High Desert Cowboy- How far is it up north?

High Desert Cowboy

True BYH Addict
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
399
Reaction score
1,833
Points
223
Location
Utah
So we finally got some trees planted. My wife’s been wanting them for several years now because apparently sage brush isn’t good enough shade, though my dogs would disagree. A friend had some saplings he wanted gone so I dug them up and planted them on three sides of the house, so far so good. I also managed to fix a spot in the horse corral that had really started to sag, I made the mistake of turning the Hotwire off for a week or so and they just couldn’t help themselves. I fortunately had supervision from my 2 year old who is very adamant I use the tools she hands me, irregardless if it’s necessary or not. It took explaining that my little wire nippers and my fencing pliers weren’t the same thing.
 

High Desert Cowboy

True BYH Addict
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
399
Reaction score
1,833
Points
223
Location
Utah
E28C60EF-210C-40B1-BB58-17E85D35FAAB.jpeg
912B2567-7551-4759-ACA8-74FC3B274313.jpeg

The puppies have opened their eyes and are starting to get a little more active. Also Bella turned 1 this week. She’s gotten better and can differentiate between sheep and lambs. Errant lambs will get a soft bop, ignorant ewes she deals with accordingly and then gets right back to work keeping everyone together. Of course she still needs a lot of work but she has good natural ability.
In the front you can see Ma’s little ram lamb that was born after the triplets, he’s growing fast. My boy calls him Buckwheat, but I’ve told him that Buckwheat has already been promised to a Muslim family for their holidays and he’s better off naming ewes
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,407
Reaction score
6,545
Points
413
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
:clap Best helpers ever!!!
Love the names too! Glad to know that 4 year olds share the same taste in names! Remember Rainbow Unicorn?! :gig The rest of us call her Blue Tag since that is what she is wearing in her ear. LOL

The story about the cows cracked me up - were they actually the other neighbors' cows? Funny if they belonged to someone else! But at least you and your neighbor had them off your place. Can't figure anyone not coming to the door in ranch territory. Stock or people emergencies in lonely places need good neighbors. LOL Keep the shotgun near the door if you are worried, but usually good farm dogs are all you need for protection and doorbell.

Those puppies should have good cow and sheep sense. The litter wasn't planned, but as good as their parents are they should be in demand with your fellow ranchers. Shame about the dead lamb, but great that the other lambs arrived safely. Since the lambs looked as if they arrived within 12 -24 of each other, if you had known about which one was the mother of the dead lamb, you could have skinned the dead lamb, wrapped the smallest of the triplets in the skin, and grafted it onto the mom whose lamb died. It is an old trick but works most of the time. Actually just sliming the foster lamb with the birthing fluids works just as well. Since the neighbor's boy would have been devastated to put down his little crippled bottle lamb, (which would not have been able to survive) I think giving him the ewe lamb to raise was a great idea. It will be a friendly ewe and a keeper to breed. Hopefully, the neighbor will just quietly put the other little lamb in the freezer as a BBQ lamb. No need to waste meat.

How old is your old ewe? She may be able to lamb another year with extra rations. Since her lamb will be going for a religious holiday, hopefully he will be pulled her off her soon and she can put some weight back on. You may need to give her extra groceries since she is older, but if you like her and want to try for a ewe lamb next year, it might be worth it.

As to the triplet ewes, (and yes, they are considered triplets even though you have removed one and given it away) you might consider keeping both of them if they can be tamed down without PITA's attitude. Since the mom was able to give birth to all 3 without help, all 3 survived, they would be good replacement ewes. When selecting replacement stock, sheep breeders take into account the number of lambs born each year to the mother. Triplets and twins are desirable for replacement ewes, especially if the moms can raise them without help. You probably know that with your background in AG, but just a reminder if you decide to want to keep them.

Glad that everything is going well for you and your family and that Alfalfa survived the dog attack. I just hate neighborhood dog attacks on stock. It is worse than coyotes since your dogs will usually try to stand off the wild predators. For some reason, farm dogs sometimes will not attack neighborhood dogs. Our first dog attack on 9ur rabbits, our dogs went crazy barking but did not try to attack the dogs. I had the shotgun and would have shot them, but since our horses were standing right behind the marauding dogs I couldn't take a chance. The next dog attack we had a 6 months cattle dog cross. He slept in the house with our Weimaraners, but when we let the dogs out he immediately went for the attacking dogs and chased them across the field. Both attacks occurred inside the pole barn 35' from the house. That was when we got our first livestock guardian dog.

