Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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DS1 arrived around 8 pm yesterday. He lost the running lights and tail lights somewhere after Santa Rosa, did the rest of trip using his hazard lights, although apparently he had brake lights and turn signals. He stopped at the Sulphur Springs Walmart for some migraine medicine since he is prone to those and this trip brought one on.

We brought Angel into the yard - the other 2 dogs were in the barnyard. Shockingly, Ozel went ballistic! Snarling and growling, ruff up, she did not want Angel around! Rika was cool. Ozel barked off and on at Angel most of the night. Angel barked back in a lazy manner. This morning, we brought Angel and Ozel together on leads in the safety zone pen. I had called Erick this am about it and he pointed out that they have been apart for a month and it was after dark when Anatolians shift into hyper-protection mode. The kitten had ventured to the house from the barn and Angel was sniffing at her gently so that is one worry off my plate. I really didn't want to confine the kitten to the cage for another 3 days while Angel stared her into submission from 12" away. DH took Angel for her walk about accompanied by Ozel. Ozel had a wade in the pond, Angel had a drink, and all was right with the world. All three dogs are out in the big field now and the kitten has 3 protectors.

I am still fighting the Diverticulitis in spite of the meds, so not feeling tops yet. In between bouts of laying down with pain pills I sorted out and unpacked more stuff - mainly cloths. I packed all our winter things in a large container to store since with seasons here in TX I will put away the long johns and woolies until November. Then the summer stuff can go into storage.

DS1 and DH are unloading the trailer. I drew up a plan for the chute with two holding pens on two of the gates to vax, tag, castrate, dock, etc. The third gate in the sorting box will open to another chute of panels leading back to the large field for the ewes.

Apparently, TX scrapie tags require a special tagger which comes free with your first order of tags. Since my first order of tags came from the state, I do not have the special tagger. I thought one of the 4 types we have would work but NO! And since DH had the taggers in CA, I couldn't check to see if any of them would work. These tags take a special tagger which I could have ordered to have available. Neither Atwoods nor TSC sell the Shearwell tagger. I will check with the co-op and Martindales tomorrow but am not optimistic since this is cow country. I told DH that we would just tag with blank white tags and retag before sending anyone to auction when the Tagger is delivered. These TX tags are like Z tags but with a square receiver. The Z taggers look like they have a round receiver so . . . .

Anyway, we will set up the chute and tomorrow morning will keep the sheep confined in the night pen. We will drive a portion of them into the 12' x 10' portion with the gate and move them through the chute into the sorting box. Everyone will get a dose of Valbazen and Ivermec. The ram lambs that we are keeping will get vaccinations and be separated off to the ram pen. The ram lambs going to auction will get tetanus, vaccinations, and be banded. The ewe lambs will get tetanus, vaccinations, and docked. The larger lambs will be removed and weaned, the younger ones will go back with their mothers. Any abscesses, bad hooves, etc. will be doctored and trimmed. A couple ewes are limping so may have bad or broken hooves needing trims. Tomorrow will be a busy day. We want to leave on Tuesday for California since the first doctor appointment is on Friday. :fl Tonight, we will go to Lowes to look at tile for the new tub shower surround. DS1 will have to choose the new faucets and shower for his bathroom.

The sheep are thin - grass does not keep flesh on them the way alfalfa does so we will set up more grain feeders to flush them. I need to put the ram with the ewes immediately for November lambs (before the worms come out.) Cody is already cutting hay on his other hay fields. Payton will be available to help DS1 a bit when they get to us. I think DS1 can probably get what he wants set up himself though for pens for the weaned lambs. He is also going to look at the electric fencing and the charger and that will work as well to confine the weaned lambs.

While we are gone, I am having DS1 empty the tool shed and put up more shelves. Stuff just got tossed into the shed helter-skelter and it needs to be sorted out. He can put the tool chests in the shed and empty the boxes of tools which are all labeled back into the drawers. He brought out my table saw and will also be able to rip the 1x6 wood for the toe kick height supports. When I return we will remove the peninsula and build the island. I plan on doing the flooring in the kitchen, bathrooms, and hall in vinyl plank. Just haven't decided on whether it should be wood look or tile since the oak paneling is so pervasive. I still haven't ruled out painting the paneling since the house seems so dark. I am considering pulling out the carpeting in the living room and hallway and just leaving the concrete floors if they are not badly cracked. I could also stain the concrete, then put down the area rug. All that when we return. I might ask DS1 if he wants to rent a DitchWitch and lay in the water lines to the barn while we are gone.

DH and DS1 unloaded the trailer this morning. While they were unloading the second compartment of all the Red River rodeo panels, I started setting up the chute. The chute leads out of the 12x10 barn area with a couple gates to prevent backing up leading into the sorting box. We will drive as many sheep as will fit into the 12x10 area and close it off with another panel, then we will move the sheep through the chute into the sorter. The sorting box has 3 gates. We set up an alleyway going back out to the field from one gate, and 2 holding pens - each opening off a different sorting box gate. It took all afternoon, but we are ready for vaxing, worming, docking, banding, etc. in the morning. I will pull all the syringes up tonight with the various vaccines and wormers. Probably will use at least one entire box of syringes (100). I also need to find the blank tags so we can use them as ID until the Shearwell tagger arrives. We are all inside now and are aching.

DS1 wants to go to Lowes tonight and see about the shower tile for his bathroom. He also needs to choose a diverter faucet for the tub and shower. We haven't heard if our 26KW Generac has come in yet but Rick will be here for that. Lowes is going to deliver the correct one and pick up this one. As soon as it is here Bryan will come and install it. Hopefully he will be able to work on the shower then too. We have no problem with the three of us all using the shower in the bathroom off our room, but it would be nicer for Rick to have his own bathroom near his room. Also need to replace the toilet in that bathroom too - it has the original toilet from the time when toilets that sat low to the floor were stylish. Once you are sitting on that toilet, you don't make it back up easily! None of us will use it except in an emergency and I think the fellows prefer to step out and use one of our trees! We have to buy one that is labeled for disabled persons. Those are the taller ones.

