Today was another overcast, muddy day in Kansas and on a cattle ranch, there is no avoiding the sloppy stuff, so when I finished treating a few calves for an infected naval, infected ear, and snotty nose (one illness for each calf) I looked at the sorry state of my coveralls and decided it was time to empty the pockets and throw them in the wash! They were starting to stand up on their own, there was so much mud caked on the legs of the pants! As I pulled out items from each of the pockets, I realized there was a story to tell about why I carry it every day.
First and most importantly, I have the red pocket notebook, lovingly referred to as "The Red Book" in our house. This is the master copy of all information of what goes on at our ranch during a certain year. We have at least 3 copies of this book each year--one each for me, my husband and the hired man. The Red Book contains information on every calf, including date of birth, sex, actual birth weight, sire and dam (daddy & mama) and notes on any calves I had to treat with medicine for any reason. In the calendar section in the back, I keep a record of what I do each day. If I put a bull in with cows, or get him out of a group of cows, I write it down on the date I did it. If a cow is in heat, I write it down. I note the date of snowstorms and sunny days, broken water pipes and frozen livestock waterers, and the date that cattle were taken to a different location. This book is not the final storehouse for this information, as it must be put into the computer record keeping program on a regular basis, but it is easier to carry this book than the computer in my pocket.