Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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Small family emergency so had to turn around 4 hours out of town and come back. We will be leaving again the end of the week. Good thing we did come back since when we got off the freeway and went to gas the truck DH found the tailgate on the truck was about to fall off It already had some damage from dropping bales onto it which made the latches kind of difficult to open and close, Now it has met its end. This is the 3rd tailgate DH has replaced on our truck. We have another tail gate that DS3 gave us that will fit this truck. It is red but it works. We will go to Texas with a brown truck and a red tailgate.

As it was, the ewe lambed the next day. Now we ae dealing with a few things before we leave again. Kris is going to look at the properties - he had 4 appointments set for tomorrow. While he has no ranch knowledge, he wi ll look at the houses to see whether they are in shape to rent out for the year or 2 before we move back there. Says he will do Facetime tomorrow while at the properties. I am sending him a list of questions for the brokers about the properties.

Very disappointed :(, but we ate our sandwiches on the 7 hour roundtrip drive and tried to pretend it was just a leisurely Sunday drive and picnic. :pop No traffic and the weather was clear. It could have been worse.
 

Ridgetop

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We were planning to get out and trim feet today but were on the phone withWe are writing an offer on the RR property. Yes, freight trains come through every day but the property is good and will do for what we want. We can always buy another ranch after selling our California house. This will get us to Texas and allow us to start moving our ranch equipment back. Hopefully we will get a good response from the seller.

Supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow. Just right for running the corral of young sheep through the chute and squeeze for pedicures. :rolleyes: Also will pull the 3 month old lambs off their moms and castrate 4-5 ram lambs. They will be raised for locker lambs. 2 weeks ago one 3 month old ram lamb was 72.4 lb, and the other was 64.2 lbs. If the 3 month old lambs are to big to band, we will keep them in with the mature rams. The next 2 rams at 10 weeks weighed 64.2 and 58.6 lbs. Group after that at The next 2 at 8 weeks weigh 48.8 and 51.6 lbs. Last ram lamb at 6 weeks weighs 42.0 lbs. Might need bigger bands. :hide

We need to run the next pregnant yearling ewe into the jugs the end of the week since she is due on the 19th. Still waiting on hugely pregnant 7088 to lamb in the barn. Need to do shots and docking of the twin ewelings born last Monday. I might also pull the ewes I put down with the rams to breed back up on the field to build them up. They haven't marked yet and they are a bit thin after nursing their huge lambs. Need to flush the ewes for about a month. 2 other ewes from the creep can join them and I will wean their lambs too and start flushing them as well. We really need more pastures and pens to separate out the different bands of sheep.

Just wrote out the list of keeper sheep we have - no ram lambs or wethers, just breeding rams, mature ewes, yearlings and ewe lambs. WE HAVE 30 SHEEP! :ep
3 rams (one is 5 years old now and I need to shop for his possible replacement this year), 14 ewes (bred or with lambs on them), 5 yearling ewes (to be bred this spring), 6 fall ewe lambs, and 2 spring lambs - so far. That doesn't include the 7 spring and fall ram lambs destined for slaughter or the auction.

The numbers creep up on you! Not all of them are top quality, but I figure if we are moving to Texas I might as well keep them for another year at this point. I was planning to sell or butcher a couple young ewes but realized that in another couple months I can breed them. I have 7 ram lambs to wether. if they are too large, I will have to keep them with the adult rams until slaughter time in February. Need to make another slaughter appointment.

OK, so you will know that I am not some sort of human encyclopedia, I looked this all up. In Texas the Ag assist or exemption for property taxes figures how much usable farm land you have and assigns a certain number of animal units per acre. An animal unit is how many large animals can graze the pasture without damaging it. In other words the carry load of the pastures.

Cows are 1 AU. Sheep are 5-7 AU depending on weight and goats are 8-9 AU. First you have to find out your AU stocking rate per acre. If you can only graze 10 cows on 40 acres then your AU rate is 1:4 acres. That would be 5-7 sheep to every 4 acres. Some land can only carry 1 AU per 25 acres so you would have to adjust the stocking rate to show 5-7 sheep per 25 acres. You have to do the math to make sure you are carrying the right amount of AU or you don't get the full exemption. Too many and you overgraze your pasture and/or have to feed hay. The good rancher has to be proficient at math, as well as animal husbandry, vet science, mechanics, etc., etc. Don't forget telling the future to be sure to sell when the market is high and buy when the market is low. :flypig Right, that's when . . . .
 

