Sunday Preparation

Tuesday morning is the day for mustering the cattle, so I’m down to the wire to get prepared.  This morning, I’ve hauled up and unrolled four more bales of hay for the cows to chew on while they wait overnight for the muster into the corral.  I walked up through the sheep and found a baby lamb bound up in the electric woven wire fence – dead of course and shorting out my fence.  Plus, there was a dead ewe right at the edge of the pond!  Who knows what the matter was with that – she was not stuck in the mud – just dead.  So both of those animals were pulled away from those areas.

I’m grinding numbers into the Ritchie ear tags for the older and bigger replacement heifer calves while the younger and smaller ones will have smaller Z-tag calf tags.  These will number 400-499.  All replacement heifer numbers start with 400 because the calves were born in 2014.  These tags will hopefully stay in their ears for their lifetimes, this way I know how old they are.

When my corral was expanded, one of the gates was not finished with a hook, so I did that this morning.  Didn’t take long and sometimes it’s those little things that really make a job go more smoothly.tannachton farm misc 008

Once a few electrifiable tapes and netting were in place, the cows and calves are moved forward towards the corral.  Tomorrow, I’ll move them in even closer.

Well, what actually happened was that my Gator jammed between gears and I was stuck!  Thankfully, Allen had time to come up and rescue me.  He rocked the Gator while I tried changing the gears – it finally gave and I was able drop it into neutral so it would start.  It even moved into forward although stiffly.  While I was waiting on Allen, I walked over the hill and opened the gate and called the cows – they’ll just have to find their way at their leisure and I’ll make sure they are moved forward tomorrow.

Once, the small generator is tracked down, fuel changed, and it is running good, then I’ll be back to making ear tags.  Should be ready for Tuesday morning.

But, this afternoon, we’ll be enjoying surprise birthday parties for my uncle and cousin!



Next Day – Friday

Slow start today – I’m tired.  Once early lamb feeding of 8 lambs are done, I got the bread started.  Put too much buckwheat flour in and it was horribly sticky.  So nix making burger buns and made 2 loaves instead.  The bones that were saved from the sirloin steak used in stir fry earlier this week were cooked down and I pulled off the bits of meat.  Added additional broth from the chuck roast I’d made Wednesday, threw in the only fresh veggies I have left in the house – onions and celery.

So while the bread is rising, I managed to get all the house vacuumed and it sorely needed it.  The cats are shedding and little tufts of hair were in every nook and cranny.  I just can’t stand that!  Of course the cats could stay outside, but they like to come in often at night because the dogs are out and they don’t get along very well.

After a bit of an early lunch, Dallas and I loaded our brush clearing and fire starting supplies.  We hooked onto the little ATV trailer and pulled it with the Gator to the seed plant.  Before heading north to my farm, we set up the ladder and I climbed up to prune as high as I could with chainsaw a few errant branches of an old apple tree.  It hadn’t been pruned for at least 20 years.  There is a bit more fine tuning that Dallas will finish.  We left the trailer in the yard next to the tree for him to pick up the branches.  I’ll probably cut them in small bits to use for grilling.  Apple wood imparts a nice aroma.

The 35 minute trip to my farm was uneventful, but when we arrived, we saw a baby lamb outside the electric netting.  Hoping to catch him and throw him back over was wishful thinking on my part.  That little bugger had plenty of spunk for such a newbie.  He ran at full tilt down the hill, then scrambled through the barbed wire perimeter fence, down the bank and through a small ditch, then up the road bank and across the highway!  Thankfully, he bogged down in the tall grass  and I was able to nab him.  Little bugger.  I hooked him up and packed back.  Not wanting him to get out again.  I walked to the middle of the sheep paddock and left him.  Hopefully, his mum will find him.  However, since he is a triplet, she may have already abandoned him.

Dallas and I spent the next 3 hours building fires and cutting downed trees down to packable size.  We made good progress, but still only 2/3rds done with this project.  Still hope to finish this winter, but the 20th is fast approaching and I have a lot of stuff going on right now.

