Posts Tagged With: #ranchinginJanuary

Toni and Anna doing chores in the snow yesterday.

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Checking Cows and Horses

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If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there with ya.

Hopefully everyone had a great Martin Luther King Day! The kids were home from school Monday so Anna and Kaine checked cows. Cousin Diane and her daughter Tash were over visiting so Toni made lunch for them, dad, mom and the kids so she came down and got Kaine and Anna late morning. They all had a great time and a nice visit. No new calves Monday but it was a beautiful day. Toni had a dribble off (basketball dribbling) with the three older kids in the afternoon. Toni says she creamed them, the kids tell a different story.


Tuesday everyone was back at school. Mom and Debbie went to a sewing class, so dad was getting everyone off of the bus, so no homemade pizza pockets as after school snacks. But not to worry, mom had a loaf of bread dad just had to put in the oven, so they had fresh bread, cinnamon, sugar and honey to put on their bread. Jaxsen had an Angus calf on Tuesday, Loud calved, I guess it is Jaxsen the 2nd?? Two of Jaxsen’s calves are shown below. Toni was going through her pictures on her phone and this made her decide she should check the mares, no foals. When Ben got home there were two more calves to greet him. When Toni got home there was a dog by her mail box that had been hit on the road, luckily she got ahold of the Adams County Pet Rescue and they came out and got it.


Wednesday Ben stayed home from work to semen test bulls with Dr. Hank Wisse. Dad came down and assisted Ben in getting the bulls in. The older bull was down in circle 5, and it was so muddy down there the pickup went anywhere but straight. So luckily dad was there to help. Poor baby Jaxsen had to have mouth surgery, and they had to be in there at 7. After the surgery when Jaxsen was asked how he felt, he said he felt like watching Netflixs, so normal. Towards the end of semen checking bulls our load of grain showed up, Stefan had forgotten to text me so we were not ready for it. Luckily Ben was home and the driver was a nice guy. So the driver walked around while Ben and Hank finished up and then Ben cleaned the old grain out before the new grain was put into the pile. Kade had boy scouts on Wednesday, the boys’ friend Aram also had scouts so dad picked up both boys and Aram helped do chores. Kade told me he was going to miss my birthday with me because he had basketball practice Thursday, I told him that was acceptable, but no cake for him.


Toni checked cows on Thursday, she texted me that it was a muddy mess down there and she could not get some places due to the mud. However, they are just out in a corn field, so she could see the places she could not drive too. Jaxsen was back at school and made sure everyone saw his missing teeth, I asked him what he had for lunch and he said chicken soup that I had made him. I said I don’t think I made soup for you, he said, “yeah, don’t you remember?” So I guess I made some soup for Sonny. Kade had basketball practice so dad took him to that while Toni, Anna, Aram, and Kaine did chores, they got most of the cockleburs out of Whim so were just finishing chores when I got there. Mom had paid lemon bars for my birthday, and they were awesome. Ben made a really cool Horseshoe Angus brand for me out of metal and barbed wire to put on the show shed. Mom made some awesome embroidered towels with unique buttons for the kitchen. Toni got some makeup for me for Cattlemen’s and a cool shirt that says not my pasture not my bull. Anna made a cute little box for me in class out of clay to hold trinkets. And Ben went and got Checos for dinner and that was pretty great. So I had an outstanding birthday, thanks everyone for the birthday wishes.


Friday the kids had a half day of school, so Toni and mom picked them up after school and got them bacon cheese burgers from the Burger Factory, Toni ran into Aram while she was picking up the kids, and he wanted to go home with the boys, so she talked to their mom, and picked up Aram and Daisy too, and went and got more burgers. Dad headed to St. John for a funeral for one of his class mates. He saw some other local people so he should have car pooled. Toni and the kids got Whim all cleaned up and he looks really good.


