SageHill Ranch Journal

SageHill

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It's a rainy day today - and more forecast for tomorrow (estimated total for both days is 1.2 in). That means I can stick in the house and get house things done AND Christmas things too.
I managed to get to the barn before the rain started to really come down and feed the sheep. We got a new load of hay this week. You all have read my woes of sheep being picky about what they eat. I estimate the last load of hay was ~50% waste. That's alot of waste in many ways. I did learn to shred, how to use that in the garden and to share the left overs with my friend who is putting it to good use mulching garlic and other things.
We got a call about the load of hay that came in on Monday (?) that is was really stemmy, and did I still want it. NO Thankyou please. I chatted with his wife and told her that my sheep were picky, and my friends said I'd do better with 1st or 2nd cutting (thank you @farmerjan ). I found out that the cattle get all the first cut, the dairies even go and pick it up to get it. Sigh - but it was great info to have. We had a wonderful chat and she asked if sheep were like goats and I honestly said I had no idea I know nothing about goats. Then she asked how many stomachs sheep have, I quickly said four! (yeah technically one, but four compartments). OHHHH. So I waited for the next shipment - which was Wednesday. And the hay is GORGEOUS !!!! I've let her know and thanked her for helping. I'm still working through the last 3 bales of the old stuff - giving the sheep a choice of which they will eat. It's obvious -- check this out --

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Left side is what's left of two flakes of the new hay - right side is what's left of two flakes of the old hay.
HUGE differences. LOL and I bought 150lbs of alfalfa pellets -- looks like that will not be needed for awhile,
Or at least at the rate I was feeding. BIG WIN!
So yesterday was our one year anniversary of grazing with Obi almost everyday. WOW, what a year it has been. So much learning and more

  • standing in awe of my dog,
  • Sheep headaches - ohhh those retired trial sheep with no brain,
  • cousin coyotes on the prowl,
  • fencing in 6 months ago,
  • miles and miles of walking,
  • learning the land of the ranch,
  • picking up old branch support boards from the now long gone avo grove,
  • cutting out old irrigation risers from a long dead irrigation system,
  • picking our own oranges,
  • grazing the roadside,
  • trimming hooves,
  • rattlesnakes
  • getting and getting rid of the crazy horse,
  • putting in arenas,
  • tractoring arenas,
  • cleaning stalls and listened to the Dirty Jobs guy,
  • TWINS! ewe and ram lambs,
  • The best of all --- LOTS OF FRESH AIR and SANITY.
Are there trials and tribulations - of course. But the balance for good far outweighs anything else.
I'll add in --- finding this group - likeminded who "get it" and have "been there done that".
As an old friend of my father would say,
"Smell the health".

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.....
From the first graze
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And now - a year later (and greener!)

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Have a wonderful day everyone.
 

SageHill

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After a few days of not going out to graze it felt SOOOO GOOD to be back at it. I do best when I can get out and "be". My own personal "therapist" - nature.
We had 2+ days of rain - judging by buckets and pans outside we got just just under 2 inches. That's a lot for us. Going out and grazing I scoped out what needs to get taken care of and fixed. The drain the landscape guy put in by the arena - looked good. HA HA HA - what a joke. The water washed under it. Good help is hard to find. Looks like there will be some chipping of concrete and resetting the thing. Giving adage to the saying "If you want it done right....do it yourself". Along with that there was as expected with a non-functioning drain, the associated erosion ruts. Not as bad as I've seen before, but definitely needs to filled in, shovel and or tractor time soon.
The arenas all need to be dragged/harrowed - but with the rain early this morning they were all a bit too wet to work on today. That will be a tomorrow job.
Other than that it is a typical Tuesday - cleaning stalls, listening to the Mike Rowe podcast, and odds and ends of pick up clean up, etc. A good day.
I tried to do a girth measurement on Ol' 23 yesterday but it wasn't happening. o_O Walking the roads with the flock today I figured I could easily do it. They are used to me pranking them by putting things like vines on their backs to carry back to the barn. Girth measurement try #2 coming soon.
I'm thinking of including the lambs and mama ewe and Auntie Barb out to graze soon - perhaps tomorrow. Time will tell. I've also thought about taking the "pup" Zo out with Obi to graze with (though I wouldn't do him AND the lambs). At a year old Zo has decided to go through a teenager stage :plbb:barnie- a bit of "destruction" of dog beds and throw rugs :he so he's on "restriction" tethered to me. At first he looked like he was "special" :lol: until he realized he was attached and we were NOT going for a walk and he had to pay attention to me. So - if I take him to graze he isn't going to work at all.
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"Hey - I was going to grab that branch."
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SageHill

