Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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Last night DS1 sorted out the 5 ewes to be oved and moved 2 into the jugs and the other 3 to the breeding pen. Smalley Ram will join the girls soon. Cleaned out the jugs again today. Soooo much spoiled alfalfa hay! We are dumping the manure etc. over the cliff now. Maybe the rotting alfalfa will help build some soil. Probably not since it has not done anything for the soil over the past 30 years during 20 of which we dumped our manure over the same cliff! LOL

Talked to DS1 about going through the flock and culling a couple more ewes. One ewe is still carrying a full coat of wool at almost 2 years old. She may go to the sale yard even though she is a nice large ewe. She had a ram lamb in November and is in the breeding pen. Might lamb her out and send her to the sale in the spring. I think I am going to have t break down and shear some of these yearlings in order to get a good look at their conformation.

In addition to culling for excess wool, lack of shedding, parasite resistance, lambing ease and twins, now I think i am going to add udder attachments. The judge in Reno mentioned that as breeders we need to start paying attention to udder strength and attachments and how they hold up from year to year. Good tight attachments and strong suspensory ligaments are necessary for these ewes to breed, milk heavily, and produce and raise lambs for years. Having raised dairy goats for years, I know what to look for in udders. There was a 10 year old ewe being offered in the last sale with an exceptional udder. It looked like the udder on a 2 year old. She was being sold with her ram lamb still nursing. I didn't need another ram so did not bid on her but both body and udder were really nice. She did not look like a 10 year old ewe!

So having established my cull list, no all I need to do now is to inspect each ewe, yearling, and lamb on the property for "Keep" or "Cull" viability. Since all of my older ewes and yearling ewes will be bred this fall, I will start culling the ewes in the spring when I take my lambs to the auction. I would like to reduce the flock size a bit and just keep the very best of what I have bred. I might even sell some of the older ewes. One in particular does not seem to give me the quality of lambs that I want. Whether that is because the rams she was bred to were not a "nick" or because of herself, she will get another chance with Smalley after which I might sell her too depending on the lambs.

Debra was able to get someone to haul her Dorper ewes and lamb north for her. Paul Lewis is taking them north on the way to Kansas. We would have done it if she couldn't get anyone, but I really did not fancy another 2-3 day trip each way right now. Not to mention the expense of 3 nights in a motel. We will have to go north to pick up our ewe but we also needed to go north to pickup our sheep equipment anyway since they were not around Memorial Day weekend.

DH was annoyed that I bought another ewe. That will eat up the last of the Yelm rent money. I am officially broke I better start selling lambs. That reminds me that I have to email our neighbor abut the lamb we took to the butcher for him. He hasn't paid me for it yet!
 

Ridgetop

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Started to post all this on my responses to other posts and then realized that I was not on my own page!

This morning went out to feed with DH and got side tracked to the barn where I fed the ewe and her twins, the other 3 waiting to lamb, and the new ram Smalley. Then I raked out and cleaned Smalley's stall. He was rather nervous with me in his 5' x 10' pen, so I moved his feeder to the end of the pen and was able to finish without him trampling all over the stuff I was trying to shovel out. Yesterday it "rained" - actually a very heavy drizzle that wet the top of the ground then evaporated. It did get fairly chilly. No need for any A/C - wore a sweater and considered turning on the electric fireplace towards evening.

This afternoon the grandchildren are supposed to help clean out the barn. I told DS1 that they should rake out and shovel up the creep and pen where the ewes go since I just cleaned the jugs. That way we can turn out the ewes into the large creep pen until they are due to lamb on the 18th. If we remove the creep gate they will lamb in the creep instead of on the hill if they come into labor early. We don't like them confined in the small jugs for too long before they lamb because it gets the jugs wet and mucky before the lambs show up. Also better for the ewes to get some exercise before lambing. Once the ewes are in the jugs we can clean out the creep pen again and put down dry stall for the muddy bits.

DDIL2 has taken baby Robert and gone to stay with her parents for a week. That way they get their baby fix. Lolo June is anxious to see his grandson - not only first one but he had 7 daughters and only 1 son so having this boy is a special blessing. Filipino grandfathers are Lolo and grandmothers are Lola. They don't differentiate between mother's parents and father's parents like Chinese names for grandparents. Since DDIL2 chose to call herself Lola Ganda meaning "Grandma Beautiful". I said I could be "Lola Old" or "Lola Grumpy". :gig DDIL2 and her mother tossed those names out and tried to find me a better name. However, since DD1's children call me "PauPau" (pronounced PoPo and meaning mother's mother) I said that I would be "Lola PoPo" since that way I would always respond no matter who called me! LOL DD1's children think it is hysterically funny that I am "Granny Granny".

