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.
 

Ridgetop

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I HATE THOSE GINORMOUS LAMBS!!!

Two of my 3 boys were 9 lbs. 5 ounces, and 9 lbs. 14 ounces! I sympathize with those ewes!

Up to northern California Monday to pick up a ewe and our feeders. We got to Wes Patton's and loaded the ewe I had bought :hide. Then Wes looked over my pedigrees. I wanted to find out if I seemed to be heading in the right direction with my breeding stock. He said that I had good stuff and that I seemed to be "cherry picking" his best bloodlines! That made me feel good. He had a lot of other information about the different animals in my pedigrees. One ram he had that was very good, did not seem to shed as well. I will be weeding out those animals. He knew a lot about Paul Lewis' animals too and said that Paul had been working with NSIP and Lambplan for 20 years so now people looked for his sheep and bought. That has brought the prices up very high. With NSIP and Lambplan you use the numbers to predict what the different rams and ewes will produce depending on what your market is. It took me a weeks to study the numbers and what they meant. Even now I have to refer to the information when bidding on a Lewis animal to translate what it means! LOL Now that we have a larger group of producing ewes and rams, we will start culling lambs heavily for the characteristics we want.

Still couldn't get hold of the equipment people but DH said we would drive over anyway since it would only be another 10 miles. Sure enough when we got there the owner was there. Said that his wife keeps forgetting to clear the old phone messages and she hadn't given him the message we wanted to pick up till that morning. (Ordered the feeders a couple months ago) Not surprising she did not get my 3rd message since I couldn't leave any messages till the day before. I had also emailed them but she must not be picking up those either. On Tuesday when we drove by the shop the message box was full again! He has had a lot of problems with workers not cutting or assembling stuff right too, and has a lot of back orders. I told him that we would take the hanging feeder he had ready and would cancel our order for the 5' double sided feeder if that would help him since we would not be able to get up north for quite a while to pick it up anyway. That worked out for him. We loaded the 4' fence hanging feeder with lid. We will use the new one in the ram pen since it has a lid for rain cover. We will transfer the one the rams are using into the creep in the barn.

Back last night and another rodeo to unload the ewe we had picked up. Adult children don't want to hear your suggestions on easy unloading straight into the barn IF you line up the trailer doors properly. NO! That would be too easy! They prefer to chase ewes around the driveway. I finally let them go at it themselves. But NO pity for them. And no dinner. DH and I ate sandwiches in the car.

DS1 had separated the ewe and lamb from the field into a jug and loaded all 3 this morning. So up early and off to the auction. Prices are up lately and the auction people thought I might get about $220 apiece for the ewes. Just hope the excessive heat won't keep people home. At least they are not eating our expensive hay. The next 2 ewes are due to lamb Saturday and Monday. Both experienced ewes so no problem hopefully. :fl I might have to set up a fan in the barn if the heat holds. It is hard on newborns.

DDIL2 and baby Robert have returned home. She spent last week at her parent's home. Robert has learned to smile now. His smile is just like DS2's! The baptism is July 4. This ruins DD1's plans to have a large BBQ at her house with siblings and friends there to swim. Their plans then called for them to all come to our house to watch fireworks. I planned to spend July 4 at home packing for Texas. Now that is all changed. Many, many texts back and forth about what to do for the Baptismal party and July 4th BBQ. and loaded all 3 this morning. Then DGD1's July 2 birthday was mentioned. I did not suggest anything. However DH got into it by asking what they were going to do for our 50th anniversary on July 3. He wanted a celebration. :rolleyes: I would have taken his phone away had I known what he was doing! Because a joint party like that is just a party, not specific to anyone or any occasion. And I wanted to pack the trailer for our trip!
I don't know what they will decide to do. :\ A joint birthday, baptism, anniversary, and 4th July party? All that on ONE cake? I am going to take a Prozac now. Or a tranquilizer. Or both. With wine. ;)

Got a call this afternoon from our Yelm agent. The appraisal came back spot on! So one hurdle down - can the buyers stay well? Alive? Will the escrow close? Next thrilling installment soon. The buyers are gong out this week to the property with their agent to discuss remodeling/adding on to the house. And our insurance company notified us last week that they are cancelling our insurance in August since no one is living in the house! If this escrow does not close we will have to move in until it does. :barnie

:fl
 

Ridgetop

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There is a Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times"! It may have been placed on us. :lol:

I do enjoy interesting though. ;) We might find it boring living away from the 5 children and 8 grandchildren. We should have moved to Texas when they were younger, but then they wouldn't have met their spouses or had these lovely 8 grandchildren. We can always come back and live in our 5th wheel on DS3's property in between traveling. We are not selling our house here yet.

My brother joined BYH. His name is Tr4ever. I sent him everyone's names but he only put in Ridgetop so it might not reach everyone. He needs to put up fencing on his acreage - he and his wife are building their retirement farm in Arlington, WA. (Even though he lives in Washington state he is not very liberal.)

They already have 2 Pyrenees and he was wondering what kind of fence to build that would contain his dogs in the country. :gig I didn't have the heart to tell him to get in touch with the contractors that build fencing for prisons! I did tell him to search for Baymule's fencing posts.

