Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado Fire Relief

Posted March 20th, 2017 — Filed in Miscellaneous

Most of you reading this have heard (or experienced) the massive fires earlier this month. Several people have asked about ways they might contribute. Here are just a few links that you can use.

Low-stress Livestock Handling Clinic

Posted March 20th, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship

An Introductory and Intermediate-Level Clinic

When: April 27 & 28, 2017
Where: K Barr C Ranch. Burbank, Oklahoma.
Instructors: Dawn Hnatow and Whit Hibbard
Details and registration: dawnhnatow@me.com
Fee: $425/person includes lunch both days

Low-stress livestock handling has been shown to improve performance (i.e., weight gain, conception rates, milk yield, immune function and carcass quality), as well as efficiency, safety, animal welfare, and quality of life, all with no additional inputs!

This clinic will focus on answering three basic questions: (a) What is low-stress livestock handling?, (b) Why is it important?, and (c) How do we do it? It will cover the fundamentals (including mindset, attitude, “reading,” “working” and “preparing” animals), principles, techniques, and practical applications (including receiving, driving, gathering, weaning, riding for health, corral work, chute work, scale loading, and loading out).

Two Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship Schools Confirmed

Posted February 20th, 2017 — Filed in Calendar

We have two Bud Williams Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship schools confirmed and several more very close to being set up for the summer of 2017!

First we will put on a Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship School April 3-6, 2017 in Madison, FL. Read more here:


Next we will be in Edinburg, VA for another Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship School June 7-10, 2017. Read more here:


Additional schools we are putting the final touches on include Pendleton, Oregon this summer and Southern Alberta and Melfort, Saskatchewan in October.

Let us know if you have any questions about any of our schools or if you’d like us to bring a school to your area.

Tina and Richard of Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions

Wally Olson Marketing School

Posted January 30th, 2017 — Filed in Calendar

March 14-17 in Claremore, Oklahoma

You can contact Wally at:

100 Year Old Sourdough – Q & A

Posted January 13th, 2017 — Filed in Miscellaneous

So far I’ve sent over 50 sourdough starters to people who have asked for them, many who haven’t had any experience baking with yeast or sourdough.  I encourage anyone to write if they have questions.  Since most of the questions are probably of interest to others I decided to post them here.
Q… Thank you very much for the starter, I received it yesterday.  I followed your directions and got things started right away.  Like I said, I am a novice at this at best.  I haven’t seen a whole lot of bubbling but will check it tonight after work and see how it is going.  I am wondering about a lot of things but was wondering if I have more questions, can I ask you?
When you say covered – do you mean with a cloth or a lid loosely on a jar?  You said you drilled a small hole in a plastic lid – very small or relatively small, to release gasses?  When you feed the sourdough – do you do approximately what you had us start with – or a smaller amount?  I currently have it starting in a quart jar and I see you use a pint.

A… First off, RELAX ,   this starter has been around for 100 years and isn’t likely to die unless you poison it (with soda, baking powder or self-rising flour), or get it too hot.
Look at the sourdough through the side of your glass jar.  If you see tiny bubbles in the dough, things are going well.  I’ve kept a plastic bag, just like the one I mailed to you on my counter for the past two weeks, just to see how it would do.  Yesterday I put a spoonful of this into fresh flour and water and it bubbled up wonderfully.
Yes, cover with a cloth or loose lid to keep it clean.  It doesn’t take a very large hole to let gasses escape
I try to keep about 1/2 cup for starter.  When you feed it, discard all but about 1/4 cup and replace with enough flour and water to make 1/2 cup.
I suggest you put the discarded starter in a little bowl.  Add a pinch of salt, a little sugar, and a dab of butter.  Stir in enough flour until you can handle it.  Knead it for a few minutes and place it in an oven-safe cereal bowl (or a tuna can or. . .).  Cover and let it raise for two or three hours and bake it.  You have now made a little loaf of bread!  This is a good way towards building your confidence and learning how long, under your conditions, you need to let your bread raise.
Q… I usually try to avoid wheat flour since I am gluten intolerant, but do you know if gluten-free flour, like Buckwheat, Quinoa, Sorghum, or Coconut would work for the feedings?

A… They should work OK.  You might keep a little starter going with regular flour then experiment with the others.  Let me know how it works out.

Q…I have made one batch of biscuits.  They really weren’t too bad!  I am wondering about how much they raised or rather didn’t raise.  I started them as per the recipe in a big crock bowl which I set on the back of our wood pellet stove top.  It is just barely warm there.  At first the dough grew fast and then didn’t change for the next 4-5 hours.  I finally just added the other ingredients and put them on a cookie sheet on top of my cook stove with the oven turned to 200 degrees.  They didn’t double in size but did get bigger.  When baking they did grow some more.  They had very nice texture and we thought it was a fairly strong sourdough taste.  Should I have kept the dough warmer to start with?

