Hi, this community has helped me before, so I wanted to ask another couple of questions (I know this is not a "ranching forum," but people here have never had a problem with the types of questions I've asked.) I'm an author and my novel is only slightly ranching-related, but I need to have any ranching details be accurate, lest folks like you (and especially your kids) read something and say "Oh come on.....!" So, my questions are:
1) on an 8,000-acre ranch which mainly raises horses, but also has "some" cattle, pigs and chickens......how many full-time or part-time workers would be employed there? In the novel, the ranch belongs to a family for generations.....but I assume that's much more work than one family can handle......and that some long-time employees might be considered as almost "family?"
2) Do I assume correctly that a typical ranching family would be extremely self-reliant? As in, capable of fixing/repairing/maintaining pretty much anything? (equipment, tractors, engines, furniture, appliances, etc, etc.)?
Thanks for any feedback!
#1 - 8,000 acres is very small for a "large" operation. How many kids and what ages does this family have? How close are extended family and how many? Aunts, uncles, cousins can all be "hands" and only share in profit or get some stock as their share, rather than pay or cash money.
#2 - Yes, very much. I'm getting older, run only a few horses, and have 3 female helpers, part time, one works 5 days/week and the other 2 alternate weekends and cover if the main person needs a day off.
We had a small fire here last Monday. Started 3 farms away and by the time she ran to the door and told me & hubby that the fire was coming and we came running, our pasture (with the barn and all the horses in it) was on fire. We got out there and she & I got water on it and stopped it before it got to the barn, hubby evacuated the horses to a friend's place. By the time the FD got here, they put a lot of water down and put most of it out. We then used rakes and shovels and did the mop up and put the fire all the way out. It takes team work and everyone working and thinking as one to make it work.