Once they have moved onto the property he wants to get some sheep, poultry, etc. and will be fencing and building for them too. Although I can give him some White Dorper stock to start him off, I am wondering if Katahdins would be better, considering the eternal rain in western Washington state.

He will need guidance from everyone on farm stock and building. H has already been putting i fruit trees, blueberries, asparagus, strawberries, etc., that are perennials and need at least a year or two to establish. He owns some rentals and has always done all the repairs etc., so has a good stock of building knowledge, engine repair, gardening, etc.
This site will give him a lot of friends and support. I'm so glad he finally joined.

Got to take my shower to go play bridge with our friends ("Mom") She is finally starting to feel a bit better after terrible reaction to Covid vaccine. 2 of her doctors asked if she wanted to start hospice and she said not yet so hoping she has made up her mind to stick around longer. Her granddaughter is getting married in October and she bought a new outfit for the wedding. I told her that she needs to tell the granddaughter to hurry and produce a baby before she goes. The granddaughter is 32 so . . . . Both her grandchildren are from her daughter who died of cancer many years ago when the children were young. At least she is starting to feel better intermittently. Sometimes that presages the end with a short remission in the cancer symptoms, but I am hoping that she will last a while longer. :fl

Got the sheep to the auction yesterday and was told the ewes should bring around $200 apiece. I wrote out their birthdates (9/23/19 and 10/23/19) and that they were ready to breed for fall lambs so hopefully the auctioneer will read that out and it might raise the price a bit. We were the only sheep although someone was bringing in some Boer goats when we left around 10:45 am. The sheep and goats don't go through until 1:00 pm so more should be arriving. I don't like to be the first animals through the auction though since prices usually climb during the auction, drop, then climb again as buyers see there are only a few animals left. I like to come in towards the middle after the buyers have seen a lot of poor scrawny animals and then mine look awesome! I will see what they bring. Then we want to do more culling. Might as well sell while the prices are high! If I don't like the price we will bring the next lot in later in the morning to get better auction placing.

Moving Smalley into the breeding pen this evening and the ewes that are due in a day or so into the jugs.
 

Ridgetop

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No lambs yet, but one ewe due tomorrow and one on Monday. Moved them into the jugs last night just in case. Smalley was outfitted in his harness and walked calmly with DS1 on a halter to the breeding pen. He got right to work nd this morning one ewe is heavily marked. :D =D Fur more to go. She might recycle since he is a young buck and has not bred before - semen count may not be viable until next squirt. But at least he knows what he is there for. :gig

Temps are high today and also muggy! Cleaned out the barn that had piles of jug straw and manure waiting for empty barrels. Fil;ed 2 barrels to be dumped on the hillside. Cleaned Smalley's jug and moved Orange 5, ewe with 2 lambs, into it. He was in the 5 x 12 jug which is much larger than the other four 5 x 7's. The lambs will have more room now that they are 2 weeks old. We would normally move them into the large outdoor pen with the creep but with only 1 ewe and 2 lambs to occupy it, we feel the temptation is too high to the coyotes. It makes another area for the dogs to have to patrol heavily. Cleaned out the ewe's pen partially, and brought another barrel down then had to go up to breakfast. I'll do the rest of the pen later so it can dry out.

Speaking of coyotes, one was patrolling outside our northern pasture fence and started to yip and howl. The field sheep were out on the pasture in 2 separate groups grazing among the dumped hay from the pens. All the dogs ran to the fence line. The sheep all turned to face the dogs. Then Josie The Mule ran out of the gully to the top of the hill and stood facing the fence line where the dogs had gone. Both flocks of sheep ran up and clustered around Josie who was extremely alert - all of them turned to watched the fence line and the dogs. The dogs were not barking, although the coyote kept yipping. Then Josie The Mule went to see what was going on. The sheep stayed where all bunched watching the spot the dogs and Josie had gone to. Finally Bubba came walking back from the fence line, followed by one Rika. As he passed them they turned to watch him go by and, reassured by his calm attitude resumed grazing. Now they are all clustered round Josie the Mule grazing on the top of the hill. Amazing dogs and mule working together to protect our flock. Amazing how the sheep respond to danger knowing the dogs will protect them. They just stayed in one bunch waiting t see what the dogs did.

We had 2 peacocks and 2 peahens on our roof this am. All juveniles. I would have chased them into the yard to eat bugs, but the dogs wanted to kill them. They are strong fliers and are the descendants of Dr. LeBounty's flock, a veterinary who lived about half a mile away. His wife loved fowl of any kind and many people disposed of their unwanted Easter chicks and ducks by quietly dropping them over her fence at night! Sadly both LeBounty's are gone now, along with the waterfowl, but the descendant of their original peacocks still delight residents here in the spring during mating season when they display their beautiful tails on our streets. Their piercing screams during mating season are another story! It sounds like someone is being painfully murdered! The 4 on our garage roof were juveniles from this years hatch. The cocks did not have any adult plumage yet.

Got to put up tomato cages around the last 3 tomato plants that I replaced the squash with when we got back from Yelm. Those seem to be surviving in their bucket fortresses, so might as well put up the cages before they get too large and sprawling. We won't get any tomatoes since we will be gone all July but the family can enjoy them.
 
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