Meanwhile, back at the Windmill Spring, the cows have gotten ahead of the water. While trenching and plumbing the abandoned well before we install a solar pump on the Paregien Ranch, I’ve been checking the Windmill Spring every day, counting cows and noting how fast the troughs were recovering. As other water sources are drying up, the number of cows has increased from 30 to 46 this past week with temperatures well above 100°.
Both overflow troughs were all but dry this morning, and only three cows had watered. Fortunately, we have the two wells near the corrals, one with a submersible pump and 11hp generator I ran for about five hours yesterday towards filling the 2,000 gallon trough and 5,000 gallon tank that normally we utilize only at branding and weaning. I topped off the tank this morning, but only the tracks of a couple of cows had been around the trough. So I went off in search of cows to lighten the load on the Windmill Spring.
About a half mile away, I found some in the shade near the middle spring that is almost dry
and convinced them to follow the Kubota and a bale of hay to new water.
Obviously they hadn’t watered yet today. With a little luck, they will center on this trough instead of the Windmill Spring. Until the solar pump is installed, I’ll have to run the submersible twice a week to keep the top half of the tank full.
Scenarios such as this are happening on ranches all over the arid West.