Tis the season for critters of all kinds.
But especially mice with cooler weather coming in.
A couple of weekends ago I cleaned/moved stuff in the barn. After aquiring some more show equipment I moved buckets, feed and pallets of hay around so that we could get our winter bales stacked in the barn. When I began I didn't even think about mice, but soon after moving square bales, they began to scatter. These must be tame mice, they just sat on the ledge watching me move around and rake up old hay and restack it all. I was highly disappointed in the cats that weekend, only to see they caught a few birds the next week. Hopefully we have a plan on taking care of the critters in the barn. I can just imagine coming around the corner and seeing Tana playing with one!!!!!
A few weeks ago I noticed an ad on a heifer, she looked nice. But we aren't exactly in the market to buy one, we'd like to buy a set or a few or a small herd if it was right. So after inquiring I found pictures of a couple more heifers only to find out one had been sold. We're back down to two. Only problem with these two hairy girls is that they live 14 hours away and with the weeks we've had, Ryan and I cannot get away for a trip like that right now. Several pieces had to fall into place just right.
Through contacts that I have I located a couple down the road from the girls that would be headed in this general direction. They agreed to haul the heifers down for us. Several things came up on the owners side and fell into place again perfectly. Ryan and I have bought truckloads of yearlings sight unseen, but have never done anything like this. With everything else taken into consideration, I'm thankful they've began their first leg of their journey and we get to meet them on Thursday and bring them home. Their future is unknown at the moment, they may become show heifers and they may just be additions to our herd. Either way it has been an adventure in locating, getting them hauled and setting it all up! I'll share more after we see them.
Like we do so often, we let the cows out in the yard to finish off what hasnt' been mowed in weeks. They'll get another trip in the yard tonight and then we'll be working on the last mowing session and picking up lots of hoses!!
Here are a few of them, they haven't seen green grass like this in years in the pasture, only the yard!
Below is my pick of the heifers, #11, she'll throw a Maintainer in 2013 and if it's half as good as this heifer, we might have to keep it! #11 was halterbroke as a just in case a couple years ago. She has the prettiest, most feminine head with tons of body!
Our beloved Flop, she's so photogenic. Who else can say they represent so many breeds all in the yard! And pssst, don't spread the word, but she's also bred to a full blood Maine, is the Maine world ready for a 'flipper'? We've already pre-named the calf!
Another cow with high hopes for the future. She has proved herself twice now with big, stout, fast-growing calves. She even throws some color. I dream every night about the smoky Maintainer she's going to produce for us. Gravy is a cow that could be a legend some day!
We found a critter in our hotel room, actually several, so we moved rooms. While telling the lady at the front desk that I found a four inch cockroach behind the toilet, she assures me they don't have roaches, they have water beetles. WHAT. And also with the changing season they have geckos that come in through the air conditioning vents. This wasn't a cheap hotel...and you want me to be okay with the fact that a roach/beetle or a lizard may happen to run across my arm in the middle of the night. No wonder we slept so good in our own beds last night!
Can you say like mother like daughter!!!!
On the left would be Cobb Hill's Sadie, age 14, the right is a five year old daughter. Next year we'll have four generations and a total of seven females that all relate back to Sadie. The only change is Sadie will be bred to a registered bull for the first time in years and we're hoping for one heck of a show heifer!!! In the mean time even the commercial cows are great performers and have a place to call home in our pasture for a very long time.
Last night while sitting on the couch, in the dark, watching tv...I saw something crawling across the floor:
I took care of it...this morning in the shower Tana found one of these:
I think it's time to spray!!!!!
While we were outside cooking burritos early Sunday morning...we let the girls out in the yard! They were in heaven. After planting new trees a few weekends ago, and watering the heck out of them...the grass around the trees is growing! The rest of the pasture is drying up though. I promise it does not all look like the yard!!
These little guys are too cute. They have the same sire and are out of a mother/daughter Brangus set. They will both be awesome Brangus/ABC calves!!!! Pretty laid back, just hang out with their moms all day!!
We have other critters, but I love getting in the pens with our cows and calves, growing heifers and steers!
These two are full sisters...and they have a third sister on the ground now that it is a few weeks old! Super excited to keep these bloodlines in our herd for many years to come.