Ridgetop

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Beautiful Rika is starting to show her age at almost 9 years old. I offered her to my daughter if she gets too old to work here comfortably. DD1 said she would gladly take her. I wonder though would Rika be happy without the sheep and other dogs? It might be like dumping her into an old folks home waiting to die. Maybe it would be better to just let her keep working until she dies on the job or we give her a gentle release. I hate waking up and realizing how my 4 legged loved ones have aged without me noticing. Well not time to do anything abut it yet, except to notify Erick that we will be looking for another Anatolian this year. Sooner than i expected but better do it while Rika is still around to oversee the training,

Plan to work sheep this morning. The other day when we weighed in the barn with its dirt floor amid clouds of dust swirling up into or noses and eyes, I told DS1 that when we move we are going to put the scale and squeeze inside a building with concrete floors. We can use our old stall mats if we need to underneath. We have about 6 or more stacked on the field. Or we could use them if we put the jugs inside a concrete floored building. They would insulate the floors in the winter for the lambs. They were expensive to buy back when I bought them, more now so they will have to go with us. Not to mention the large water troughs, feeders, etc. 5 large storage boxes of miscellaneous horse tack - not including saddles, bridles, saddle pads, horse winter blankets, summer sheets, shipping boots etc. I will have to sort through everything and give a lot to my DDIL.

I am starting to compile a list of everything we have to bring with us for the livestock. Farmerjan's moving problems have made me worry about our move to Texas. And she just lives a mile or two away from her new place! Getting worried ad we haven't even found our ranch yet!

Then there are the 36x30" rabbit cages - at least a dozen of them, some need to be taken apart and folded flat for shipping, others are still in the packing cases. Chains and hooks to hang them. Carry cages and show cage sorters. Not to mention the several large storage containers of feeders, cage parts and tools. More boxes of water system parts, nest boxes, tattoo equipment - rabbit and goat, etc. I am allergic to poultry dust so rabbits will be our small animals instead of poultry. Next on the list are the large storage boxes of hot wire parts, wire, standoffs, gate latches, etc. We'll need those in Texas! I have now emptied about 3' of shelves, and 3' of shed space. The shed is 20' long. It is the first shed and there is still the tool shed, loft, and barn. Not counting the acres of stored corral equipment, feeders, etc. At my age I might be dead before we even get it loaded on the trucks there is so much equipment! But the cost to rebuy would be astronomical! I realize now why farms often look like they have a junk pile behind the barn. Those are all building materials the farmer might need and doesn't want to have to buy again. We have lots of those and most of them have to go to Texas with us.

DH is still champing at the bit to be on the road to Texas to view properties. Our suitcase is still packed and sitting in the truck. Maybe we can both get haircuts when we get back there. LOL

Agent and friend Kris went to look at the ranches we had appointments to view yesterday. 2 of the 4 were very suitable.

Stupid program just erased 3 paragraphs of descriptions!!! Won't let me go back far enough to recall deleted portions! I may have to go back to doing everything in Word and cutting and pasting! What happened to the redo icon?

:he:barnie
 

Baymule

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Maybe you can give Rika weaned lambs to watch. She might not take to retirement, give her something to do. Better for her to be happy.

You have a lot of stuff to move, but like you said, to replace it would be ridiculous! $$$$$ Hey! I know! There is a train track by your new-farm-to-be. Load everything up on a train car, it ought to hold everything! LOL LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Submitted an offer on the 77 acre train track property with 2 houses. If we decide we don't like living there, when we sell our California house we can buy another ranch without a train track. LOL If we get it, eventually we will install dual pane windows in both houses and put up privacy/sound baffle walls and tall shrubbery between tracks and houses to help diffuse noise.

Family decided that all the woods at the back of the property offered more scope for walks, trails, hunting, etc. when grandchildren come out, in addition to ranching. We will have to get a hog trap though. And 2 more Anatolians.