Sheriff Villanuevo, L.A. County Sheriff, is involved in a huge strike against 500 marijuana "farms" located in the Antelope Valley. This is where a lot of alfalfa hay is grown, along with other vegetables. These marijuana farms are cartel owned and run with portable greenhouses. This strike involves 500 deputies DEA, ICE, and other organizations as they have descended on these farms and are using bulldozers to destroy the greenhouses. These cartel farms are patrolled by armed cartel members who threaten residents, etc. The farms are watered by stealing water from the surrounding farms wells and watering systems. The electricity is probably stolen from power lines as well. The cartels use illegals they have brought over the border to work them. This strike was just announced on TV with video of the dozers knocking down these portable greenhouses. The greenhouses are completely filled with huge plants setting buds. According to the report there are 500 of these farms and each one is worth about $50 million dollars in product! $50,000,000 X 500 = $250,000,000,000 in marijuana that the cartels will sell No wonder the liberal dems are trying to tell us that drugs are not coming over the border, the cartels have marijuana farms here. The cartels are apparently not importing the marijuana, they are importing the illegals as slave labor to work these farms!

Villanuevo is also the L. A. Sheriff who said he is loosening gun permit restrictions because the Sheriff's Department and LAPD don't have the manpower to keep the citizens safe in the current political climate and with the current cuts to their budgets. He said arming the citizens is the only way the citizens will be able to protect themselves! Guess you know who gets the entire Ridgetop clan's vote for Sheriff. Go! Sheriff Villanuevo!

Wild and crazy stuff going on these days!
 

Bruce

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No wonder the liberal dems are trying to tell us that drugs are not coming over the border, the cartels have marijuana farms here.
And that surprises you? There were pot farms in Cal when I lived there over 40 years ago. There are customers so there is supply. The cocaine and other "small" drugs come over the border, generally right through the legal crossing points. Pot in "financially lucrative" quantity is bulky so they grow it where the customers are.

Villanuevo is also the L. A. Sheriff who said he is loosening gun permit restrictions
I'm surprised a county sheriff can decide who needs a gun permit. I would think that is dictated at a higher level, like the state.
 

Ridgetop

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Sheriff Vallenueva doesn't decide who gets a permit, just loosens up the restrictions on carry permits in the outlying County areas. City still won't give anyone a carry permit other than liberal politicians who want to restrict everyone else from gun ownership. We are inside the city limits.

Villanueva was back in the news a few days ago. Now he is removing homeless encampment from sidewalks where they are restricting pedestrian traffic, stealing electricity from businesses, etc.

Currently in one town the homeless have made a large encampment in a pedestrian tunnel designed for the school children to get under a busy road to go to the elementary school on the other side. Parents are protesting because the children are not safe walking through the homeless encampment.

Haven't posted in a couple days.

Another ewe went into labor. This was the half sister t the ewe with twins. We kept her in the jug since the morning she would have been turned back out for another week or so, she starting losing her mucous plus. Her udder was pretty full but didn't seem like she was ready to lamb. She wasn't interested in eating the next morning so figured she would lamb that day. I was gone for the day and DS1 said he didn't like the look of her when I got back so I went down and checked her vulva. Sure enough there was a large lamb head stuck. No problem, I started trying to find a foot but the lamb was completely jammed into the pelvis, She had probably been quietly pushing all day. The lamb looked dead but you never know. I lubed up ad tried to get a hand in to pull up the leg. Couldn't even get my fingers in there let alone my hand! DS1 came to help hold her while I worked on her. Finally got one foot up to the vulva and managed to get it out a bit. DS1 changed laces and pulled on the lamb but no lick. Got DH to hold the ewe so she couldn't slide back while we pulled. Kept lubing around the head and finally got one leg and the head out. The head was the size of a cantaloupe! Huge. With one leg and the head out you would think the rest of the lamb could slide particularly with DS1 pulling for all he was worth but nothing. Called the vet but they were both out of town! AAARGH!

