Sunday, November 25, 2012

Well we have made it to Thanksgiving.  We sold the bred heifers in Philip last week.  They didn't sell too bad, judging from the fact most people are selling their herds down to match the hay stacks.  Lots of old cows selling through the sale barns.  The heifers were the lightest heifers we have ever sold at 888 pounds.  But, they never had a mouth full of green grass all season.

I have continued to haul manure every nice day all month.  I have hauled away two big piles of composting manure and am working on the last pile, which is the biggest and may take 7 days to haul away.

The cows and sheep are out grazing in the winter pastures.  We have been feeding lick barrels.  They are a cooked molasses and grain tub.  The tubs weigh about 250 pounds.  They cost about $0.40 a pound or $800 a ton.  We have ordered a load of cattle cake six weeks ago and am still waiting for delivery.  This cake would have the same amount of protein for about $366 a ton delivered.  Cake is a compressed grain mixture with vitamins and minerals.

Cows out grazing along creek.

Looking down on the creek and the cows grazing.  Tammy thinks it looks like they are eating dirt.  Actually there is good amount of grass available, just the quality is not very good.  Past years the water would come up in the creek in the fall and the water would start running and the cows could drink live water.  This year with is so dry there is no water in the creek so the cows have to drink at a tank.

Cows lounging around the water tank.  It is supposed to snow later today so the sky is overcast.

The sheep grazing in the distance.  Picture turned out pretty good for as far away as they were.  Maybe next week we will get cake in and start feeding them.  We will turn the bucks out soon.  Haven't quite decided when we want to start lambing, but will decide soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

We are getting the loose ends tied up and getting ready for a change in the weather that can come at any time now.  The lambs are sold, the calves are sold.  The heifer calves are weaned.  The bull calves are weaned and the other day we hauled them to their new home for the winter.

The boys have now a life of leisure in their new home.  They will eat and sleep and play.

Ryan sorted off his heifer calves and took them down to his place to winter them.  He has put together a nice set of heifer calves.  He will be able to sell  off his black ones and just keep red heifers to work toward a total red herd.  Then we sorted off my cows that have wintered with his cows for the last few years.   We hauled my cows over to the Fairpoint place, so Ryan will have just his cows at his place.  Since we sold half of the ewe flock we will have to make the lack of income from those ewes up some way so we will increase cow numbers.

Last Monday I went to Torrington, WY and bought a semi load of red stock cows.  Most of them are what are called solid mouth.  Meaning they have all their teeth but the teeth are getting short from wear.  They should be about eight years old.  Cows are normally in our area productive to about ten to twelve years old. We have had cows that get to be sixteen to seventeen years old, but this is unusual.

The weather has been nice for this time of year and I have had time to work on my manure spreader.  It has been several years since I have been able to use it because it was broke down.  We have make manure piles in several locations around the place.  I got started hauling manure.

Now our fields will have organic fertilizer spread on them.  We don't fertilize with commercial fertilizer.  Now we need some rain to dissolve the organic material and let it break down into the soil.  Last week we had 0.30" of rain.  The first rain since July 24.  Now the long range forecasters are thinking the chance is getting good to have another dry year next year.

The big news in our neighbor hood have been the land sales.  Ten days ago the place just south across the fence sold to the lottery kid for $402.  The place had over 12000 acres of all pasture.  Our well waters this place.  There is very little water left any place.  If next year is dry more pipelines will have to be layed out.
This week there was 1200 acres of pasture next to us that sold for $447 per acre.  This place hadn't been grazed for two years because there was no water on it.  It still has no water and has limited access. It is five miles from the nearest county road.