A…No, I don’t think you needed to keep them warmer, maybe just let them raise a little longer before baking.  I’ve had problems sometimes putting them in a “warm” spot, not realizing it was too warm.
Sourdough bread will not be as light as yeast bread.  You will get the most “growth” immediately after feeding or adding the final ingredients for your recipe.  Unlike yeast bread don’t “punch it down” halfway through the raise period.  As soon as you add the final ingredients, make up the loaf or cinnamon rolls or  . . . , let raise then bake.


Comment from Canada…I’m happy to report that your starter arrived tired and cold about a week ago.  It came to life quickly with a bit of TLC and I made this bread a couple of days ago.  I was interested to see if the taste of the bread was different from that made from the starter I have.  The answer is yes, a little.  The biggest difference I discovered happened overnight.  I made a couple of batches of bread (two loaves with your starter and two loaves with mine) before I went to bed last night.  When I am not going to be around to put it in the oven, (or if its to late) I just leave the bread pans covered in the garage (which is heated but cool) and let it sit overnight.  By morning is usually has risen a little, and I bring them back in the kitchen to finish rising and then bake.  This morning when I went out to retrieve the bread my loaves were within about an inch of the top of the pan and your loaves were just starting to hang over the edge!  So, your starter is pretty lively!  I had to flatten it out again and let it rise and they are in the oven now — looking pretty tasty.          So thank you Eunice.  I’m having fun with this.

Comment from Texas…The bread is wonderful. It has a very rich sourdough taste and a great texture. The whole family loves it. I gave my sister-in-law a start from it this weekend. I’ll do my best to keep the starter going and share it around.

Comment from Oregon…I just wanted to let you know the starter arrived in great shape and I fed it and cooked up a big batch of Pancakes with it yesterday for supper. Everyone loved them and our youngest son (23 YO) took 3 pancakes to work the next day for lunch because he liked them so much. I just wanted to thank you for your generosity.
Another Comment from Texas… Thanks so much for the starter.  We had to be out of town so oldest daughter got first use.  Her family loved the pancakes she made.  Tonight I get fresh bread.  Thanks for your efforts.
Comment from Minnesota…Thank you very much for the sour dough.  WOW, we really enjoyed the pancakes from your sourdough.  We used spealt instead of wheat flour and had blueberry and banana in them but they were the best I have ever had.  I also greatly enjoy the French bread and corn bread recipe’s.   Thank you so much.

100 Year Old Sourdough

Posted January 3rd, 2017 — Filed in Miscellaneous

I’ve been a sourdough cook for over 60 years.  In 1961, L. R. Douglas DVM gave me an especially flavorful starter that his mother brought to California from South Dakota in 1917.  Dr. Doug was one of the first people who encouraged Bud to teach his livestock handling methods to others.

This starter has been to the Aleutian Islands and above the Arctic Circle in Alaska with me as well as to Oregon, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Nebraska, Kansas and Alberta, Canada. It has set on my counter in a lovely ceramic jug, and it has spent many nights in a plastic bag sharing a sleeping bag with Bud and me.

Since sourdough is just a collection of wild yeasts and bacteria that feed on carbohydrates, it is common practice to add a little sugar to the starter.  As Bud and I got older, my sourdough spent more time in the refrigerator and less time at room temperature where it could “work.”  Consequently, when I needed it to wake up and raise the biscuits, it was necessary to keep it at room temperature and feed it for several days in advance.

About this time we started reading about Kit Pharo and his philosophy of developing cattle that will produce on your place with little or no inputs.  I decided to put to put his concept to work with my sourdough.  No more sugar!  It has to get along on just flour and water.  Now, as soon as it warms up to room temperature it is ready to GO.  When you mix your final product which will have a little sugar and other things that these little bugs really like in it, it out produces any sourdough I have ever seen.

In celebration of its Centennial Year, I’ll be glad to share this starter with anyone who is interested.  Just send your mailing address along with $3.00 for postage.


Stocker Loss

Posted December 11th, 2016 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

After reading this post on Kit Pharo’s list I received permission from Doug Ferguson to post it to our website.

I buy several thousand a year. Typically buying a load or two every couple weeks. Most of these calves are weaned on the truck and have a 6 to 16 hour ride to get here.