I hope the dogs that went after Alfalfa were impounded. Stupidity on the part of dog owners is what gets them killed. In some cases it is the dog owners that need to be shot. :somad
 

High Desert Cowboy

True BYH Addict
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
399
Reaction score
1,833
Points
223
Location
Utah
Yes @Ridgetop they were the neighbor’s cows. They got out again not too long ago and got into my hay, this time I tried by myself to remove them and they decided they wanted to go further down the road, I tried to be a good neighbor but they wouldn’t answer again so I said forget it and they eventually got their cows back a few hours later. A little background on them is they are FLDS, a polygamist group from southern Utah/northern Arizona. The women wear prairie dresses, they don’t talk to outsiders, and they think they do no wrong. Next time their cows are in my hay I’ll just call animal control and send them my feed bill.
I plan to keep at least one of the triplets, possibly both depending on how things are looking in the fall. My current plan would be to build more corrals as they’re a necessity and keep two flocks. My three wool ewes will be with Shaun the hair ram with the intent of keeping any ewe lambs with desireable traits. Namely hair, of the four lambs this year the ram lamb and one triplets are a little lighter colored and have baby wool while the two triplets I’ve kept have black hair. The other pen would have Shaun babies with my wool ram Lambert, who’s related to two of my wool ewes with the intent of selling all offspring as terminal crosses with those funds feeding my sheep habit (hay, corrals, replacing Lambert with a handsome katahdin ram one day, etc.) I’m not 100% sure of Ma’s age, she came off a semi bound for auction with 100 other sheep. I chose her and bellwether as they were in better shape than most on the truck but when I looked at her teeth she’s definitely up there in age. Bellwether was pretty young.
My dogs are in their run at night, they work pretty good as an alarm but I don’t let them wander. When we first moved here 4 years ago there were no other dogs and Kya would stay home and never got locked up. But then the family behind me (the one where the Alfalfa attackers came from) got two dogs and another neighbor got two dogs and they started packing up. They killed a goat and I didn’t want any blame in that (we were out of town at the time and I always bring my dogs) so Kya got a dog run. Better safe than sorry. That pack later killed several sheep and several of those dogs were put down. I like my neighbors behind me and told them I don’t want hard feelings but I would shoot the dogs next time. So far so good
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,407
Reaction score
6,545
Points
413
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
That is too bad about the neighbors. In ranch and livestock you need to stick together. Maybe they will learn, maybe not. I believe in being religious, but I really don't think faiths that teach that they are better than others are really Godly. Anyway, if their cattle escape too many times or cause an accident, they will learn the hard way to work together. I think you should just call the sheriff, he will impound the cows as estrays, and you will have legal proof for small claims court if you have to go that way. Shooting marauding dogs or having the sheriff pick them up and talk to the owners is probably best. Sadly, the dogs are just having fun (even though they need to be destroyed), the owners are to blame. Often the owners turn around and claim that the dogs are not theirs - happened to a friend years ago who lost half a trailer load of show sheep coming from the Midwest for a sale and overnighting at her ranch. Even though the dogs were still covered in blood and laying on the porch of the owner's house, the sheriff could only impound the dogs since the owner swore they were not his. they were euthanized, along with about 15 sheep torn up so badly they couldn't be saved. Big $$$ loss there.

A kennel run is a good idea. Our acreage is fenced, but we keep at least one kennel run available all the time. It is useful for Bubba when strangers come over, and for all the dogs when we try to load or move sheep. The LGDs don't always think the sheep should go where we want them if it is a new area! LOL Also when our new puppy bitch comes into season next month (or after) she will need to be kenneled since Bubba is still intact. After her 3rd season I can have her spayed. Bubba needs to get his OFA and be collected (breeder's contract) IMG_4455.jpg then he can be neutered.