Saturday we had a busy day, Ben, Anna and I checked cows, then Ben needed to head to Pasco to get his 4 wheeler, so we dropped him off at the house and he took Kaine and left. Then Anna and I went around and checked all of the horses. We got the cows in and sorted heavy heifers. Toni came down to show a Hereford bull, so Kade helped us move the heifers around. Then we went down to take pictures of Whim since he was all cleaned up. The kids did the front chores while we took pictures. Then we had my birthday party on Saturday night, I got more then a girl could ask for. We stayed up and played Phase 10 until well after 11.


Sunday Ben and Kicker built fence around the corn field so we could let the cows out as soon as hunting season got over. Anna and I checked cows, and then we grabbed Ben to help tag calves. Kade came down and Anna, Kaine, Kade, Toni and I tied up steers. Anna and I headed to town to get groceries, Ben and Kicker loaded the flatbed trailer up and Toni and the boys took the grass straw down for Toni and dad to put grass straw out. Ben and Kicker kept working on the fence, when Anna and I got home we went out and helped them, pulling out fence posts. Then we went down for chores and Toni and the boys were working on a small fencing project. We finished that up, did chores and went home for the night. Another week in the books for 2019 and so far it has been great.

 

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Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.

We started out the week with Toni telling me she would only be here in body, not spirit. She had six hearings in five days, three in Federal Court, so her mind was elsewhere. But she did manage to check the cows a couple of days, it helps keep her centered to get outside. Monday we had 4 calves, all Angus, Kaine had a game in Basin City at 4, dad took him to it, and Kade has practice at the Youth Ranch, so Toni took him half way to meet the coach for a ride. Anna and Toni did chores, and Jaxsen sat with dad and watched TV. Tuesday we had one Angus/Hereford calf, so Jaxsen had one calf Monday and one Tuesday and they are named Jaxsen and Jaxsen Jr, and his Hereford heifer is Jackie. No, he is not egotistical at all. Kaine had a game in Connell that dad took him too and I met them in there, and Kade had practice at the youth ranch again. Wednesday Kade and Sonny had boy scouts. Toni had to work late on briefings for her hearings on Thursday, so Dad and the kids did chores. Whim somehow managed to jump out and luckily only scratched up his chest a bit. Dad and the kids put him back and put a taller panel where we feed him. Because he is the last yearling stud colt left, we have moved him to the corral with the intention of moving the coming yearling colts into the colt pen, separating them from the fillies.


Thursday was Kaine’s last game. Also, dad took Jewels into the vet on Thursday. Toni had a job shadow start on Thursday after her hearings were over, so she was late for chores again. Kade also had bb practice so everyone was heading different directions with kids. The rain has been constant, making everything a muddy mess. Normally we have wind that keeps things dry, but not this week. Working on King has been difficult, but necessary. King is very different from what we usually raise. He is very reactive and needs consistency. We can normally be done with the halter breaking process in about a week, but King is well into his third week. He leads fine until something sets him off but he calms down quickly. This colt has amazing athletic ability. He is one of the coolest horses to watch move, with very level, quick action. This colt does not lack in the smarts department, he is just hotter than our normal foal. We had originally thought to keep him as a stallion, but time will tell if that is still in the cards. Toni and I both really appreciate the good qualities that this colt possesses, it is just a matter of if those qualities outweigh the qualities that we see as negative for our breeding program.


The other big excitement on Thursday was watching liveauctions.com to see our cousin Jay and his crew show at Denver with the carload that they had taken. Denver is seen as the premier Hereford bull show in the country. BB Cattle used to go to all the big shows, but had slowed down just due to logistics. Jay decided it was time to get with it and had a mostly girl crew that he took. Lots of people came to see the bulls while they were there. With a bunch of hard working, good looking ladies, and a pen full of top notch bulls, what was not to like? Jay seems happy with how the bulls did. And for Denver the weather was decent.


