Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,406
Reaction score
6,540
Points
413
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Another reason to bring (expensive to buy new) rubber stall mats to Texas.

Just finished trimming the ewes in the large corral and castrating 2-month old ram lambs. This evening we will do another set of rams and separate the 3-month olds from their mothers. They are really big now so no need to let them pull moms down by nursing, Oh Goody! a week of screaming sheep as they wean. :duc

They go to the butcher February 10. Then the next batch weans - more screaming :duc and next butcher date March 12.

Here is a Ridgetop tip for you. When you buy a squeeze and it is ADJUSTABLE know where it adjusts! Hint: Maybe even try it out first in all positions. While trying to trim lambs in the squeeze while they struggled and attempted to squeeze out, DH and DS1 were discussing ways to confine the smaller lambs. Hobbles were mentioned as well as constructing a top bar to keep them in the bottom half of the squeeze. Just as the last lamb approached the squeeze, DS1 noticed the holes in the bottom bar that would allow the squeeze gate to be adjusted in 2 closer positions. easily making the squeeze much narrower for smaller lambs!
:hide :th Anyone feeling stupid?!

One or two of the ewes had really overgrown feet. I am noting their tag numbers to decide if they get to go to Texas where the ground will be softer and their feet will grow even more. Also Blue 11, one of our home bred ewes has produced a third teat on her filling udder. She is due to lamb soon and if I don't like her lamb she will go t the auction eventually too, She did not shed at all this year either so she already had one strike against her. Nice big ewe though so she should do well at the auction.

I have been looking into Kiko goats as a possible addition to livestock for the ranch I will start with 1 buck and 3 doe kids and disbud all their doe kids. That way they can go in with the sheep to forage. I HATE HORNS! And some of those Kiko bucks have a horn spread of up to 3 feet!!!

I called the Extension agent today and talked to him about soil condition and testing. I also discussed what type of livestock we planned to run and he said the cattle and goats were a real good combination. You run the cattle through the pasture first, then the goats to get all the weeds the cattle won't touch. When adding sheep, you run the cattle to eat the long grass, the sheep will eat it shorter, then the goats to get all the weedy growth. By rotating your pastures that way, you can keep them healthy and weed free. County Extension will give you the soil bags to take samples. You send the samples to Texas & M for a breakdown of your soil to tell you where it is lacking in which nutrients. Once you know that you can begin to fertilize or treat it correctly, He said they would also identify the type of hay currently growing on any pastures so I will do that as well. Then they would discuss with you whether that is a good grass/hay or whether we should overseed or replant eventually. They will come out to the farm as well. Next he transferred me to the 4-H advisor and that gentleman was very receptive to our offer to be leaders and assist. Sounds like we would make acquaintances very quickly.

Getting excited about moving even though we will be moving away from the grandchildren. Talking about moving up the departure date if we can get this house sold sooner. Still a year away though at least by the time we get the fencing done. DH said we could live in the 5th wheel for a few months and keep our belongings in storage if necessary.
:weee:weee:weee:weee
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
2,406
Reaction score
6,540
Points
413
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Vaccinated and docked 7041's twin ewes yesterday. We will weigh them along with the rest of the creep lambs on Monday. Grandchildren have the day off for MLK Day. They wil be coming to clean the barn and we will weigh and castrate. Also might separate a couple of the larger ram lambs from their mamas. Need to start weaning the larger lambs earlier to get their mamas back into condition. Checked 7088 and she was getting closer. Very friendly - kept wanting her neck rubbed. My ewes get very loving and friendly just before they lamb, even the wilder field ewes. One of the signs that they will lamb in a day or two. Vulva getting puffier, so I decided to rake out her jug instead of waiting for the grandkids to clean it Monday. Just in case she lambed before Tuesday which I figured as the final date for her to lamb. I didn't want her lambing in the poo.

That is one nice thing about lambing ewes out on grass, they choose a nice clean area. Lambing in confined jugs, the jugs are not as clean as you would like. One practice we can change when we move is to have the heavily pregnant/due ewes in a smaller pasture where they can drop their lambs on grass, then we can collect the lambs and move the ewe into a jug. I read about an interesting system that a couple of small flock owners (30 ewes) use. They have a large barn with jugs lining the walls. The main part is open and the floor bedded with straw. As the ewes lamb, the shepherd removes them from the open area and transfers them to one of the jugs. This is a great system for cold winter areas where the ewes often lamb while snow is still n the ground.

Anyway, 7088 lambed during the afternoon yesterday. DD1 and DGD1 were both over. DD1 wanted to come over with her videos, watch The Closer with us, and hand out. DH is on a Closer binge. DD1 and DDIL2 did puzzles while watching The Closer. DGD1 brought her new Christmas bike and rode it around the yard and on the field. She went in the barn to check the 6 day old lambs and came running up to tell us that there was a new lamb in the barn. After telling us all about how she discovered the mama cleaning it off, she went back to see it again and came running right back all excited that there were now two lambs!!!

7088 gave us twin ewe lambs. Where 7041's ewe lambs are both hair lambs, both 7088's ewe lambs have wooly coats fading into hair coats on their necks, shoulders, and thighs. Will have to see how well they shed out. 7088's should be complete shedders. Both lambs healthy and strong Will weigh them today. Easy lambing with no trouble, efficient, quiet and fast. These are my original ewes - love them. I now have ewe lambs out of them by all 3 rams. Their lambs will make a good foundation flock.

Promised DGD1 she could help weigh them. She is our farm girl. DS2 will man the scale readout and gate, but DGD1 loves to herd the lambs and even capture them and put them in the scale She is getting better at it than her brothers. 🤫 Maybe we will sneak her off to Texas so she can grow up to be a regular little Texas cowgirl. Sneaky grandma promised her a pony DGD1 is thinking about it. LOL

DGD1 asked to spend the night and we said ok She is going out to feed with grandpa now.
 
Top