Sunday, April 29, 2012

Got some rain

We got a nice rain over the weekend.  About .85" that came nice and gentle all day Saturday.  We are hoping that we may at least have some grass to start the grazing season.  The day it was drizzleing we had ten ewes lamb in an hour and a half about noon.  That kept us hopping and filled our jockey pens.  We set up more jockey pens.  Now we have about eighty-one jockey pens.  Takes a long time to feed and water them twice a day.  From Thursday evening till Saturday evening we had 45 ewes lamb.  Our son Marshall came out and helped us lamb.  He took a turn night lambing as we cannot get all the sheep in the barn so we have to watch and put newborn lambs in the barn right away.

On a brighter note our calving has went well.  We are about half done here.

Here are some cows and calves.  I need to move them to a different pasture so we can put ewes and lambs in their pasture.  We have one cow that is 1/4 Hereford, 1/4 Longhorn and 1/2 Red Angus.  Her calf is out of a Red Angus bull.  The calf is a heifer and would be 3/4 Red Angus and 1/8 Hereford and Longhorn.  This is the outcome.

Can you believe it?  Almost pure white. Red ears and a few red spots.  The mother of the cow (grand-mother of the calf) was on this place for eighteen years.  A long time for most cows..  We just sold her last year. Longhorns are known for their long productive lives.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It was a hot day yesterday.  The ewes thought it was too hot to lamb, but they did anyway.  We must have had over twenty new mothers.  This was by far out biggest day this year.  Seth got his first chance to bring a new pair in to the jockey pens.  He did pretty good.  Then went out and brought some more in.
Today is supposed to be just as hot.  The shearer called and wants to shear the late lambers over at the other place.  You hate to say no to a shearer , so we will try to move panels and stuff over to the other place and still take care of the new mothers here.  It is a blessing to have good neighbors that will help us out of a tight spot.

Here is a new mother with twins.  She will be taken into the barn and the lamb's navels iodined, then placed in a jockey pen so they can mother-up.
Here is a ewe eating her pellets with her new born twins looking on.  We bed the pens with sawdust.  Saw dust is getting to be hard to find.  Saw dust is competing for wood pellets with the pellet stoves.  We got 80 bags of saw dust,but it took two trips to Belle Fouche to get them.

This is a neat picture that Tammy took of the inside of the barn.  It kind of shows jockey pens up close then pens that hold ten pairs then outside.  Sort of the flow through the barn.  It will probably be a will till I do this again, so I sign off.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring rain

We have had close to an inch of rain these last couple of days.  Things are muddy for the first time in a long time.  Saturday we got the cattle in here and sorted off the yearling heifers and steers from the cows to calf.  The yearlings went back into the pasture where they went over the hill and haven't been seen since.  I guess they are done eating hay for the year.  This is good. 

The cows went into a small pasture close to house.  I call it the milk cow pasture.  years ago the pasture would have held the milk cows.  They would have been close so they could be milked twice a day. Now we use the pasture holding the sheep close in bad weather and cows close when they calve.

Yesterday evening the first cow calved from this group.  It is a black cow with a black calf.  This is supposed to be a Red angus ranch so I took no picture of the new pair.  Maybe I will get a picture of the next ones.

The wind is howling and still raining off and on.  I was going to take some dry cows to Faith today to sell at tomorrows sale, but may wait for dryer weather tomorrow.

Tammy and Seth have been fixing the fence around the stack yards.  The fences have needed attention for several years.  Then we got the barn cleaned out.  It will dry out and we will re-bed the barn.  Re-bed is putting fresh straw in the barn so the new mothers have a nice bed to lay in.  So long until next time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring work

The month of March we got a grand total of .11" of rain.  So far in the month of April we got .15" of rain.  I have chiseled, which is ripping the ground to break up the compacted soil so it will take in more water when we get some.  Then you go over the ground with a disc, which smoothes the soil for planting seeds.  Today I started planting some oats.  We grow oats to harvest for grain or we can cut it for hay.  How the year goes for moisture will dictated what we do with the oats. 

The wind blew strong most every day last week.  Some days the wind blew 60 MPH.  Tammy has hired a young man from Union Center to help lamb, but we haven't started lambing so she and he  are fixing fence.  The wind has dried out every thing so far.. Tonight the weather radio said the relative humidity was 20%.  Pretty dry.

This a dam in the first pasture north of the house.  Note all of the white alkali around the edge of the water.  If we would do a TDS (total dissolvable solids) test the water would hardly be drinkable.  After the drought of 2001 to 2008 we have a water tester to test TDS. 

Ryan is calving the cows at the other place.  The weather has been sooo good for this project.  No scours, no wet weather, no mud to fight...  Tammy and I went over to help him sort off the cows left to calve so we could turn out the cows and calves into the pasture.  He has had (the cows have had) about four sets of twins.  This helps the calving percent as it seem you alway lose some calves no matter how vigilent you are.  The cows are thinking it is time to go out and graze.  There is not much green for as warm as it has been.  Hopefully the next time I write we will have had some rain!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Last Saturday we sheared our April 20 lambers. It was the last day of March and it was 83 degrees in Rapid City.  Set a record for the high for the day.  Maybe even a record for the warmest day in March ever.  We had five shearers and three wool handlers.

Sheep waiting their turn at the shearing floor.  It was almost too warm to have the sheep work well.

Walking the plank up the chute and into the shearing trailer.  Never timed the progress, but must have been at least two sheep per minute.  It really went well all things considered.

The shearing floor inside the trailer.  Some of the wool handlers.