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Photos of Arizona Desert Ranch Cattle and Pasture

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Well-known member
Jul 30, 2005
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Below are some photos taken in August 2005 of a few cattle seen at waters on the Arizona desert ranch we work. At waters is one of the few occasions we see the cattle other than when we work them.

Typical bull on the ranch in the few trees that exist on the ranch. The rest is bushes and cactus.

A few cows and some calves at the lower desert water trap
A view inside a trap at the lowest desert pasture. Typical view of the pasture looks like a cholla cactus forest.

Replacement heifers at a camp water in a small 6 section pasture

Same heifers close up

Late spring calves

Small 6 section pasture near the headquarters

Another view of the same 6 section pasture near headquarters

New calves

A view of the mid desert pasture with a view towards our mountain pasture.

A water pipe in the mid desert that runs across a typical wash.
Nice pic's Aztumbleweed,what's your yearly average rainfall,how many cow calf pairs to the section?...............good luck
Please forgive my ignorance...I was born and raised yankee.

How many acres is a section?

Those fields are a far cry from mine...I couldn't raise cattle out there.
Nice pictures. How tall is the windmill, and how big is the wheel? How deep is the well? Thanks for posting; it's always enjoyable seeing different areas of ranch country.
Haymaker: The average rainfall is about 12" a year. We run about 6 cows to the section. We have a good winter increase if we have a good winter. The desert produces like crazy when it gets rain in the winter. You cannot put enough cows to eat it all when we get a good winter.

Soapweed: We have 3 windmills. The one you see in the photo full view is about 30' tall with a 10' mill and pumps from 300 feet. Our biggest windmill is 30' tall with a 16' mill and pumps water from 600 feet.
That would be quite a project putting together a 16 foot windmill wheel. I've never seen one bigger than 10 foot in this country. Most of ours are eight feet, and a few are only six feet in diameter. Most of our wells are only one joint of pipe, some two-three-or four, and our deepest one is seven joints (7 x 21 = 147 feet). Every windmill on our ranch is of the Aermotor brand. Almost all of our wells take three-inch leathers, and four-inch is the biggest.
My girls would vote in new management if I tried to tell them to make a living in your area - - - when I ran Angus cattle I could run 1 cow calf pair on an acre year round! Now that I have changed to Charolis it is one cow calf pair per 2 acres - - - I keep my pastures small and move them at least twice a week so they are always on fresh grass - - - I know they are spoiled but that makes them very easy to work :D :D :D
Nice pictures. When I was in high school, one of my friends family sold out and bought a place by Pima. I went down there to see them a couple years later, and boy did I get an education. I looked at that country and thought there wasn't a reason in the world to live out there, they had no power, generator and propane, the cows had to live on rocks, and there yearlings would only weigh 600. Spent a few days there and learned the cows become more of a forager, less of a grazer, they have to fend for themselves cause no one can find them to check on them, but the input costs were almost nothing. Neat country, would like to get back there again.
It is good country if you can take it. The first time I came to the desert( I was raised in grass country) I could'nt see what in the world a cow would eat through the summer gut they do really good on cactus fruit and such. Are fall dalves wean off (in a good year) at 700 Are spring calves will wean from 4 to 600 depending on the summer. We dont see all the cattle all the time I ride on average 6 days a week and still probably only see 2/3 of them. We always have a few of them 900 pounders that got missed last time Well good luck

This is my first visit to Ranchers.net.

I have a question that is really puzzling. After watching an
old episode of "The High Chapparal" and seeing the pics posted
here, I am puzzled.

How can cattle possibly be raised in a desert environment? The
only vegetation is cactus and brush.

I am not an expert on raising catte. I assume an answer maybe
"supplemental feed," but (again I am not expert) that would seem
to be very expensive, depending on the herd size.

Anyway, if anyone can answer, I sure would appreciate it.
Interesting about how close we are in rainfall-I think we average about 4-5 inches more than you but you can run 100 cows on a section here-I guess the fact we have snow cover for 7 months-and lower summer temps so much less evap. loss. I bet the grasses you have are pretty hard-ares can be very washy. We also have 20 hours or more of daylight in summer so a fast furious grass season-I like those heifers you pictured-give me a call and we'll visit on that bull a bit if you like. He's calving like a dream so far.
How in the world can someone post under the handle "the real jake"?

I had Macon retire that months ago, and it only shows up as a guest.

Anyone posting under that handle is someone other than me.

Do you know what the story is with that Macon?

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