We have had some 50 degree days which really put us in the mood for spring. Toni and Dad have been working on prioritizing the fencing projects (which never end) as well as working on fence here and there. We really like the no climb mesh horse fence that is tall enough they can’t go over the top of it. The problem with this fencing is the cost. There are lots of posts to keep this type of fencing up and tight, every ten feet, with wood posts after every three t-posts. So putting up this type of fence is pretty labor intense. Especially compared to a barbed wire or hot fence. We are slowly trying to get either this type of fence up in all of the horse areas, wood pole fence, or panels for our entire permanent fence. We also use hot wire and barbed wire, but try not to use barbed wire in the horse areas. As everyone already knows, we also have quite a few stallions, so having really tough fence up PRIOR to the beginning of breeding season is a priority. Currently Toni and Dad are working on replacing the perimeter fence on Double’s pen as the first priority project. Toni and the boys have also taken down some barbed wire and replaced it with panels in a high traffic area pen where we keep the young stallions.
The stallions are also starting to feel like it is spring and are becoming rascals. We are really watching to make sure that the young three, Bishop, Sagebug, and Reed can continue to co-habitate. We may need to separate them soon. We also have Double in with Smokey and Whim. Double always does great with the foals, but at some point he may decide they are no longer foals and are young studs, so again, we are keeping an eye on that pen. We are also watching our mares start to really round out and look like broodmares.
We have finished our first round of AI calves. Our conception percentage was lower than normal. There are lots of factors that go into conception, and we were still within what is considered the normal range for the industry. However, it is disappointing to us. Our second group will start to calve soon. We are also getting natural calves right now. We will start AIing in about 45 days, so we are sorting through bulls and looking at semen that is available. We are very picky, and with four people having an opinion, the process can take a while! We did order some semen today though on a bull we bred to our heifers and have liked the calves out of. These calves really have vigor when they are born, they jump up and start nursing.
On a personal note, the last few weeks have been pretty rough. Great Grandma took a turn for the worse right around New Years. We flew Uncle Manny (her son) down from Alaska the first week of January. He has been here with us as we have all taken turns being with her and trying to make her last days the best that we could. Hospice was called in to help manager her pain. GG left us January 13, 2018. We have been very busy getting all of the details lined out for the service scheduled January 19, her obit, the memorial, etc. Per the norm, our family really steps up and everyone pitches in and helps out when something like this occurs. For anyone that knew her, a graveside service will be in Endicott on Friday at 10 followed by a get together in Lacrosse at noon with a meal, talking, and sharing stories. This is a sad time for us, but in reality, we had 7 bonus years with her. She took a nasty fall 7 years ago and we didn’t think she would make it then. She did, which has enabled our children to get to know her better and to hear her stories and know our family history. Having someone like her in our lives is irreplaceable. We are so thankful that we had the years with her that we had. Here is a link to her obituary: http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=4540097&fh_id=13165