Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Grass is green

The grass looks green and lush right now.  Been doing some farming between showers.  Got the forage sorghum planted a couple of weeks ago and it is coming up.  Decided to plant another thirty acres of millet in a field that was supposed to be alfalfa, but must have died during last years drought.

We brought the cows in to brand and vaccinate the calves.  Looks really green.


Our neighbor Joe came over to help us brand.  We have a herd in transition.  There are calve born in February, March, April, May and June.  Next year they will be born in April and May for a more uniform set of calves.

Tammy does the casterating with the mother cows await their babies to return.  There was lots of bull calves in this herd.  Don't know the exact numbers, but must have been pushing 70%.  Really unusual, more often it is closer to 50/50.  Half bulls and half heifers.

We moved some of Ryan's cows to a different pasture.  The grass in the road ditch is really tall.  The pasture grasses are good and thick, just not as tall as some years.


The water situation in this pasture is rather bleak.  This is a picture on the dam.  Normally this picture would be all water, starting from my toes to way across.  About a foot of water in the very bottom.  Fortunately there is a hydrant so we moved a tank in.

The other day Ryan was going past his mail box and caught two unusual visitors passing through.  He was able to get their picture on his phone.

It is a picture of two cow elk.  At least they don't have antlers.  While it is not uncommon to see elk passing though, seldom do you get a picture as they are usually on the move.  About every year sometime one of us will see an elk somewhere out here.  Usually it is young bulls looking for new territory.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The last two weeks of May we got 4.36" of rain.  Everything got soaked up good and we had real mud for the first time in a couple of years.  We had lambs that needed docked and turned out to pasture.  The weather stayed so wet and cool and damp that we just turned them out without being docked.  Something that hasn't happened on this place.  We were down to 4 bales of good sheep hay left when we finally quit feeding.


Here Tammy and I are trying to lead the grandkids through the mud so we can chase ewes and lambs to pasture.

Logan and I chasing pairs through the water and ruts to get to pasture.


Here Ryan and Kole (age 1 yr 6mos) hold the ewes up till they find their lamb.  Or the lamb finds the ewe.  The ewes get on fresh pasture and like to just run and eat fresh grass as fast as they can and forget their lamb.  So Ryan got in front of them and held them up till the lambs found their mothers.

Then on cool day that was dry and was supposed to not rain we got the big bunch of ewes and lambs in and docked them. The kids and neighbor kids are the lamb catchers and the holders hold the lambs while their tails are cut off and casterated.  Then lastly I put our brand on them, which is a big red B on the shoulder.  In this video Tammy is using a Burdizzio to pre-crush the tail to cut down on bleeding of the bigger lambs.

video
 




Ryan got his cows syncronized and bred last week .  We moved his cows to summer pasture.  Then today we sorted our cows and put bulls with them and got them taken to summer pastures.  Water is low in all pastures.  One pasture we rent we will have to start pumping water right away.  We are lucky that we don't have to haul water, but still have to go down and start the gas engine and have it pump for and hour.



Normally the water should be up near the trees on the dam dyke.  Where I took the picture from I would be under water.  We do have a hydrant in this pasture, but still needs to be checked, so more daily chores.

Our well on the "gumbo" still continues to add pipelines.  One guy is hooking on this week and two more are talking about hooking on.