Before heading home, we reconfigured a bit of perimeter fence so I could electrify it.  Then once I found the short, it was hot.  Sure doesn’t usually work that easily!

Back home – fed all the lambs – showered – relaxing!

Be glad when these buggers are weaned onto creep feed!  They just about knock me over now.
Be glad when these buggers are weaned onto creep feed! They just about knock me over now. Feeding five at a time.

Shabbat Shalom!


Next Day – Thursday

This morning, after chores, Dallas and I were to deliver clover seed to New Cambria Sale Barn.  The buyer couldn’t meet us at the predetermined time, however, so we were to just leave it there and he would pick it up later.  He had left the check with the lady who runs the sale barn cafe.  About a 35 minute drive over, so didn’t take long and I had a nice ride with my son.

Took a bit of time to prune landscaping.  Dallas has been pruning his grandpa’s cherry and apple trees.

Ashes 'helping.'
Ashes ‘helping.’

Early this morning, I had started making 6 lbs of sloppy joes and a batch of deviled eggs for the firemen’s meeting tonight. However, Allen received a text that said Alex would bring lasagna.  Hooray!  Nevertheless, I finished the batch and we’ll enjoy sloppy joes for a while, then I’ll freeze the rest for later.  The deviled eggs are quickly disappearing already.

After a stop at Orscheln’s to purchase more lamb milk replacer (will be glad when they are weaned onto creep feed!), we arrived

Ashes spying Midnight
Ashes spying Midnight
And finally, they had to start fighting.
And finally, they had to start fighting.

home in time to warm up lunch, then I headed up to the farm.  Odds and ends maintenance and repair on fence, water, taking out mineral to both cattle and sheep.  Also, made some plans to modify the corral in the shearing shed and gathered a few materials for that as well as doing some measuring.  Got home about 8pm.



The Next Day – Wednesday

Today, my main goal is to broadcast my pasture seed mix on paddock #25, also known locally as Shark Goin’s hill.  I had already been feeding unrolled hay to the cows, so the 10 acres is nicely fertilised naturally.  I took Red, my Australian Shepherd pup with us because he hadn’t been able to go with us for a long time.  Now that it has warmed up and he has a little more age on him, it’s time to get serious with training. Dallas and I headed north with the 4-wheeler, trailer, seed, and pickup to pull it all.  After unloading the 4-wheeler and seed and Red, Dallas went on up north and around on Cotton Drive by Morris Chapel Cemetery to start weed eating under the electrified woven wire perimeter fence.

It only took me about an hour to seed 10 acres with 225 lbs of mixed seed, refilling five times.  Red stayed with the bags of seed and was extremely bored, but he patiently waited.  Now that I am finished, it was time to see if Red would load and ride on the back of the 4-wheeler.  He needed help getting on, but he’ll soon learn.  At first he was a bit nervous riding, but he settled right into it and seemed to not mind at all.  We only rode about half a mile and I drove slowly just in case he got spooked and tried to jump off.  When we drew closer to the sheep, he got mighty fidgety and then jumped off as I turned the corner from Hwy Y to Cotton Road.  Boy, he went rolling despite our slow speed.  I corrected him harshly and put him back on the 4-wheeler.  He never jumped off again.

Since Dallas wasn’t finished, I drove in and rolled up six more electrified nettings and took them back to the top of the cattle race.  I store them up high so no wildlife can get caught up in them.  Since I don’t want Red to get into the habit of trailing along vehicles on the road, I loaded him each time.  By this time, he was getting tired and actually seemed to enjoy the easy going of motorised transport!    He jumped off once when  I stopped to open the gate, but again, I immediately corrected him and told him to stay and he didn’t mess up again the rest of the day.  Red Wolf is a quick learner.

Both Dallas and I were getting pretty thirsty after a couple more hours, so we headed back home after loading the four-wheeler.  Red rides up front of the pickup in the passenger floorboard for now, but I’ll soon train him to ride on the flatbed now that it is warm.

The three new lambs are good sleepers.  They only need feeding once in the night!  At first I was concerned, but they are fine – I’m enjoying the sleep.