Friday I was home and got to check, I also took Nezzy and Popcorn to the vet to get spayed and neutered, Jewels helped me feed and I caught up on some paperwork. Then, in the afternoon I took Ivy up to Kolton and Scarlett’s house. Ivy did not like being alone so we went over and got the mini mare Foxy, who was across the road, and put her with her. Then I went down and the kids and I did chores.


Saturday Kade had two basketball games At Ki Be, they played well. Chad came out and trimmed feet, we did a bunch of mares, two studs, Bunny, and Foxy. Anna helped Ben tag calves, and according to Anna Pudding tried to get him (Pudding is one of Sonny’s cows) and Ben said she was just following him around and around the pickup. Ben also cleaned out one of the feed lot pens (cleaned mud out) so we could sort the Spokane steers off by themselves. We put Smoke in a pen by herself since Ivy is no longer with her. Smoke is now in the pen that the coming yearling colts are supposed to go into. Due to the continuous rain and lack of urgency, the colts have not been moved yet. We have talked about it. We have looked at them and talked about it again, but no actual movement yet.


Sunday we put King back over with the other foals, he gets to have a halter breaking break since it is so muddy and he is doing decent. Not much happened on Sunday. We all were kind of tired and just did chores and worked in the house. Sometimes it is nice to just take a bit of a break. By that I just mean we didn’t put in a 10 hour day, because even when you are taking a break, you still have to feed, check water, check livestock, check fences, and deal with anything there is to deal with. On Sunday night we sat around for a bit and looked at old pictures. Toni was trying to find some pictures to give a friend who has lost her father. It was really fun to show the kids some of our old pictures and reminisce, taking some time to share family history and stories.

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Time for real life to start again.

Monday the kids went back to school. Time for real life to start again. Monday Toni and dad were checking, Toni always takes lots of calf pictures when she is out checking. It is fun to check the picture drive after she is done. Toni checked Monday and Tuesday, Dad Wednesday, Toni was back to checking Thursday and Friday.


Both big boys went back to basketball, and Kaine had games this week. His team is very enthusiastic. Luckily Dad is able to help get the boys back and forth. Kade goes to Basin City to play and Kaine goes to Connell, so they are not even headed in the same direction. Kade and Sonny also had cub scouts. Kaine has officially aged out. That puts a lot of pressure on Anna to help do chores on her own. Yes, we are all aware that Sonny is old enough to help, but is it worth the effort? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, rarely is it yes.
Shaun was home from college this week and was able to come out a couple of days this week to help with chores. It is also really nice to get these foals exposed to someone new. Shaun, Anna, and Toni took video of Cole Thursday as well as moved Whim and Major to the corral. We also noticed a leak in our water line, so had to shut the corral water off until it could get fixed. On Friday Toni and Dad took Sagebug and Major to Josh and Crystal. They are buying Major and riding Sagebug. Sagebug is already getting great reports from them. He is such a treasure. Josh and Crystal moved, but everyone decided to meet at the Colfax fairgrounds to switch the horses. Considering how little work Major has had, he did great. Sagebug loves to load because he likes to go places so he was fine loading into a new trailer. Also on Friday dad took Jewels and Thunder to the vet to breed Jewels, so hopefully we are having puppies.


Saturday Ana and Keisha from Fantasy Stables came out with their new game, Fantasy Ranch and the kids played it all morning as test subjects. They LOVED it and there are lots of KT Ranch horses in the game; including Gunner, Dude, Colonel, and lots of foals. We are also excited that our good friends at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch in Sandpoint, ID are one of the dude ranches in the game. The kids all argued over who got their card and who got the Gunner card. Two out of the four horses on the cover are also from KT, but now live at West Pleasure Guest Ranch. When the game hits the market there will be a press release and a coupon. Let us know if you want one. The game will be sold on Amazon, but you can check out the sponsors, cool graphics, and see the cards at http://www.fantasystablegame.com/.


