious ranch management works to be thrifty and immediate with each crisis.

The drown calf is carefully skinned down the legs. The complete tail and crotch
is retained intact.

A waiting calf, whose mother had udder complications, received the pretty speckled hide. It is tied with hay strings around the legs and neck, secure enough attachment for a day or so.

The new covering is ready to receive loving adoption. The calf wants a better mother and the cow knows exactly what her own calf smells like.

An Ohio Spring blizzard is hitting the area. Wind and snow make this job even harder. Joel chauffeurs the bewildered calf to the west end of the ranch. This Honda does not have a heater installed.

This pasture is several hundred acres so the cow is walking all over hunting her calf.

The cow is located. Joel utters a calf bawling sound and here comes the mother. (He has done this before.) She is still mad about Joel stealing her calf in the first place. She holds a grudge.

The snow flurry increases, but love at first “smell” does the trick. The family is bonded in less than a minute.

Her udder is full of warm unpasteurized, “real” nutritious milk. Happy days are ahead. New life goes forward. Birth is fragile.


Joel is back at the barn thawing out for the next pasture checks. About 10 to 18 calves are born per day at this time of year. We wish all the government employees who are on the Animal Care Board a pleasant day enjoying a warm office. If per chance they want to check on ranchers who may not care for their stock, as the city folks think they should, come out to the ranch, you can be skinned, attached to a coyote and released to go home. The Animal Care Board is another government total insult to farmers and ranchers.

Come to Ohio and see the great new calves in about a month. It is a labor of love you will understand and want to be a part of.  DD

Dickinson Cattle Co., LLC