Years ago I used to only buy them locally and had a death loss around 3% and a pull rate near 35%. Today on the long haul cattle I have a death loss near 1.5% and pull rate under 10%.

For me the biggest thing was attending a Bud Williams stockmanship school. It really changed my results

I talk to many large feedlot operators and pharma reps. They tell me that death rates are rising and pull rates are too. They tell me that some are experiencing 3.5% to 5% death loss. Pull rates can be near 80%! So sad.

The feedlot boys blame these problems on the cow calf guy.

I think we have wonderful drugs today. If a calf is pulled and treated in a timely manner they bounce back very quickly. One thing I always do if I have to pull one is to give it a Probios bolus. If it is not running a temp I may skip giving it a dose of antibiotic and just give it the Probios and that does the trick. Sweet deal when you can treat one for 50 cents instead of $30.

I am wondering about vaccines right now. I have noticed that when I use some of these combos available today that is seems to drag the calves down a bit, and they back off feed a couple days and that’s when my problems start. I am currently experimenting with dropping the pasturella from my protocol. I have noticed so far on 300 head that they didn’t back off feed, despite being dehorned, castrated, vaccinated, and branded, and I have only pulled seven.

Some time back in this discussion group there was a topic of buying wild cows in sale barns. If I recall correctly someone talked to the sale barn vet and asked him if cattle were getting wilder. I recall that the vet thought it was because people don’t spend time with their animals like they used to. After attending the stockmanship school years ago I think he nailed it. One of the reasons I think the results are getting worse in the feedlot phase is because they don’t have the man power, the time, or the skill/knowledge to deal with “high risk” cattle. I have had truck drivers unload here. They tell me before any of the calves walk off “Watchout! These things are nuts” That same driver will be back in a couple months and load out the same calves. They are always amazed at how much the calves have settled down.

I remember very well the first time I met Bud. He asked me why I was there, and what I wanted to learn from him. I told him I wanted to learn all about this low stress handling thing. What he said next was key, “Stress!? Why do you want to stress them? Low stress is still stress” At that moment I had a paradigm shift. I used to be like everyone else and thought the answer to the health problems was in the science and technology, we needed better drugs. Now I think the answer is how do you greet those calves when they walk off the truck, and how welcome do they feel the first few days. That sounds silly to people, but it is so much easier to make money when you keep them healthy and there is nothing silly about making money (except to the mainstream guys).

Doug Ferguson – SE Nebraska

Stockmanship in Hawaii!

Posted November 6th, 2016 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

Hi Eunice-

Susan and I completed a stockmanship school here in Maui for the Maui Cattlemen’s and for the Haleakala Ranch- 4 days of training. Riders from the Parker, Haleakala and other ranches attended (about 25). Greg Friel is the foreman at the Haleakala and is to be commended for his efforts to have the whole ranch (and neighboring ones) practicing good stockmanship.

His riders are doing a good job already and we took them through getting all the stock calm, driving and turning well and then thru placing and they did place a herd on two occasions successfully. They can’t do rotational grazing with electric fence the way they want because the axis deer wreck it so he wants the riders to place the stock. He has a crew now that can do it and in fact did do it. It was also a good lesson in how a few animals can prevent placing from working, as when Greg sorted off a few of the most sensitive ones, the riding crew got to see how cattle can handle so well when its done Bud’s way. It was really a pleasure to work with men so interested and dedicated to good stockmanship and the land and their animals.

Attached is a picture, Susan and I have never been to Hawaii and it has been a pleasure, a lot of work but a pleasure. The picture is Haleakala Ranch riders at the training. Hope you are well,

Steve and Susan Cote – Idaho

Steve and Susan Cote in Hawaii

Mastitis in Saskatchewan Dairy

Posted September 21st, 2016 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

As fall approaches and summer is ending this means the end of field work and more time to spend in the barns working with cattle. However until this point it has been a 6 week rat race of silaging, baling and hauling manure. Therefore the cows had been virtually left to fend for themselves on auto-pilot.

Last Wednesday I got back from a trip to Alberta, to our farm and started in the barn at 5am for morning chores. Where I found on our robotic dairy reports that 19 Cows either had mastitis or had a very good chance of contracting it, based off of their Somatic Cell Count (SCC) reports. With further investigation I found that 9 of these animals were showing physical signs of mastitis. When I asked dad about what was going on, he just shook his head and said that none of the cows were responding to treatments anymore and that he had basically given up on the situation.

