Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Busy lambing

Our first lambs started coming Monday April 29.  The start date was May 1.  By then we had 6 ewes lambed.  They started out slow with 15 to 20 ewes lambing a day.  Then they increased to around 30 or more a day.  They kept up this pace for it seemed two weeks.  It has really kept us hopping.  The neighbor girl, Hope and daughter-in-law Shilo alternated days to help us during the week.  Grand-daughter Brooke started helping drag lambs to the barn.

The weather stayed warm.  One day it was 93 degrees.  We hadn't had any moisture, so things were looking bleak.  Our neighbor sold a fourth of his herd as pairs in Philip on May 14.  They had a big sale.  They started selling slaughter cows at 8:00AM and switched to pairs about noon.  I watched the sale on the computer during lunch time.  They were still selling pairs at 4:00 PM at break time. Then at 8:30 PM when we came in for supper they just finished grass cattle and started back on weigh-up cows.  The grass cattle should have gone to grass , but there is none so had to be sold.

Our heifers have been in a feedlot since last December.  As they get bigger now they are costing over $2.00 per day per head.  So we brought them home to eat what grass we have.  There is a little new grass and some old grass for them to eat.  The truck driver is from Vale and he thought we looked greener than they.
Still not much to look forward to if you are a heifer or anything else depending grass for a meal.

Here  the heifers are unloaded and getting accustomed to their new environment.

Then we squeezed our branding in there somewhere.  We branded ours in the morning and Ryan's in the afternoon.

Here are our calves that have been branded and are waiting to be turned back with the cows. Tammy went back over to the lambing barn to pen new mothers between branding the two bunches. It takes a while to eat dinner and get Ryan's cows in and calves sorted off, so she had time.

Then it was back to the lambing barn, where we spent the next two weeks.

Here is a new mother with her newborn lamb that is just minutes old.

Tammy had four classes from different schools in Rapid City that wanted to have a field trip to a farm.  She arranged to have one group go to the Cammack ranch at Union Center and one group go to the Snyder ranch near Sturgis and we took two groups on different days.  There was about 75 in a group.  One was a group of third graders and one was a group of fourth graders.

They arrived in two buses and are very excited. Tammy explains to a group about the jockey pens and what happens in that area.

Here I am with one of my groups intently waiting on a ewe to give birth to a lamb.  We waited and waited and she just wasn't ready to have her lamb so we had to move on.  Much to the disappointment of  our group.

As I close out this blog we have been getting rain for the last five days.  We have gotten about 1.80" of rain. So now for the first time this year we have a new problem - mud. But we are about done lambing and are ready to do something else.  There are about twenty ewes left to lamb.


  1. The students in my class had a wonderful time at your ranch! They are city kids so walking around in a lot was in itself interesting. There was so much to see and do while we were there. We are very grateful to all the people you brought in to give us presentations. We were thankful for your hospitality. We just wish you were closer to Rapid City but that was a good experience for them too. As I pointed out to my class, most people in SD have to drive many miles to get to the store or the doctor. Thanks again!

  2. Great post, Dalis! Glad to hear lambing went great and you got some rain! We got about an inch out of the system that came through here on Sunday. We're just getting ready for branding here and then trailing pairs out to summer grass. We'll have to haul some pairs to a pasture about 15 miles away, but we're waiting on our water guys to fix our well out there so we don't have to haul water everyday like we did last summer! Glad to hear you and your beautiful bride are doing great! Miss you guys!