Calving on the open range presents some unique challenges for cowboys, especially those finding dozens of new calves every day. Richard Roth, co-owner of the IX Ranch in Montana, provides his “open-range cowboys” surveyor tape and a permanent marker. When a calf needs to be taken inside to be warmed, the cowboys mark the location where the calf was born with the surveyor tape. The cow’s number from her ID tag is written on the tape, or if the ID tag is missing, a description of the cow and her brand are recorded on the tape. The same information is written on a separate piece of tape that is placed around the calf’s neck. Roth utilizes a portable calf warmer (see “Mobile calf warmer” on dairyherd.com) and says there may be 10 calves inside the warmer at any one time. The identification tape ensures that the cowboys deliver the correct calf back to its mother. “When we take the calf back to the location, 99 percent of the time the cow is right there waiting for her calf,” Roth says.