Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lambing is upon us

Well, it's that time of year again. We are officially supposed to be starting lambing today but have been going pretty steady since last Friday. The weather has been really good so far and I for one thank the good Lord for that! I pasture lamb and prefer to limit the number of ewes that have to see the inside of my barn. Cold, wet weather puts a bit of a crimp in my "style" so every warm, halfway dry day is a blessing this time of year.

The majority of the ewes are 4 year olds which makes things pretty easy. This isn't their first "rodeo" and they're still young enough to not have to worry about milk issues. It was a tough winter and I was worried about their body condition but they held up really well. We're getting quite a few singles but that honestly doesn't bother me that much. The lambs are healthy and doing well so that's all I can ask for.

The ewes are a Rambioullet x Meat Merino cross and we bred them to predominately Hamp rams. The younger rams in the picture below just turned a year in March. I'm pretty pleased with them. We did this cross last year as well and they were some of the fastest growing, deepest bodied lambs we've raised. Hopefully they repeat that again this year! The grass situation is looking good right now so they ought to grow!

Jag is pictured moving the rams back to their summer lot. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to have him back to work in time for lambing! He's been my main man for the last couple of years and it's been a long winter around here with so many yearling steers without his help. Probably good for the young dogs but made life just a little harder without him for help. I have cussed this dog at trials so many times in the past. I hope I can remember how much I missed working him if things don't go just perfect on the trial field.

The weather is supposed to turn wet towards the weekend so I expect quite a few ewes to go today. It's already really foggy this morning. I guess that means I should quit for now and get out the door yet again. Until next time!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My teenagers

My boys are growing up! Dustin is 15 and Brady is 13 now. It's hard to imagine that time can go this quickly. People warn you about it and when your kids are little and into everything. You say you believe it will go quickly but I don't think you really comprehend the full extent of it until they are older. I'm sure when they are both gone to college it's going to be even more shocking to me.

They have gone back to public school this year as I was pretty sure high school math was going to start getting over my head. I'm convinced the transition was harder for me than for them. I thought I'd be overjoyed at having my "time" back to myself again. I'm loving being able to go with Mike so much again now but I must admit this last fall was pretty tough on me. I felt lost with my boys gone so much of the time. It didn't help that they were in football and were gone from 7 am until almost 7 pm most days.

They have made me very proud in school. They have both been on the A Honor Roll all year and are consistently getting glowing reports from their teachers on their attitudes and work ethic. I know the cardinal rule about never bragging on your kids or your dogs but I just can't help it right now. I know they will both make plenty of mistakes (trust me we've already had several "good" ones) but right now I couldn't be more proud of how they're growing up.

Yesterday the boys barely got home from school and got put right to work. We had a broken legged yearling that need roped and loaded in the trailer. Another yearling that we missed castrating and needed to brought in to get cut. There were still 600 hd of yearlings that needed fed again before dark. So, Dustin took off with the tractor and processor and took care of feeding while Brady, Mike and I managed to get the broken legged yearling loaded and hauled to the house. Dustin is sporting a good welt on his leg today from holding the yearling for his dad to castrate him. No complaints from either of them though.

The other day the season's first branding brought home to me how much they've matured. They know the work, they have the ambition to get in there without having to be told and they both have enough heart to finish the job. I'm not always the best at telling them how proud I am of them but I made sure to take the time when we got home that night. I tell them "I love you" so much they probobly think I'm a broken record but I need to work on pointing out how proud of them I am as well. Everyone likes to hear they've done a good job and teenager's are no different. I think I'm going to try harder to show them how much I appreciate them from now on.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's Day

It's that busy time of year around our place again and I've been slacking on writing on here because of it. So, I thought I'd share a Rory and Stan cartoon that I thought was funny this morning. You can check them out at http://www.creators.com/comics/the-barn.html