Decided if we couldn't get the lamb out we would shoot her when DS2 came home. His pistol was locked in the gun cabinet and my shotgun would make a mess of her. As a last ditch effort I mixed some powdered birthing lube in cold water and we splashed it on her vulva and tried to get some inside around the lamb. Got another foot partially out. Finally, with DH holding tight to the ewe's hind quarts, DS1 pulling on the head and one foot, me pulling on the other leg, and manipulating the vulva back around the lamb, we got the shoulders through. Unlike other births, this lamb still was not coming all the way out!!! The lamb was obviously dead, and his body was so large that he was still stuck tight around the ribs! More cold water lube and finally DS1 was able to pull him completely out. HUGE RAM LAMB!
16 LBS. - 28" LONG IN THE BODY (EXCLUDING THE TAIL).
Naturally a single. She was a first freshener, but is a large ewe so i didn't think she would have any trouble. Obviously wrong on that score.

She did not receive any grain during pregnancy so why so big? This was a ewe that would be removed from the gene pool in the wild or on a large spread. I am sending her to the auction next week with another yearling ewe and the runty looking ewe lamb. I had already decided to send her to the auction because she did not shed out at all this year. The other ewe I am selling did not shed out either and they are being culled. That ewe had a ram lamb in January that already went to the auction. I am hoping that the mature ewes bring good money since breeding season for spring lambs is coming up.

She will be an excellent mother for someone, assuming she twins, since she spent 20 minutes cleaning the dead lamb even though she was exhausted. I spent that time milking out about a pint of colostrum to put in my freezer. She had a huge udder like a milk goat. Of course, she would have needed that much milk for that giant lamb if he had survived!

I am making a list of the ewes that shed out completely. They will stay. Those carrying less than 25% wool will stay. The others are up to be culled unless they are exceptional ewes. With 30 ewes and ewe lambs, we need to cull heavily for the characteristics we want to keep in the flock. Shedding is one that I really want to be strict on. I can't do much about parasite control since at this time we don't have any problems. However, I will order a FAMACHA chart and p9ssiby start pulling random samples. However we don't have Barber Pole here so . . . .

The next 2 ewes will lamb around Father's Day weekend. They are currently out in the hillside pen attached to the creep. Smalley gets his harness and crayon today and get to go from the small jug in the barn out to meet several very attractive girls. Just like "The Bachelor" on TV, they will vie for his affections. LOL We need to dock the twin ewes, and give vaccinations today. Their mother and grandmother are 2 of my favorites. Beautiful toplines, good bloodlines, complete shedders. The granddaughters have given the twins names. One apiece - Sparkleshine and Fairysparkle.

Graduations last Friday for DS1's 2 boys. One graduated into High School, one into Middle School. Had a disagreement about the difference between Graduations and Culmination. The older boy "graduated" into HS. "culminated" into MS. We informed them that the words were the same meaning for the 2 functions of moving on. However calling graduation from Middle School "culmination" is wrong. "Graduation" means going to a higher level, while "culmination" means the ceasing of the activity. This misuse of vocabulary from school officials is very wrong to el on the other hand, I was often appalled by the communications sent home from my children's schools that were misspelled, used the wrong syntax or grammar, and needed proof reading! Instead of asking "who guards the guards', we should be asking "Who educated the teachers"? Apparently no one! They are just learning liberalism and critical racism! No grad nights this year either. A $$$ savings for their parents at least. ;) DS1 was invited to DGS2's graduations while DH was invited to DGS1's. Luckily I was not invited to either, so escaped sitting outside in 100 degree heat and full sun. :weeeHave I mentioned that I really don't like school events that must be attended by parents to sit in undersized chairs placed too close together in stifling auditoriums, freezing auditoriums, or hellish outdoor locations, with no visibility? And always being seated on the opposite side to where your child is due to walk or perform? I still have many years ahead of me attending those holiday programs with 2 more infant grandchildren. And possibly more in the future. :love:th

Going up to northern California Monday morning to pick up the feeders and ewe I bought. Another reason to cull heavily to only the best ewes. Home Tuesday, auction Wednesday. The Yelm property is being appraised on Monday so we will know then if the sale is going ahead. :fl

Finally got a call back from the venue about DD2's wedding. They gave me 3 dates in September and one in October. The October one won't work, but 2 in September will be fine. Just have to contact all my vendors to make sure they are free on that day. Lots of business paperwork to get through now.
 

Mike CHS

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Those large lambs are a scary. We had three 14 pounders with our first lambing and fortunately they were all singles or we would have lost ewes.
 
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