As we anxiously await more foals, we are also fine tuning our 2021 breeding program.

Monday was much warmer, but was windy, like tie down your trampolines windy. We had heard we were going to get a Chinook wind to wipe out all the snow and mud. It was happening. The kids all had school so Toni checked cows. She reported it was a muddy mess from the snow melting. Our Braford cow, “Super Champ,” had a cute Braford Plus bull calf. Toni and the kids fed the mares in circle 5 and the desert and checked them. Then they did chores at the house, and locked in the mares that needed to go to the vet. Coco brought down a lemon blueberry cake, that was really good. And you know, everyone needs cake.  We called Skip to see how him and Rowdy were doing, they were getting along famously, Rowdy shared the bed with Skip and Skip took Rowdy to town to meet his friends.  I guess Skip just needed a dog.

Tuesday Toni took Cleo and Pepper in to get their teeth floated. Cleo and Pepper, the two that went to see Sheena Tuesday, had the best teeth so far. They also got blood pulled to see if they are going to foal this year. We also put a few of the old mares down on Tuesday. Foxy the mini mare also died on Tuesday, on her own, we did not put her down, but she was going to be. She was older and was going blind. She had been a great mini. So Tuesday was a hard day for everyone. But part of ranch life is doing what is right by the animals even if it is hard on the humans. Anna checked cows, the wind was  still blowing.

Wednesday Dr.  Wisse came out to semen check bulls. Anna went down and helped the kids get them in, Ben had to go to work first for a meeting. On Toni’s way down dad called to tell her that Frieda had foaled, so Toni turned around and went the other way and the kids got the bulls in and sorted. Of course, Freida did not have Chic in the shed, she had her out in the mud, so she was cold and had not nursed. So Toni, mom and dad all gave Chic some colostrum and put her in the shed.  Freida is one of those great mares that lets us mess with her foals and is pretty chill. However, not on the first day. The giving of the colostrum did not go well, but it did get done. Luckily no one got hurt, but it was close a couple of times. Everyone was SO excited that our first foal of 2021 is a grulla filly. What a great way to start off the foaling season. Then Toni had to run home for court. Ben, Anna, Kaine and Dr Wisse got the bulls semen checked and the two red heifers bangs vaccinated. The kids were great help and everything went really smooth. Then they did chores and called it a day.

Thursday was still windy, we had a light brushing of snow in the morning. Everyone had school so Toni checked the cows, we had two new calves. Our walk-in freezer was supposed to get there, so Kassandara, the neighbor girl, and her friend came down and sat the house and waited all day for it. It did not come. Toni had court all day, and in between Kayla brought out some Hereford bull semen. The freezer never showed up.  As a side note, our semen that we had ordered to use on Sunday also didn’t show up, so we are pretty thankful to Kayla for bringing us some Hereford semen.  We have some old stuff in the tank, but we want to move genetics forward, not back.

Friday morning Kade called from the bus, on a phone he had borrowed because his mean mom won’t let him have a cell phone, to tell us Roe foaled. I ran down there but it was Lola that foaled. So Jackpot now has 2 foals on the ground and gave us some fancy dun factor on both.  Lola had a really fancy red dun colt.  After we got done checking, Anna, Kaine, Toni and I pulled CIDRs on the cows and gave them their out shot. Then dad and Kaine went to Bryans to pick up meat, and took it too Diane’s, since we did not get our freezer. Anna and I went and met them there to unload it. Then we checked cows, fed the horses and went down to do chores.

Saturday Ben, Anna, Kaine and I gave the cows another shot. Then we got circle 2 in and sorted them to go out with bulls, then got circle 1 in, the show heifers etc. Toni and Kade went down to mom and dads and showed horses. Then Gary brought Kady for Anna to ride, and Toni and Anna rode her around a bit bareback. Kady hasn’t been ridden since last fall, but once a horse is broke, they are broke. She was a tiny bit jiggy at first, but she was also in a new area, bareback with strangers on her. We think she did awesome. Kicker went down to battle with the beaver and break down the dam.  Saturday seemed long, but Mom made us a three layer brownie cake with three different types of brownie and three different frostings, so it was all worth it.

Sunday we went out and checked the cows and made sure all of the cows had their calves. Then we sorted the cows into AI groups. Toni and Kade went and got Kady so Toni and Anna could ride her in with the cows to see how she did. Kicker and Jax showed up in time for lunch and then Mark got here to AI. Marlo also came to help. Ben and Marlo worked up front helping Mark, Toni, Kicker and the boys brought cows up. Jaxsen and I went out to checked cows and they were in the pen pond. So we used Riggs and got them out and then fixed the fence. We got back to the house and helped for a bit. Toni had her friends David and Kellie come out with their three year old son to see the cows. When we got done AIing, Marlo and I hauled the Hereford cows up to circle 1 with Scrat and Toni, Kicker, Ben, Anna, Kaine and Kade let the rest of the cows out.  Kady did really well in the corral. She doesn’t mind pushing cattle, but wasn’t a fan of sorting them out. That is just something that takes a bit of time. She did very well.  Anna was much more comfortable on her the second day. We are hoping they make a team. If not, both boys are waiting in the wings……

As we anxiously await more foals, we are also fine tuning our 2021 breeding program. The cattle piece is done. We have one more round of AI, bulls are out, things are moving forward. The horse piece is a touch more complicated, but we are getting there. One of the moving targets is how many outside mares we will breed. We try to limit to 10, currently we have about 8 coming in, 2 of which are already here. Translation- if you want to breed a mare to one of our studs, let us know sooner rather than later please. 

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