Also on Saturday, Kicker fixed the water line going down to the corral, dad assisted. Ben fixed fences around the place and moved hot fences around for the cows. Ben and I also tagged all of the calves that had been born all week. Then I cleaned out the heavy heifer pen, moving the ones that have calved out. Anna went to a friend’s birthday party, so while she was gone Toni and I turned Shotgun Sally back out. We are really happy with our decision to keep this filly, she has been a real joy to work with as well as being pretty, correct, and calm.


Sunday Ben and I finished up tagging, we had a couple of new ones from Saturday to tag. Kicker finished up the water line, he had to let it dry the day before and then went back down and turned on the water and covered it back up. Anna, Kaine, Ben and I got the yearling bulls in for yearling weights, Kade and Kicker helped us get them in for the last little bit. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Sonny then went down to Taiten’s 21st birthday. Taiten is Toni’s god son and great kid that we have watched grow up. He used to come out and ride with us when he was little. Sunday night I got extra chore helpers as Scarlett and Kolton came out to see the horses.

This week dawned with snow flurries, rain, and fog. Let’s hope that the weatherperson is correct and we have a slight increase in temperature and no snow. We need snow in the mountains for the snowpack, not here. We are now over 50% calved out but still getting multiple calves per day. So far we are pretty happy with our calving season. Let’s just hope that it continues!

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Calves, Calves and more Calves

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And the New Year is Upon Us

New Year’s Eve, this year has been a great year for us and New Year’s Eve is always a great time to look back and reflect on all the year’s accomplishments. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Sonny took a mini vacation for New Years on a Lake Cruise. Lots of fun. Ben, Anna, Kaine and I went to cousin Leslie’s show barn party. Ben helped Anna and Kaine do chores since Toni was gone. So King and Louie got the day off. Our second group of synchronized cows are due on the 1st, so we had a hand full of calves on the 31st.


On Tuesday Ben and I got all of the calves tagged and we did general work around the place. Toni, Kicker, Kade and Jaxsen came back from their vacation. I worked on King and Louie. Wednesday Toni took a little break from work and took Kade and Jaxen and checked all of the horses. Everyone is doing good. A bunch of the mares look like they are getting ready to foal. The weather was fantastic so they all were feeling great. Toni was still working on Louie and King on Wednesday and Thursday.


Ben had to go back to work after being off for the month of December. With the extremely nice weather, Ben took it upon himself to doing fencing projects around the house for the month. Toni had to order him over 300 lag bolts by the time the month was up. He re-positioned the fence and gates going into Circle 4 so we would have better access to the new show shed, fixed the fence down the driveway, added a gate to the heifer pen that is big enough to drive through and reconfigured fence to water troughs. Ben kept himself super busy with fencing and cattle work over the month of December. And for a couple of those weeks he had Anna and Kaine to help. The wood fence also looks a ton better.


Kade started basketball practice again on Thursday since he plays AAU. Luckily Dad was able to take him to meet his ride and pick him up.

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Friday Anna, Kaine, Kade and I had a busy day. We went and checked the cows, Anna got to drive. We cleaned out the barn, put new straw down and tied up the steers. Then the kids took down their calf shelter since we are bottle calf less and it was in their wash rack. Anna and I worked on King and Louie. Then Kaine and Kade helped me move some panels around in King and Louie’s pen. Anna, Kaine and Kade did the front chores while I worked on the foals some more. Toni rolled in late and we finished chores.


Saturday Anna went over to Connell and helped work on bulls that are going to Denver. Kade’s friend Tye was out. He moved away and his family was up visiting for the weekend. The three bigger boys had a great time playing, and sometimes Jaxsen played too. Ben and I tagged a couple of calves. Toni and dad put out grass straw for the horses and bulls. Toni also got Smokey ready to go as Smokey went to his new home on Saturday. We decided Saturday that Louie is done and we need to get Sally in to halter break. She is our LAST spring foal to halter break. We moved her over with King.


