Established in 1872, Mike and Sara Shields are fourth generation ranchers in the Wet Mountain Valley of Colorado.
in 1872, San Isabel Ranch has been home to four generations of our family. We
strive to combine quality genetics in the cattle we raise, dedicated land
stewardship, and disciplined animal handling practices.
Our hay enterprise supplies not only the cattle and horses at the ranch, but we are fortunate to offer quality horse hay to many customers on the Front Range and nearby areas.
The salt and mineral that is supplied to the cattle is strategically placed so that stream banks and riparian areas are not heavily impacted.
Every season must be balanced with the available forages and stage of production of the cattle.
We adjust the amount of protein provided in the vitamin/mineral package in concert with grass growth and availability. Especially in late Fall and Winter months, this is accomplished in three forms; free choice vitamin/mineral/salt, measured amounts of high protein Sunflower "cake", and supplemental hay.
We have the hay tested annually to ensure the proper balance of protein and energy availability in the winter months.
Early Spring management of calving cows requires careful watch for adequate energy, change in demands for mineral requirements and careful watch for nutritionally caused issues such as hypocalcemia. Those combined factors drive the amount and types of rations provided.
It is by far the most financially challenging business to provide for your family yet the most rewarding way of life. It takes total commitment with few days of "vacation" planned, or days off work throughout the year. The most daunting truth is that you are completely dependent God's provision as there are so many factors within this business completely out of your control. It requires visionary, long term planning for every stage of production, every season, every enterprise. This is a business that is your way of life and makes up the very "fabric" and character of who you are. It requires courage, a passion for the land and livestock, and a strong business and work ethic.
Mike, Sara and Brant Shields
The Shields family prides themselves in helping youth involved in agriculture.
Sara helps with various cattle shows in Colorado and ensures that the kids are safe in the showring.
Moving cows closer to home for the winter months is essential to keeping them safe and well fed during the cold Colorado winter.
Calf sleds are pulled behind the horses to bring newborns and mamas in during inclement weather. Calves are put in the sled to save the calf's energy because they don't travel well in their first few hours of life.
Checking calves after birth is essential to making sure they and their mamas are healthy. Tagging calves is a way of identifying and keeping records.