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You enjoy feeding them that way and that's all that matters. :) I used to take ours outside the fence but it took a couple of hours for them to get it done. I wound up buying a bagger for my mower and I could cut enough fo them in about ten minutes rather than hours. :)
🤣 I tried that this summer - the stinkers turned their noses up! It definitely takes time, but things still get done out there while they eat 😊. And then some days I just watch. And, while they are not weed whackers the greenery that becomes summer and fall fire fuel is kept in check. 😊👍🏼
🤣 and it beats eating bon bons 🍬🍫and watching soap operas :lol:
 

Baymule

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I take Reina out to graze with halter and a lead rope, usually about an hour. Gives us time to hang out together and that a halter and lead rope isn’t a bad thing.

But I do get tired of standing. I’ve got a 60’ round pen still at son’s house. I think I’ll get it and set it up for extra pasture for her. Except for where the sheep are, there ain’t a fence on this place that’s in good condition.
 

SageHill

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But I do get tired of standing. I’ve got a 60’ round pen still at son’s house. I think I’ll get it and set it up for extra pasture for her. Except for where the sheep are, there ain’t a fence on this place that’s in good condition.
I get tired of standing as well. That's when I do stuff - pick up boards, saw down old irrigation, etc - but ya' can't do that holding a lead line! Besides that's fabulous bonding time with Reina - and she gets a lot out of that. ❤️
 

SageHill

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Winter's here - 38-59 and clear. Loving it!!!
Today was the day - the day to take the "family" aka lambies, mama ewe and Auntie Barb out with the rest of the sheep to graze. In the beginning the lambs were confused, mama ewe was almost combative, and Auntie B was pretty good. As we walked down the south ranch road everyone settled in nicely. The lambs stuck pretty much to the middle of the flock, mama ewe was tailing and on the watch for THAT DOG. She did settle down eventually too. We went all the way down to the meadow. Grazed out there for quite awhile (hours). Obi looked so incredibly happy. He's always happy, but this morning even more so. The last few days he's been really hanging out at the lambs' stall before we head out -- I think he was trying to tell me the time was right. Coming back we traced our walk on the south road back to the barn. That was not as calm as the walk out. Yeah - the "go back to the barn" syndrome. The area where Obi works is tight alongside the sheep and in an area with tons of big rocks and boulders. And right now they are starting to be covered over with greenery. CRINGE -- Obi had to work there because tight to their sides was not an option with Auntie B and the lambs. Then the retired trial sheep took off for the barn - and Obi had to high tail it to head off the escape - and go through the "mine field". As much as I wanted to tell him to let them go I didn't. Once sheep learn they can outrun the dog or do what they want it's over. The boy did good and never lost his sheep.
It was a great morning.
I need to work on the ranch road with the box grader. It's not something that has to be done asap and it's a good thing too. The last person (DH or someone he had working for him) just sort of dropped it. Just the bucket on the front, the boxgrader on a palette BEHIND the fork lift. GRRRRR - I'll have to drop the bucket, get the forklift, move it, drop it, reattach the bucket, and attach the box grader before I can get started. @farmerjan -- I feel for ya' with all the tractor/truck/etc juggling you've had to do.
I used the utv and the harrow to drag the arenas - they dried up enough to work them. They look all pretty again :) just in time for herding lessons tomorrow.
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Taking them all down the ranch road.
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Happily grazing away in the meadow
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