Just have to wait to see if our offer goes through or if they say no. Probably won't know anything till Monday. If it isn't accepted, there will be something else later. Can't stew over it.

7088 is huffing and puffing in her pen. I wish she would hurry up. Those babies seem to be playing tag all over her stomach. Never seen lambs or kids in a late term pregnancy with such a huge belly moving about so much! Maybe they have given up on being born normally and have decided to tunnel out! LOL


Maybe you can give Rika weaned lambs to watch. She might not take to retirement, give her something to do. Better for her to be happy.

You are right, I will give Rika the newborns. She is very good with them and nervous first time mothers. I have to call the vet tomorrow to see about some pain killers for her She had this neck thing before and the vet said it seemed to be a pinched nerve sort of thing. He gave her pain meds and it went away after about 2 weeks. Now she is crying like last time. Went to check her and she cried when I squeezed her neck so probably the same thing. She is still working though. Saw her hurrying out to the pasture, crying as she went. Sounded like me when my back or knee is hurting and I exclaim "OW OW OW OW OW OW with every step. (It doesn't get me any sympathy since DH can't hear me anyway.) LOL I just looked up pain killers for dogs and I can give her 5mg-10mg buffered aspirin per lb. of body weight. I will try that until I can get a prescription from the vet. She will get better faster with a pain killer. Maybe the vet can give her a muscle relaxer too. I might have some glucosamine in the cabinet. It said on line that glucosamine helps dogs with arthritis. Worth a try for my precious Rika.
 

Baymule

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Poor Rika. I do hope she gets some relief. Our Paris is 12 years old, still refuses to come in the house, stays in her beloved back yard and side pasture that goes up to the back of the sheep barn and cozies up in her dog house stuffed with hay. She runs, barks at neighbors, trucks and the horses. She is instant death on snakes, or anything else that is stupid enough to enter her world. She will ask to go in with the sheep, after about an hour, she is done and wants her back yard again. LOL LOL So our old girls still have something to give and need something to do.
 

