Kris and Diana Anderson own and operate Eagles Run Ranch, which currently consists of about 500
acres, owned and leased, in the Livermore Valley of California. Livermore is a noted wine growing
region and with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
As is common today, Diana works a day job and Kris tends to the cattle and stock infrastructure though Kris famously quotes "She's the breeder and I'm the feeder." As much as they
both try, it is hard to convince their six adult kids to help with roundups and calving (C'mon guys! Hay fever???). One would think that
rather than working out at the gym, the kids might like to throw around a few bales and muck a few
stalls. Amazingly, they politely decline. That's ok though, because Kris and Diana need the exercise.
In addition to the Murray Grey cattle, the ranch hosts a few working (but mostly non-working) horses,
herd guardian Komondors to keep the coyotes away, peacocks, wild turkeys and geese.
Our Livermore hills are steep, great for developing good musculature in the cattle but a
little tough on Kris' and Diana's legs and butts. There is always an adventure to keep excitment high
around the ranch.
One recent adventure involved a missing calf. Kris and Diana typically do a calf count when the calves are young, and one night
noticed that 260P was missing from the herd. So next morning at dawn, Diana went to hunt down this calf, figuring it may be standing
on the wrong side of a fence or something. Eventually, she found the mother with a bunch of other cow/calf pairs but no 260 in sight.
Diana started to worry that the calf might have died and that the mother had just given up on it. So she chased the mother a bit to see if she might lead
her to the calf, but the cow just kept circling around. Figuring that, if the calf was dead, its body would probably be close by, Diana started hunting around. Quite by accident, she came across a deep hole in the ground with a calf lying down in the bottom of the hole.
The hole was about 4 feet deep, 2-3 feet wide and 4 feet long. It had been caused by water erosion in a now summer-dry stream bed.
Fortunately, the calf was still alive, but couldn't get out or even peek over the lip of the hole. This called for more muscles than Diana
had, so Kris was summoned. He climbed into the hole and boosted the calf out. The freed calf promptly tried to nurse the nearest cow, eventually settling on her mother. She was very gaunt and dehydrated, but still strong. This was one of the happy adventures.