I could obviously see the frustration and fatigue that my dad and the hired hand had, who had been in the barns for the last 6 weeks without reprieve. As fate would have it, on the way home from the previous trip I had the opportunity to talk to Eunice. We talked about a different subject all together than this, however there was one comment that stuck in my mind. We were discussing how sensitive animals were to our thoughts, mind sets, attitudes etc. And Eunice laid it out in about as black and white terms as I had ever heard it explained. She said, “Paul, of course they can read our minds, otherwise they’d all be dead.” Of course meaning if prey animals couldn’t tell what their predators were thinking. But that is everything right there in that statement. That’s how susceptible and sensitive they are to us.

Needless to say I gave the hired man the rest of the week off and sent mom and dad on a weekend vacation. I then did nothing else but go about my chores and picked one quality I liked about ever cow I came in contact with, while handling her or even while simply scraping stalls.

When dad and the hired man showed back up Monday our SCC report for the herd showed 2 cows with a low conductivity reading indicating a mild chance of contracting mastitis. These two animals were in fact the two cows with the worst physical symptoms 5 days earlier. I should also mention none of the 19 were treated with any medication, it was just a shift in mind sets and the best handling I knew how to apply.

Mastitis is just an infection and a healthy animal in a good environment should be able to fight that off on her own. But with the stress, fatigue and I’m sure, not the most proper handling that was been done by us the humans, before the time off, the cows simply couldn’t do it. I just tried to give them the opportunity. Many Thanks to Eunice!!

Getting Out of My Own Way

Posted September 13th, 2016 — Filed in Testimonials

My wife and I got into the cattle business about 6 years ago, more for the marketing and not so much the stockmanship at the time. Now it is for both. It is amazing how well both go hand in hand. It is incredible how much we have learned and continue to learn each day. Right when you think you have things figured out you find out you haven’t even scratched the surface. We learn stuff every day. We bought the low stress handling and livestock marketing methods hard drive a few years back. We have both watched it several times and as we do quite a bit of driving at times, we thought if we could just listen to it while driving it would be very helpful. So I plugged it into the USB media/player in my truck and much to my delight, there is about 2 hours of it that you can listen to. Now, I have probably listened to those same 2 hours over 15 times. Every time, and I do mean every time, we have each picked up on some thing new. It might not necessarily be the same things at the same time, which is also interesting, but that is another story.

Now, on to one of our learning experiences that happened this spring. I had a gentleman approach me about putting 100 head or so in our feed yard. He operates a feed yard and needed some extra space. With the way things were going, he didn’t want to turn any business away because he usually gets a little slower in the summer months. He hoped by doing this he would stay fuller for the slow times. I told him I wasn’t as interested in just dry lotting them, but I would like to experiment with some grass feeding and supplement feeding them. I didn’t have enough cattle for the amount of grass that I have, especially in the spring flush. I told him that I would monitor their weights fairly closely for him. So 100 head turned into 200 head fairly quickly. In early April 2016, we received the first 200 head, and weighed them 1 mile from the house on the truck as they came in. They only traveled 10 miles so that was no big deal. Upon arrival they were 5 & 6 weights. We worked with them and settled them down fairly good. Once again we got our stockmanship video out to brush up, wanting to do things especially right as they were not our calves. Right away he didn’t want me to turn them out. He was afraid they would run right through my fences. We worked with them, and after two days we put them out on grass for a short period of time at first. Each day we would bring them in and supplement feed them. We left them out more and more each day bringing them in each evening as he requested.

He told me he was hoping to put 1.8lbs on them a day. He was bringing his ration over in a semi belt truck and I was supplement feeding them from that mix. I assured him that I would weigh them so that he knew if something was going wrong with them. He said that his hired man would do the doctoring and he would pay for all the medicine. I told him that as long as I could do what I wanted with the cattle and was able to experiment, I would do it his way. I would do the first group of 100 and go from there to work out a price for my grass and that I would be more than fair because it was my experiment on his cattle.

During all this my scale broke so I could no longer weigh them at the yard, but the calves looked good and were feeling good except for one, so I wasn’t too worried. I had the one that was a little sick, so they came and doctored him, I told him that he had a little fever and that he was fine. I did not agree with their method of doctoring, which looking back was probably a double negative; the calf probably never had a chance with both of our attitudes. He ended up dying.

The hired man came and told me there was another one sick and that he needed to doctor it, I didn’t agree with him but he said his boss would get mad if it didn’t get it doctored. I told him that I would talk to his boss and that he had nothing to worry about. I called the boss and told him that if his steer died I would replace it and that every thing was fine. My wife did not like that we were guaranteeing this steer. The Boss eventually said that he didn’t know how he could loose on the guaranteed deal so that worked for him. We made sure that the calves were up and moving several times a day and that the steer wasn’t getting any worse. He was sick for a few days but held his own. Slowly he just started getting better. The hired man kept trying to tell me that he was sick. I told him that I was going to pull his tag out of his ear so that he didn’t know which one it was. I also told him to stop looking him sick cause he was going to make him sicker. The tag made it to easy for him to point him out. The calf eventually recovered, my wife was happy, the boss was happy and I was thrilled.

