Canyon Ranch is bustling with new baby calves and anticipating the birth of dozens more.
Bev Madley and her 31-year-old son Garrett who manage the Alexis Creek area ranch say calving began at their ranch on March 26.
The Madleys prefer calving in the spring so they don’t have to worry about keeping the cows warm indoors.
“They lay down and let her go,” Bev says.
At Canyon Ranch they are raising Hereford Angus Cross, red and black, for sale each fall.
Their cow-calf operation consists of 200 head of cattle and 10 bulls. They have 1,400 deeded acres and additional Crown range lands.
During a recent tour in the field where they showed off some of the calves who were just days old, Bev points to a mom and her calf.
“That little one was born an hour ago,” she says.
Chuckling Garrett comments on how spunky the newest calf is. “Look at it bucking around the mom,” he says. “You don’t see that too often.”
Once a cow gives birth she and her calf go to one area of the ranch and the ones waiting to give birth stay closer to the headquarters where they can be observed.
Pointing to some taller grass close to the edge of the field Bev indicates there is a calf hiding there.
The moms will sometimes place a calf in the grass and tell it not to leave until she gets back, she explains.
For winter feeding, the Madleys do their own haying and at the end of May the cattle go onto the Crown range lands.
Bev and her two sisters grew up on the ranch with their parents Norm and Val Telford.
After graduating from Columneetza she attended UVic to study biology. Her dad Norm was born on the ranch as was his mother Kathleen Graham.
Kathleen’s father Alex Graham came from Ireland in 1886 to begin ranching in the Chilcotin.
In 2000, Bev took over management of the ranch and when Garrett returned from studying agriculture at Olds College in Alberta he became her co-manager.
“He grew up on the ranch, just like me,” Bev says.