Also see that the wheat from last weekend is officially gone. Not sure what we will plant next, but until the roping boxes and return alley are done...it's a field!
Just a few pictures!
Day 1 of halter breaking steers...got home from work, ran the steers through the alley and put halters on them to drag overnight. That's not always the way it is done, but the easiest when you have little time! After turning them out I caught one of them (to be know as the black calf), and just needed a reminder of what this was going to feel like. He gave up pretty easily. I let them sleep, besides it was now dark.
Day 2...I needed to release some stress...so I caught the steers. It took a while, I was too stubborn to get the showstick so I caught them by hand. Little brown steer didn't like it one bit, but he was the one who snuck out every night, crawled under three gates and went back to his momma. This would change. Once being tied he decided to fall down. I had to roll him over and get him up all the while think I hope this doesn't kill him or me! The black calf stood nicely, he will be a pet before long. The big calf that I call big boy is a little heavier and little harder for me to drag around. But he tied well and didn't fight. After 45 minutes I let them go. Every time I touch them I make sure I can rub my hand over their head. They can't pull back when I let go, I want them to stand still. They do kick a little, but heck we are on day 2!
Day 3...the day off, except I re-penned the brown calf and he didn't sleep, first night he hasn't crawled out.
Day 4...brown calf is not happy, but tired, so he was easy to catch and tie. The black calf is a pet, caught him, he led, stood, has figured this business out. Big boy is still a chore, just because he's big! But he led and tied well. I ran the showstick over them, scratched their bellies too. I either plan to halter break a calf right and know that they are gentle or can tell their next owners any vices they have, or I sell a calf without being touched. There just isn't anything in the middle, especially when they go to kids. Tana wanted to pet them, remember she's ready to show the babies!!! After being in the pen for a few minutes she realized they weren't that nice yet! Again once I was ready to let them go I made them let me touch them and they must stand still. I took their halters off, you could tell they were relieved. Brown calf joined the other two because Ryan spent several hours moving dirt so that he couldn't crawl out!!!
Day 5...not sure yet I haven't made it home! And they don't have halters on so I'll have to re-catch them!
A few bloopers!!!
She had an itch!!!
She wanted to know why I was watching...
She's cleaning out a nostril.
And she's trying to find more milk!!!
A good momma!!
Just to back up my comments yesterday about our registered and commercial herds shooting for the same goal...here are a few more pictures.
White #23 - showing lots of potential to look like her sister!
Her full sister - White #10 - she's a dandy!
Their momma - who has began 'springing' - which means she's showing signs of calving soon. If she throws a heifer calf for the third time we'll have a set of three full sisters!!
And then our Bextor daughter that we're very proud of!!!
First spring baby...a granddaughter of SB Demi!!!
Hello darlings! The reason I want to share a few of our 'critters' with you...is well, because we're super proud of the herd we are growing.
I've talked about this girl before, she's #11, but somehow managed to looser her ear tag. She was halterbroke just in case Tate wanted to show a heifer last year. She's 3/4 Angus 1/4 Brangus, a granddaughter of 'Sadie'. We have a whole herd of Sadie's daughters and granddaughters. This year Sadie will be bred back registered! #10, #11, #12 are girls we are proud to say we bred and raised, can't wait to see what their calves will look like!
This is a registered Angus heifer out of a set of Bradley cows we bought last year. She's fancy and just as thick as her brothers!
Have you ever seen ears this small?? I think Tana has teddy bears with bigger ears. This is a commercial 1/2 Angus and 1/2 who knows what. We call her mother Buffy because she looked like a little buffalo calf when we got her. This calf isn't as big boned as most the others we produce, but big hipped and fancy. I can't resist her ears!!!
There was cow down in the pasture this morning....so I do believe spring calving has started or is very close!! This will make the third set of calves out of our Angus bull 'Bubba'. He's been sold, but we're looking forward to three sets of full sisters!!!
The critter plan...we have many around the ranch, only a few have names, some are names we can't share. I actually re-named a cow this weekend while I chased her around a round bale feeder! Over the next few weeks I will introduce you to a few - the dogs, the puppies have grown, the barn cat, which we don't care for but he's the only one to survive this long, maybe a few of our new favorite heifers that we've bred and raised ourselves and a few head we plan to sell. Then we will begin calving season all over again. They all have a story! And yes we talk to them occasionally. We all have critters like that, but in the end, we know they have purpose, the cattle are raised for beef production, the dogs and horses are tools and provide services on the ranch, the cat eats mice so that they don't destroy the feed. More to come soon.