Any way, they were still nervous so they kept checking on me daily, which was fine. I was watching the calves and they looked and felt like a million dollars. They would buck and play and were happy calves. I had both groups out by now and leaving them out most of the day. Moving them around, changing pens and listening to Bud & Eunice’s tapes for extra support. One of the things that Bud says over and over in the videos is to get the calves up and move them 4 or 5 times a day, hoping that we will do it 2 or 3 times a day at least. This is one of the reasons that I think they gained so good and stayed so healthy. Just like Bud says each time you get them up, they eat, poop and move around. I would go check them in the heat of the day, bump them up and they would go to eating. Some times I would move them, some times I would just bump them up, the end result was that they would start eating.

Later on I had about 100 head that bedded down in the middle of a pasture about 2 pm in the afternoon on a hill top, the feedlot boss wanted to look at them and I told him to just drive over there in the middle of them. He said he didn’t want to disturb them or make them run off. I said just drive over there and look at them, and they will just get up and start eating. His feed guy was with us and we drove over in the truck and sat in the middle of them. The feed guy was saying that you need to get them up in the feed yards and that they are claiming that the calves are healthier. Its part of the “low stress stockmanship”. I didn’t say any thing just kind of smiled and looked at them. Then they started in on how they didn’t have enough time in the day to do all that. Then I couldn’t help myself. I said well, how much time did that take, what 2 minutes and they jumped up and started eating and I left it at that.

A couple of weeks later, I told him that I had cut back on his supplement feed because the calves were leaving too much left over and didn’t want to eat it. There was better feed in the field. He was a little concerned, so I told him to come on over get in the truck and we would go look at them. If he saw some thing he wanted to change we would change it. He couldn’t see where they needed any more feed and I was telling him that if I feed them more they just nibbled and picked around and didn’t clean it up. He was worried that they were not gaining like he needed them to but they looked great. I also told him that a muscled up healthy calf hides his weight more than one just sitting around, in my opinion. He just kind of shook his head. I told him that Bud told me that the conversion rate on a healthy active calf was as good as you can get, as far as the amount of feed to weight gained ratio. He told me he didn’t know if he agreed with that, but he didn’t think it hurt them by any means. Whatever we were doing seemed to be working alright.

We were sitting in the truck and my wife and daughter were bringing the calves down off a big hill into the feedlot, we did this cause it made him happy to have them penned up over night. I told him that I probably should not let him watch the girls bring them in cause they were going to come off that hill bucking and jumping and running 100 miles an hour. Sure enough they did. He just shook his head while watching them come down the hill.

To make a long story short, by doing what Bud & Eunice taught us to do, and listening to the DVD, we had weight gains on one group of 2.9 lbs per day and 3.1 lbs per day on the second group for 60 days in the spring in Iowa. I’m sure this is not unheard for good grass in the spring, I would go for times when I didn’t supplement them at all. We ended up doing close to 400 head, and he let me do what ever I wanted to do. The lowest gaining group was heifers at 2.7 lbs per day and that took us through July. He sold them all right around 900lbs and said that he had done better with those than any other pen of calves that he had. They were shocked that we could drive right through the middle of them and leave gates open and every thing else. It just blew their mind how easy they were to work with. We are sure that we didn’t do every thing right but by messing with them 2 or 3 times a day and bumping them up all the right things we did definitely out WEIGHED the wrong. Bud once made a comment about, As long as you were doing some thing even if it was wrong, it was better than not doing any thing at all. How else can you learn? Boy how right he is once again.

In the last load of heifers they brought, there was about 75 of them and the hired guy told me, well, we will see if you can calm these down like you did all the rest of them and then he laughed. They ended up just like all the rest, easy to work with, nice handling calves.

In one of the first groups that they took back home, they had one get out through the bunk. They walked it back in and asked us if we had a pet because of how easy it was to walk right back into the pen. I told them we didn’t have any pets and that they should be able to walk any of them right back in. Granted that this is coming from the same guy that five years ago ran one heifer through or over four fences. Boy, how things have changed. I still haven’t scratched the surface, I am still learning.

Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from the gentlemen that has the feed yard, but he also knows who Bud & Eunice Williams are and what they are all about. We are now good friends who enjoy each others company and enjoy learning from each other.

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