Tomorrow is the sheep marathon, then I have to pack for our trip to California. DH says we could leave on Wednesday but that is cutting it too close for me since his appointment is Friday. We have been waiting for this appointment for a year. The eye surgeon will probably tell DH that he needs the cataract removed from his other eye and I hope we can get it done in the 2 months we plan to be in California.

I really don't want to leave. DS1 says that now that Robert had his tongue-tie clipped, he is talking a lot. He says "The Baas went to Texas". LOL It will be good to see my grandbabies.
 

Baymule

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Working sheep this morning, I know you will be glad to have that done. Then off you go for doctor appointments and your knee surgery. When y’all get back, I’ll bring my microscope and we’ll do fecals on your sheep to see how they are doing. Y’all be careful on your trip back and come back with the appropriate spare parts properly inserted and the following therapy. LOL
 

Ridgetop

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DS1 and DH hooked up other truck to the trailer and the running lights worked when hooked to second truck. DS1 is wondering if the shop might have messed up a fuse or something when they pulled and replaced the fuel filter in the brown truck.

We have to leave tomorrow for California. Today we worked nonstop to worm all sheep. We had enough Valbazen for the ewes and older lambs but ran out before we could worm the rams. I will order more and DS1 will worm rams himself. We gave second month vaccinations to older lambs, banded most of the ram lambs, and docked any ewe lambs. We decided to keep a couple ram lambs entire since they look really good - super long and nicely made. We pulled the 4 older ram lambs away from their moms and put them with the older rams. One immediately tried to suckle MoyBoy who looked horrified! LOL Being a gentleman, he walked away instead of killing the youngster taking such liberties. No problems with the older rams messing with the little guys. Two of the young rams we pulled were the ones from Wes - a black headed purebred Dorset ram that he put on the ewe that lost her lamb. Another is the purebred White Dorper OOPS! ram lamb sired by one of Wes' rams. So another ram out of a different sire to add to my genetics. He looks really nice at 2 months old but can change. JR (Lewis' son) is looking really gorgeous at 2 years old. Some of his lambs are really looking good too. 7088 x JR lamb is massive. Super thick rear legs and with incredible width between his rear legs.

The chute and holding pens worked out really great. DS1 and I did the vaxing, tagging, worming, etc. DH kept the sheep moving through the chute. Once we finished DS1 took the panels apart and stacked them. He informed me that he would work on the barn while we are gone to find a good place to store the panels so they can be pulled out and used quickly when needed. He did not think the barn was organized. He will be doing stuff while we are gone. DS1 is really good at self-starting. He had me buy a new light for one of the bathrooms since the current original 70's fixture flickers. We also went to Lowes and chose some really nice tile for the bathroom tub/shower surround. As soon as Bryan gets the generator hooked up, he can start the shower. Larry called me today to say that the new Generator was in. Apparently, several people had the same problem we did after we reported ours. They bought 26KW Generacs and when they opened the packaging, they were 22KWs! Some sort of snafu in the factory. Lowes will be bringing out the new one and picking up the other one. Larry said he will come by when it is delivered to check it out. DS1 will be here with several signed checks to carry on the work on the installation of the generator and the shower.

The lambs born on the trailer and here within the first week after arriving are not looking as good. They are smaller and we are not as impressed with them. Probably because we did not have any jugs for them to be confined and bond with their first freshening mamas. The trip was hard on the ewes and they don't seem to have as much milk as normal. We docked the ewe lambs and vaccinated all of them. Since we couldn't use our new TX scrapie tags, we tagged them all with blank tags. We ordered the Shearwell tagger and DS1 will retag all of them. We will see how they turn out. If any of the ewes look good enough, we will do DNA to determine the dam and sire for registration. We were able to identify one ewe and lamb pair so that was helpful. If we are not impressed with them at weaning, they can all go to the auction. Like DS1 said, there wasn't much that we could do about the situation when he was held up in California with the jugs. There is always next year.

The sheep did not hold condition here like they did on alfalfa in California. A couple were really thin with nursing. Several were in excellent condition, and they open ewes were actually fat! We have upped their grain/pellet feedings to try to get some weight on them so they can go back with the ram for November lambs. DS1 will be pulling the older/larger lambs to wean once he has another pen in which to put them. Once the ewes are done nursing they will gain weight. I ordered some Corid and he will pull all water except for the treated water to make sure all the sheep are treated for Coccidiosis. The lamb ration I bought is medicated too which will help keep them healthy with all this rain and drowned pastures.

Lots to do tomorrow before we can leave. We need to load the trailer with the empty boxes to take back to California, as well as some of the stuff we decided we can't use here. I did the laundry today, but still have to pack. A couple of sheep chores in the am as well that we ran out of time for tonight.
 

farmerjan

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Remember that the sheep just will not do what you are used to when they were getting alfalfa all the time. The ewes are also having to acclimate to a different climate, different type of grass, and the temps will be a whole new ball game there. You may find that you will be culling more older sheep as they will not be able to do what they did before in your previous conditions.
That is why different types of cattle do better in certain areas of the country and why there was alot of crossbreeding to get the best of both types... Brahma genetics for heat and fly tolerance coupled with the meatier bodies of the english breeds like angus and hereford. That is why the Brangus breed was developed... You may see that the ones that did the best in CA do not do as well in TX.

Safe Trip back to CA.
 
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