Just a few of the Angus calves on the ground now.
This spring we will have another set of commercial Angus and by 2013 we'll have a mixed herd of registered and commercial Angus, Brangus and Maine cattle! I've never been more excited to take on more bookkeeping and filing!
A trip to the vet this morning for a dog. Just another task that happens around the ranch, but it sure seems like we are doctoring several dogs, cows and ourselves right now!
Even though it just now feels like winter, these girls are just now getting fuzzy. Here are a few pictures!
One of our bull calves:
This girl likes having her picture taken and she should calve soon!
And yes I will walk away from the gator and let Tana talk to them...they are her friends. She tells the cows to come pet her! This one is just looking for feed!
A group of calves we weaned a week or so ago, we couldn't be more proud to raise our own heifers out. We have a great set of these weaned heifers, yearlings and now cows that we can say were born and raised on our place.
We are dry, have not much grass, except for the pasture we will turn in to in a few weeks. So when a cow that is used to hiding her baby has one in our pasture, what happens?
She hides him in the tallest weeds she can find. He was so cute, so still, Tana wanted to make sure he was alive!!!!
Hello darlin - I'll admit, this girl is no daisy!!! Her name is White #19 and a few other choice words..and this is what she looks like all the time! Thought you might want to meet another one of our family members! (Just kidding, our livestock are not treated as pets or family, but it seems like they get just as much of our time!)
So we're going to be proud parents soon - but not soon enough. I've been checking a set of girls every day, plus we will begin to monitor a set of first-calf heifers soon.
This girl is one of my favorites, probably because her momma is my only show heifer left in the herd. She's bred to our Angus bull and I can't wait to see what she throws!!
So we're still waiting, but I'll post pictures of the calves when they come...speaking of calves, we kept back a few heifers from our last calf crop and holy moly, they are nice!!!
A sneak peak...here's one of our cows a few weeks ago, she looks amazing today and we can't wait for her to calve soon!!!!
Need a Kleenex?
Here are a few more that might be selected for halter breaking! All of these, including the one on the home page with white and a big stout Brangus steer are amazing. We will be keeping all of the heifers out of this herd, just like we did last year. That is how much we think of them. Next year, you'll see full brothers and sisters to these as well as an increase in the Registered cattle we'll produce. These pictures were taken yesterday and the calves were born March-April.
This black calf is even better at this age than his sire was, no doubt going to be a stout calf.
This smokey calf is out of a smokey cow that won the Ochiltree County Livestock Heifer Show in 2010, she's a Hereford X Angus cow. No doubt she's a deep, moderate frame cow with lots of bone and thickness and this steer shows to be just as nice.
This red calf is out of a Hereford X Angus cross cow, which would actually make him 3/4 Angus. He's the biggest boned calf in the herd and I think he knows he's special!
We couldn't have hand picked a better combination between these cows and our bull. I'm pretty partial to the smokey cow, she and the dam of the red calf were a set that we purchased after the county show. A local ranch raised and showed them, they are future show steer mommas that I can't wait to AI to.
The mot faced calf from the home page is out of a moderate, deep, thick cow. She was a surprise and not only produced a great calf, she's turned out to be a great mother and the herd babysitter. She earned her place in the herd.
The Brangus steer that I don't have a picture of yet is big boned. He's the youngest of the group and in the growing stages. Out of our Sadie cow, he'll no doubt be as big hipped as she is.
So here's the before, give me some time and I'll have pictures of these boys cleaned up!
Below in the 8/30 post you'll find a few cows, turned out in our dried up pasture....and here they are again in the front yard!
We talk a lot about our dogs, but we couldn't have a better set of four dogs than these. Here are pictures of the puppies, Kitty is the tan Catahoula and Boss is the white Dogo! Notice that Tana drapes the rope over them, plays tug of war and gives them plenty of love.