farmerjan

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It sounds to me that if you pack the stuff in the pods, they get picked up and moved.. So, just keep filling them up and then let someone else do the move. Yeah, it has been a PITA for me, and maybe being 4 miles away is actually a bad thing.... but I am glad to be able to do things as I want to. Just wish I didn't ache so, cuz I would be moved in by now. I just cannot do all the packing, loading, unloading, carrying stuff so much. And, this is probably not going to be my forever place as the traffic is nerve wracking for me. Want to be back off the road somewhere that I don't see or hear the traffic . Or have to deal with the neighbors being able to see what I am doing. Fences are going to be on the list of priorities.....
I used to live right across the road from a RR track so I can tell you that at first it will be noticeable... but after a little while, you actually get to know the time by the when the train comes through. It becomes a familiar background noise. I was near the road crossing so did have to put up with the whistles..... even that you learn to sorta tune out but not being close to a crossing is better. And some RR engineers are more considerate than others as far as how many times and for HOW LONG they pull that cord.
I agree that it is hard to not take stuff you might need. Plus the cost of lumber has skyrocketed in the last 6-9 months.. It is not going to get better and not going to get cheaper. So, the cost of moving may have to be weighed against the replacement cost; which is going to be very high.
One other thing I might suggest. The cost of gas and diesel is going up. I got 100 gal of diesel for the tank at the new house in Oct. 1.78 / gallon. I got 100 gal for the other house about 2 weeks ago. It was 2.18 / gal. It has gone up again here. If there are tanks there, consider getting them filled ASAP. The democratic incoming administration is SOOOO VERY ANTI-PETROLEUM ; ANTI -FOSSIL fuels... so it is going to continue to go up. How they think that they are going to create all the electricity they are going to need to power all the electric everything there is .....is totally beyond me. Coal and fossil fuels create something like 75 % of the electricity in this country. Solar will never b e able to do it, and they are so against anything they consider "bad " for the environment, hydro isn't going to go over big because that means damning up some rivers. That is actually the most consistent form of renewable energy.... rivers run 24/7 not like the sun or the wind. And both of them have their place. But if they start getting so off the wall, fuel will go up to double or triple what it is costing now. So to start out with full tanks and to keep them full so that the "adding" to them is not quite so painful until we see what this world is going to come to.
This comparison is NOT TO SCALE.....
I am not against the idea of less pollution and more electric powered stuff..... but, from a farmers perspective.... if our current tractors are worth say 100,000 today..... and a new electric model costs 200,000, but because the our current one runs on diesel, the value to turn it in on a new one is only 10,000 for the scrap metal.... Who in HE// can afford to buy a new one that we will never be able to pay for????? Not taking in account that it will cost how much for a new battery to keep it running, how much discharge and recharging can it take.... and lots of things I know I have not even imagined..... And if @Bruce has to plug in the electric vehicles to recharge, then what will it take to recharge a tractor like that....# of hours to recharge and at what cost to the farmer.
One thing to think about..... all the custom harvesters that travel to do all the grain harvesting.... often they run 12-24 hours at a time in order to get the crop harvested in a timely matter. How in the he// are these guys going to operate if the stupid tractor/combine/trucks to haul the crops all all "PLUGGED IN to recharge" ?????? Or if they get special permits to use the fossil fuels, the cost will be so high that they won't be able to afford the fuel to do it.... and if they do manage that, what is that going to mean in costs passed on down to the consumer????? So that new talk of $15 per hour minimum wage is going to mean nothing as it won't begin to buy the equivalent of what $8 per hour minimum wage is buying now with the cost of food being as cheap as it is.
Understand too that many of new combines, with all the GPS and electronic monitoring stuff run in the 200-500,000 range.... EACH..... so the money figures I used above were just to try to put some of it in perspective in a comparison..... Our 4wd John Deere tractor cost over 100,000 new.... we bought it used and got a good price due to the friend that set it up before he died and the stuff was not as well maintained as it should have been and the appraisals weren't as high as they might have been.... and we are making payments to the widow as per the set up deal..... But when a smaller one is in the range of 50-100,000 now.... it makes you wonder.....
And we are supposed to support more and more people crossing into this country......I for one am not willing to work my a$$ off for the rest of my life to stay in perpetual debt. It comes to a point where many farmers are saying the same thing. And the younger generation is overall too lazy to work for farming wages, in less than perfectly climate controlled conditions with scheduled coffee breaks and lunch time and an 8 hour maximum day.

Okay, sorry, I got on a soap box.

But my thoughts were for you and for anyone actually, that has fuel storage to get theirs filled up NOW.... it is not going to get any cheaper with the way things are going. I am going to get the 500 gal tank here at the new house filled now even though I am not presently using it for a furnace..... we can use it in the tractors.....but mostly as an insurance against future cost increases. Put some additive in it to help preserve it for longer "shelf life".....hedging against the inevitable price increases coming. Even propane will go up.
And where they think that the farmers are going to get the money for things like the commercial poultry houses that raise all the chicken/turkey in this country, which are all heated with propane fired heat....I will never know......
 

Ridgetop

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Possibly, but these newer tailgates are not as sturdy as the older models - and this is a 1999 truck! Anyway, we will use the old red tailgate for a while. Not going to paint it since it may go the way of the last ones, so why spend money painting it pretty?!

Having to raise our offer on the property since they are getting multiple offers. :( Buyer's nightmare - sellers' dance of joy! LOL Not going to worry since the RR track is a drawback and once our Yelm property closes we will be in better shape to buy immediately. 1031 has time imitations, but the sellers wont be scared off by having to wait for our escrow closure.

Got to work outside with sheep today - try to castrate some lambs. Already very hot - going to be high 80's. DS1 says he wants ti do hoof trimming first and then as we run those through chute where he can catch and castrate the ram lambs in that pen. Then we wi run the breeding en into the catch en and take care of them.

One thing weighing lambs in ur barn has taught us is tht in the new ranch we are going to put the scale and squeeze inside a building with a concrete floor to cut down on dust! We can use the stall mats if necessary under the squeeze and scale. We are tired of choking on dust while working on the sheep. :sick We can hose out the interior to clean out manure and urine.
 
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