The weather was nice in the morning, we had a little rain and some much-needed moisture. The Sand hill cranes are around, which to us means it is spring. Toni checked the cows in the morning, no new calves when she checked. Mom made the kids chocolate bread pudding for their after-school snack, I am saying she made it for the kids because Toni and I basically got a mouth full. They said they were helping us with our diets by eating it all. Anna went home to start the show cow chores and check the cows our last heifer calved, 025, Toni’s heifer. The boys and Toni did the horse chores and then everyone except Jaxsen went out to build fence, I got there in time to put one T post in the ground, my timing was impeccable. The men fed the cows, we have more pens to feed right now, with an AI pen, the Angus pen and the Hereford pen. We have three bulls out with the Angus cows and Bullwinkle out with the Hereford cows. Bullwinkle has been a bit wilder than we expected, so no one should plan to walk out and pet him in the field. He isn’t mean, but he will run off. Luckily we still have Rocky for anyone that needs to pet a bull.
A little more rain Tuesday morning. I went to the Cowpath Bakery on my way to work to get dessert for a retirement lunch party. We had a great lunch. Chores got done, fence got built. We have Glo, our NZ Scotch Time filly out of Mil in to get halter broke right now. We LOVE her. She is calm, but shows some cattiness. She chases the donkey, so we can see the cow in her. She is pretty much what we like. Calm, smart, but the spark is there. And we really liked working with Codi when we went to breed to NZ Scotch Time (Rip). They have been great to work with and have remained in contact. Toni, Kade and Jaxsen had a YQCOA class Tuesday night. Anna and Kaine wend and took care of the show animals. The men fed the cows.
Wednesday we were a little shorthanded so it was divide and conquer. Toni, Kade and Jaxsen worked on the fence a little after chores, and then went up and helped do cow chores. Anna and Kaine worked on the show cattle chores until Kade got there to help. We still have Glo in, and just keep working on her everyday. She was already ready for outside walks to see stuff by her second day with a halter on. Mom made orange rolls, and they were really good. And when I say she made them, she makes everything, the orange curd, the dough, the whole deal. They are great.
Thursday we FINALLY had a foal, a fancy colt out of Fancy and by Tank. We are VERY excited about this cross. We are trying to decide on a fancy name for him, I like KT Fancy Like. Dad thinks that is too girly. Toni is just calling him Mini Tank. He pretty much has Fancy’s markings and Tank’s personality. He was a friendly little guy from the beginning. Lots of chrome, so really exciting for our first foal for 2022 and our first Tank foal ever. Thursday night we had to get cows ready to sort on Friday morning. We brought the cows into the big run. This year we are doing one big AI, not 2 smaller ones. We have about 90 head of cows in to get done. The cows have to be at least 45 days after calving to be ready to breed, meaning just the early calving cows are in this group. All of the later calving cows go out with a bull and we don’t AI them. In the long run, doing this one time vs 2 times is better, but it is a lot of work to handle this many cows at once.
Friday Marlo, Toni and I pulled CIDRS in the morning and gave the cows their out shots. We then moved stuff around so the cows were not next to any bulls. Everyone went back to work after. Everyone did their normal chores, Toni, Marlo and the boys continued to build fence.
Saturday morning Lola had a cute filly, so Savannah got to name her since she was born on her birthday. Savannah turned 5, so the names have been interesting. We haven’t selected one of the gems yet, but lets just say we aren’t too excited about the name selection for this little filly. Ben, Toni, Anna and Kaine gave the cows the next day shot. The cows went better the second day for the most part except for about three of them. Then there was more moving of cattle because we wanted to separate the old and skinny cows, the heifers, and everything else. Or that is how it was supposed to be. Then the bulls, Gunner, and a couple of steers had to be moved into smaller pens to make room for all of the breeding females. Ben, Anna and Kaine went over to Corrales to get a new red commercial heifer for the kids to raise club claves. I went out and got some new pics of the bulls, Toni, Kade, and Jaxsen went down and worked on the fence. Then we did chores. Glo has been so wonderful that we decided we had better turn her out and get the next victim in. Sam isn’t getting any smaller, so we decided she should be next. We got her in, got a halter on her, and moved her in with Hottie. We didn’t hook her to Tulip because Sam is more reactive than the normal Mocha filly.
You know that saying, a family that works cows together, stays together? Well it is true. Sunday everyone was down to get all of the cows ready for Mark to come AI. We are thankful to have Mark Ellis come and AI for us as he has been doing for years. He keeps threatening to retire, but hopefully he can hold out for a bit longer. All four adults, all four kids had tasks. The AI day is always long, but it is pretty fun. Especially when the weather is great. There was some trash talk between us about which bulls we have all selected to breed to, or why the heck are we even breeding this cow or that cow, or what a crap head this or that cow was to get into the chute. The biggest reality check was when we started looking at the ages of some of the cows. We have some really good looking 10 year old cows. 8-12 years of age is pretty much the high end on a beef cow, so having as many older cows as we do that look as good as they do, says something about our genetics and our program as a whole. We AIed for most of the day. No new foals. We turned the cows out with bulls when we got done AIing. Now all of the cows are out with the bulls they should be bred to if they didn’t take to AI. We have 3 cows left to calve. Mom made some really good orange rolls for us on Sunday. It was such a long day that we didn’t put any fence posts in. We did work on Sam and hooked her to Tulip. She is a really smart filly. It will be interesting to see if she can meet our expectations with some effort.
With the big group of cows Aied and the bulls turned out, the kids can get serious about getting their show cattle ready for the year. Most of them are ready. Jaxsen is the only one that doesn’t have a calf halter broke. He didn’t think that was a big deal when it was mentioned. He may think it is a big deal when we go to a show and he gets run over. As most know, this isn’t his favorite sport.
We are already showing visitors the foals. So anyone that wants to come out and look at them, please let us know. Studs will go out at the end of this month, so anyone looking to get their mare booked, also please let us know. We are excited for another great foaling season and can’t wait to see what the future holds!