After a traumatic fall that included this jar landing on my foot and shattering into a million pieces, we stresses this little booger out. Tried to place him in the grass for a full recovery and Tana pinched him again and said he needed to go in a gator ride and dropped him in the gator. Ryan walked out of the house and Tana says, daddy, frog in the gator. Ryan picked up the lifeless frog and threw him out!
Horses a few mornings ago:
Three of four sisters...waiting on the feed truck.
Cows that happy to be eating!
And one heck of a ranch dog!!! Bunk spent more time with us this weekend than ever, well, she was the house dog too before Tana was born, and now she's stepping up to baby sitter, she followed Tana all over the place this weekend.
Pink ears!!! All four dogs now have pink ears...because the biting flies are driving them nuts. The pink ointment will keep the flies away and help their ears heal!!!
Meet Boss (Argentino Dogo) and Miss Kitty (Catahoula) - fantastic puppies!
And when Bunk (Catahoula) sees Tana coming she pokes her nose through the kennel and waits for Tana to pet her. The dogs are all so sweet. Red isn't in the pictures, she was out with Ryan, we've been brushing on her a ton trying to get all the winter hair out. Plus every dog likes a little alone time!!!
We all have our favorites and I've always loved the cow this calf is out of. Meet Gravy's bull calf!
And I like him so much he gets two pictures today!
This is Bella's bull calf...not very sure why his is brown...
Flop doesn't get much attention but she's got a cute heifer!!!
This is Annie's heifer...with the grain elevators in the background!
And a whole group of them!
We love the calves, yes they all have special mommas, but they are so cute for just a short period!!!
This bull calf is either 3/4 Maine x 1/4 Angus or Full Maine. He's a good looking calf and we named him Cash..
Okay, so Clyde knows he gorgeous and a prized possession on the ranch...Bella's just nosey and wants to know why the heck we are always in the pasture taking pictures, and here are a few more:
This would be Gravy and her newborn baby...not sure what color to describe him as...maybe silver...and we really need help with a name. Yes he gets a number too, but odd/unique/special ones get names too! And no, we are not attached to them.
This was Bella, looking under the fence as Tana was standing in my shadow.
Meet Cash, the first baby born this season.
During our photo shoot, here were a few highlights...Bella appeared, as she always does. Not only is she our herd leader, she is head investigator too. Plus she was Tate's first heifer.
Clyde - can't say enough about this guy, he's a great horse and I think he's beginning to figure that out too.
And Hamburger...look how long his whiskers are!!!
Here's the heifer I've halter broke, she's super sweet...Sadie's granddaughter.
And below you will find our nut, she doesn't like people...
Below is Annie's heifer...Grandmother knows her mother...who was an orphan!!!
Below is the bull calf Ryan had to pull on Friday afternoon, sadly, we are expecting several more that we will have to pull this spring!!
And below is Hamburger. Tana wanted to help take this pictures. You can barely see his white eye brows in front of his left ear. They are four inches long. And so are his whiskers, I'll get a better photo later.
And here's the evil cat again. Tana's been chasing him around with a sorting stick...banging it on the ground like she's seen her mother do after chasing calves around the yard!!!
Clyde - we need three more horses just like him!!!!
One cute critter....meet Boss.
She could very easily become my third child. So very sweet and so loving with the kids!!!!
Who's peaking??? Tana always knows that there are animals on all sides of the the barns and she can't resist finding them. She spent some time in the pens with me this weekend and she has no fear to walk up to a cow and say moo and try to touch their nose. Thankfully they are all very gentle and love it when she feeds them extra pieces of cake!
The critters are cold!!!! I found six cats between alfalfa bales. I could feel the heat coming from them!!
There are lots of critters around our house...and I love taking pictures of them as much as the kids!!
"Bubba" the bottle fed bull who has produced a 100% rate of throwing heifers...will keep you updated on what happens this year!
"Red" an amzaingly sweet red border collie who loves attention, the kids and the cows.
"Who Knows" we have many barn cats, some we like, some we don't, some don't stay long and we now have a fat pack of coyotes...
"Miss Kitty" our youngest member, the one who reminded me who it wasn't smart to have a puppy and two year old at the same time!
"Bunk" is our three year old catahoula with a great personality and love for the kids. She is the boss dog, queen of the house when she gets to visit and very protective of the place!