20121125-203834.jpgIf you’re thinking my date night on the ranch includes lighting from antique lanterns, a nice bottle of wine and a roll in the hay… well you’ve seen too many episodes of Green Acres. No MY date night is all about feeding cattle. All 500 of them.  It takes about an hour but it’s an hour where Darrin and I are alone together. Just the two of us. I’ll take it! So just how do you feed 500 cattle in a feedlot? It starts with a 1980′s era garbage truck that’s been converted into a huge feed truck. First, Darrin loads the mixing box filled with gigantic augers with alfalfa hay that he grew all summer long. Then he adds molasses. No shit! Molasses! Next up?  Fruit Loops, Corn Flakes and any other grain cereal you can think of! I kid you not! Reno happens to be home to a 20121125-203851.jpgRalston Purina cereal plant and if one little thing happens on the product line, the whole line gets shut down and all that product is recalled. So Darrin hauls a20121125-203909.jpg huge trailer down there once a week and loads up the recalled cereal and brings it home as cow feed. Darrin loads all the food by driving the loader up a ramp that gets him high enough to be able to dump his load into the trailer. Augers, the size of tree trunks, slowly turn and mix all the food together. We are now into our “date” about 45 minutes. So we now hop into the cab and start driving around all the corrals. But get this! Darrin says this load he made weighs nearly 7500 pounds. 7500 POUNDS OF FOOD FOR 500 COWS! That’s a lot of cow feed. And remember he feeds twice, sometimes three times, a day. THAT’S REALLY 20121125-203937.jpg



The food goes into feed bunks that are just wooden troughs, with wood panels on the outside and heavy cables on the inside. The cows reach their heads through the cables to the feed inside the troughs.

20121125-203925.jpgDarrin drives up and down the 20121125-203950.jpgbunks spilling out the cow feed down the feed truck chute. Ok by NOW, our date is just over an hour and I’m starving, frozen and thirsty for a glass of wine. Seriously?? When was the last date that ended like that for you and you still ended up with the guy?? And what’s worse? I could relive this date the next morning and night and every day thereafter until I’m 85. As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, date nights on the ranch are few and far between. And yes, my San Francisco self, still longs for quiet, candlelit dinners at Bix. But to be honest, dates like these are pretty cool too.20121125-204013.jpg













Speak Your Mind