Lucky for us we have an easy halter breaking group; I guess we decided we needed an easy group for Christmas. Charlie was our AI baby, and we started halter breaking her as a foal. And Stunner’s dam, Stinger, was AIed this year, so she was in all year as well. Both of them are very tame, however, sometimes that does not make the halter breaking easier. Charlie’s first day haltered this time around was for our annual Christmas picture. Kaine held Charlie, Kade held DynaMight and Anna held Smokey.
We all had a great Christmas, we spend Christmas Eve with our Bennett cousins were we have a White Elephant Gift Exchange and soup. Christmas Day we get up early to open presents at mom and dads and then Ton, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen head up to Clarkston for Christmas with the Meacham’s. Ben, Anna, Kaine and I stay home with mom and dad. We had smoked ham, mashed potatoes, 4 pies, rolls, etc. It was great!
One of the Jersey calves, Escoe, got a mother, Kade’s cow Bayley lost her calf. So we went to the dairy to get a new one to replace Escoe and instead we brought home three. The new three are Luis, Otto, and Otslee. The kids are still doing a great job feeding them.
We lost our beloved Peppy yesterday; at least she died in her sleep so we don’t have to make a decision about putting her down. She would have been 23 in 2018. She is the mother to our Friday, Nugget, and Whitty. She is the mother to KT up at the Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. And she has a colt with Rachael Hamby at Busy Bee. This was one fantastic mare that can’t be replaced. We met Jennifer this year that bought Ellie (now Pearl), and she also has a Peppy daughter. We want to thank Dan and Rusanne Wagner for letting us have the opportunity to own her for the past years. Owning older mares has many rewards, but also is heartbreaking. As we look around the ranch, it is clear that our time is limited with many of our mares, 9 more mares range in age between 21-32.
The poor kids have all been sick over their Christmas holiday, first Anna and Kade (I do not remember who was first), then Kaine, and Jaxsen was the last man standing and fell the hardest. Poor little guy was sick right over Christmas.
We have slowed down calving for a few days. We are at the tail end of our first AI group and will start with our second group soon. We do have an awesome Hereford bull calf by Top Shelf that we are excited about. We have some really nice Angus bull calves by a couple of different bulls as well. We sold our Angus bred heifers this week so we just have the coming yearling heifers left to sell and some commercial bred heifers. It is always a good feeling when we have one person take the whole group because all of the heifers were good. We try hard to be very selective on what we sell as replacements.
We heard last night that one of our friends that had a stocker calf out of Rocky was told by their butcher that it was one of the best the butcher has ever seen. Toni was quick to point out that good carcass quality depends highly on good genetics. Another friend, Steve that buys calves from us to feed out said the same thing. He has been feeding calves from us for a few years now and is very interested in carcass data. Steve has been feeding stockers for many years and has experimented with many different breeds; he really likes how our calves feed out.
We are getting low on cats so a Facebook friend said she had too many so I offered to go and get some. It was quite the experience. They were all lying on a dog bed on the front porch so I thought they were tameish. She said they were kind of wild, but I thought she was over exaggerating. So I grabbed the first big black one and it latched onto my middle finger on my left hand, I had to pull it off with my right. I instructed Kaine to open the crate and we put it in. I am now bleeding all over, so I put on some gloves (way to do it after the fact I know). So I go back for the next one and grab another big black one. It latches onto my right index finger, I say, “CRAP IT WENT THROUGH MY GLOVE,” Kaine jerked the crate gate open and I placed it in. Next we caught 3 little kittens, but the rest of the cats had taken off from the yowling of the first 2. So we only came home with 5.