If you decide to get a new ram, check out the on line Western States Dorper Sale. It is coming up May 10 through 12. The on line sale address is Susan Taylor Show Sales. The animals' pictures and videos are posted a week or so in advance. We bought a terrific ram from Paul Lewis last year at the Western States sale for only $400.00 (see pix) that produced beautiful lambs. Paul Lewis is in eastern Oregon, but there are several of consignors from Utah. They don't take the animals to the sale, just send the pix and videos, and you make arrangements to pick up the sheep from the consignor. Luckily for us, Paul Lewis sends his sale sheep to Wes Patton in northern California for pickup. Only a 2 day trip for us that way. Lots of good rams go for the minimum bid while the ewes tend to go a low higher. I don't show sheep anymore but if you can get to a meat sheep show (the youth show at the Fair is a good place and a fun outing for your family) and listen to the judge's comments it will help you when buying a meat production ram. You know enough about hogs and meat production to know where the most meat is on a carcass so buying a ram to produce meat should be just up your alley. I like the Dorpers since they don't need shearing. They shed their wool out in spring and summer. Dorpers are similar to Katahdins in being year round breeders, are a shorter sheep (after all there is little eat below the knee) and are easy keepers on pasture. They have also surprised us by being very docile and easy to handle, even the rams are well behaved, while 2 of the 3 ewes come up to be petted on the field. And these are not pet sheep! Here are a few current pix of our Lewis ram. He was on straight forage for 2 months before this was taken, no other feed except a small amount of grain at night to bring the rams into the barn.
IMG_4455.jpg IMG_4457.jpg "Lewis" has tremendous length and muscling with the meat going down the leg into the twist. His loin is very, very wide. He throws this into his lambs, including into his cross bred lambs. Their rate of gain was impressive - I thought my Dorsets gained well with a creep, but these Dorpers/Dorper crosses really do well with no creep. Before investing in a replacement ram, check into these Dorpers. They seem to carry more meat than the hair sheep breeds.
IMG_4447.jpg The raggedy looking ewes are Dorpers starting their shed. They won't shed as early for you since it is colder where you are. The ones with colored collars are my purebred ewes. The ones without collars are their lambs. The lambs are only 4-4 1/2 months old. They already are over 100 lbs. just on forage and a little rolled barleycorn to bring them into the barn at night.

We don't compete anymore, but I do sell freezer lambs to several customers. My butcher sells any extra lambs I have left. I need a good carcass even though I don't charge what my lambs should go for. I always bought the best meat production rams I could get (and afford). My Lewis ram has really improved my carcasses.

Greybeard turned me on to this breed and after spending $40 a head for the shearer (I have the equipment, but don't want to shear anymore since I am "in the prime of life". :lol: I sold most of my Dorsets last summer and will be replacing the last 2 next month in the on line sale (hopefully). Look into this breed - they are great, easy tempered and if your children halter break them as lambs, they will probably get as tame as Alfalfa! LOL

I love hearing about your kids and your adventures. Give my sympathies to your nice neighbor - we can all sympathize with falling into or over children's projects (or sometimes our own). :gig
 

Wehner Homestead

Herd Master
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
3,491
Reaction score
8,412
Points
433
Location
S Indiana
Sounds like your son thinks like mine! He’s having trouble accepting that we don’t keep many extra males around. We make a big deal out of the ones that we do keep around. When we bring in a new male or one is born, he asks if it’s for the butcher or if we are going to keep it. He sure lights up when it’s a keeper!
 

High Desert Cowboy

True BYH Addict
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Messages
399
Reaction score
1,833
Points
223
Location
Utah
Thanks @Ridgetop ill keep Dorpers in mind. There is a guy about 90 miles away that sells dorpers pretty frequently and I actually looked into it but at the time he was asking way too much. There was also a place further north that did dorper/katahdin crosses. So where I’m at dorper may be the easier choice. Definitely something to think on.
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,407
Reaction score
6,545
Points
413
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
We used to tell the children that they had to name anything we would eat things like Ham Hocks, Rib Bone, BBQ, etc. Only breeding stock got "fun" names. Our DD1 named an entire of litter meat rabbits Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. for the days we would be eating them. They also used to ask "WHO" we were eating. Sometimes I wonder if we went too far in teaching them where food comes from. :gig
 
Top