Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First calf of 2014

Well I guess March is going to come in like a lion.  Supposed to be cold and windy.  The beginning of February was in the minus -23 degree range then it got mild and into the 50's, even up to 64 in Rapid city. Now we have had 2-3 inches of snow and below 0 with predictions by the end of the week to be -10 to -15.
Last week Sturgis had its Ag and home show.  They had pens of bulls and heifers on display and junior livestock judging contest.  We took some lambs up to be judged in the contest.  It snowed four inches in Strugis during the contest so the kids had to feel and judge wet sheep..  The heifers and the bulls that they judged were all wet from the snow also.  There were even a pen of four goats to judge.

Monday it snowed and the wind blew hard and we had a ground blizzard most of the day.  The temperature stayed at about 8 degrees, so it was cold.  Tammy and I sorted off about ten heifers that we thought were close to calving.  We call them the "heavys", because they are heavy with calf.  We are not supposed to start calving until March 1.  We put them in the sheep barn.  We had to move sheep panels and troughs out of the way so the cattle don't break them.

Tammy checked them before she went to bed and I checked early in the morning around 4 AM.  Lo and behold I had a little "jewel".  A little heifer calf was born in the barn.  The wind had gone down so it was somewhat warm in the barn.

She is a nice little heifer calf that weighs just 55 pounds.  Mother and daughter are doing well.

The ladys-in-waiting.  The ones that are yet to calf, the heavys.

This picture was taken just before sun down.  It shows quite a few holes in our barn. The barn is not all that drafty.  A few warm bodies take the chill off.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another cold front

Another arctic cold front has descended upon us.  This morning it was -13 degrees. It is supposed to be colder tomorrow morning.  We fed cake to the heifers and the cows were scattered in bunches to be in the shelter and were warming themselves in the sun and didn't care if they came for cake.  Tractor didn't want to start so we went to gather eggs before they froze.  Out of four eggs, three had frozen before we got there.

Then we went to the house while the battery charged on the tractor and the engine heater had a little more time to warm the cold engine.  I tried it in an hour or so and it still didn't want to go.  So back to the house and an early lunch.  After lunch it had warmed to 3 above 0.  Then the tractor finally started.  I guess the battery is just getting weak.

Then I fed hay for the next two hours.  I fed extra bales to everything because of the cold weather and also I fed hay for tomorrow.  The tractor probably won't start and we want to go to the Stock Show in Rapid City.  Thursday is sheep day at the fairgrounds and Red Angus day at the Civic Center.  Tammy is making a ground lamb spread for people to try during the sheep shearing contest.  Last year there were shearers from the surrounding states and Canada.  Some came from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and New York.   It is good to see the many young shearers and some old guys that just want to compete to cross of their bucket list.  There were at least two young women entered last year.

I want to watch the Red Angus show and sale and visit with breeders and meet the new ones.  We used to show down there for around twenty years.  So it is fun to go and watch.