Sunday we finished tagging the calves and made a long heavy list for Toni and dad since they are taking over checking the cows. Then we weighed all of the steers that are in, I think they all weighed decent. We had to get Kade’s show heifer in, Dark Knight, from a few years ago, she wanted a clubby calf this year, so we had to put her back with her calf. We had to get Kaine’s cow in and pull her calf (actually Ben and Kicker did) and then at about 7 we had to get Pinda in and pull her calf too. So the nursery is full! Toni and Kicker worked on pulling down the majority of the old fence that we had replaced along the East side of the horse pasture. Not only did they get to pull out old barbed wire, but there were good posts to be pulled out too and stacked to be reused later. If anyone needs old barbed wire, we have quite a bit. If someone doesn’t come get it, we will put it in the metal bin at the end of the week. I started halter breaking Sally. Toni and I didn’t realize how tall she is, we think she is the perfect combination of Gunner and Strawberry. We are really excited to keep her.


2019 is upon us. The kids headed back to school today and we all went about our daily work. Currently we are experiencing perfect calving weather, but the forecast calls for snow. We can only hope that the mild weather will continue as the cows continue to calve and we start to get ready for foals.

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Out checking Saturday

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Second Week of January

The second week of January has been relatively uneventful, as far as ranch life goes. Just the normal ranch stuff is happening here, more new calves, bangs vaccination the heifers with Dr. King (now Schneider) checking horses, checking cows, feeding horses, feeding cows. Which is good, Great Grandma, who is 105, needs some extra visiting this week, so we have all gone down to see her and Uncle Manny, who has flown in from Alaska to be with us during this time of need.


We have gone from being iced over to being flooded. All of the fields are full of water and mud, with more rain expected. Being in the desert, we need this moisture. The days have been getting into the high 30s, so this is pretty nice weather for January! The mares are starting to get big, with our first set right around the corner to foal. With all of the mud and rain we still haven’t started those last 2 foals to halter break. Whim, being an Azteca, is only getting taller. We need to get the halter on him and get him started before he is too big to handle. We haven’t had an Azteca before, making this a new experience on that front. Little Blackie is the other foal left to halter break, and she is not big. She is also a Double foal so we expect her to be easy. Let’s hope that expectation is proven true.

 


We also had chore helpers on Saturday, Joe and John Hallowell from the Prescott area. They came to pick up their colt Nicky, then they like to stay and hang around and help for the next few hours, whether we want them or not. Three of Joe’s kids came too so they got to play with our kids.


When the weather is like this, it puts a person in the mood for spring. Good weather always gives us a bit of optimism. The horse market also starts to pick back up once the bad weather is behind us (which we hope it is). We get asked frequently on trainers; who do we use? We have used Katie Whetzal out of Pullman for many years. She has been our go to gal. Katie can be reached at 208-301-1170. Rachael Hamby is a fantastic hand. We have known her for years, but she wanted to get done with her degree before devoting herself to training. She is now at that point. Rachael has ridden quite a few horses from KT and puts a good handle on them- 509-688-4153. In the last few years we have become acquainted with Josh and Crystal Hoelscher out of the Palouse area. Josh specializes in colt starting and harder to break animals- 509-592-5601. Nina Lundgren at Bonina in Eltopia has been a cutter and horse trainer for longer than I have been alive. She shows, trains, and is a fantastic horsewoman and person. Currently Nina has a colt starter at her facility as well, Blaine Davies. Blaine is riding Jackpot for us and we are excited to see Jackpot in his first show next month. Nina can be reached at (509) 539-3435. We aren’t saying that there aren’t more good horse trainers out there, these are just the ones that we use.


The boys are back in boy scouts, so they get to build their Derby Cars this month. The race is the day after my birthday.

Also, we have some terrific Hereford and Braford bulls for sale for anyone looking for a bull. Go to our bulls for sale page fore more info.

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