Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hawaii, pinkeye and mini-dachshunds

 Here's a little photographic update of what we've been keeping busy with in 2014.

We rang in the new year in Kauai, Hawaii, and celebrated my brother's wedding on 1-4-14! The trip was my husband's first time on an airplane, to the ocean, and vacation in general aside from our honeymoon. We enjoyed ourselves but were also happy to get back to our operation after a week in the sun.

We arrived home to more pinkeye in our calves. This has been our never-ending health issue of the year. We have been treating pinkeye since JULY, and are sick of it!
 It's been cold off an on so far this year. One day while the tank was frozen, save a little hole, the butcher hogs realized they could jump up, balance themselves, and sip away. It was hilarious, and a big distraction while we were sorting replacement heifers.

Keeping more replacement heifers than usual has been another highlight of the year thus far. Following our sort, we enjoyed an evening stroll through our future mama cows, telling each other the merits and faults of this one or that, pointing out favorites, razzing one another about individuals we didn't particularly care for, and just enjoying our lifestyle and the hard work that resulted in this nice set of calves. It is such a blessing to me that my husband and I both love good cattle, and can enjoy all aspects of raising them together.

 We've been feeding our cows for a while now. They are getting a 30 percent cake, which is a protein supplement that helps cows utilize the available nutrients in winter grass in addition to providing additional nutrients needed to complete her nutritional needs. Making sure the "cake hogs," as my husband calls them, or "cake munchers," as I call them, get their daily extra treat fed to them by hand is always a critical part of feeding.

 The well pump in our yard well slowly faded to the point where, if you turned on hydrant, it would run water for about 5 minutes then stop altogether. With hundreds of animals relying on this water source for the winter, we were naturally alarmed and quickly rooted out the problem. In case anyone is wondering, my husbands next well house will be more accommodating to his height. That was all he talked about the entire time he was crammed in this tiny hole, attempting to unscrew pieces of pvc pipe.

 As you may have noticed, we have doubled the canine department around here with a mini-dachshund named Maggie. She and my husbands English shepherd, Molly, get along great. They play almost non-stop when there is a break in the action. The rest of their days are spent herding butcher hogs that get out, barking at visitors, eating unmentionables, and in Maggie's case, observing chores from the nearest straw pile.

We also Bangs vaccinated our replacement heifers a few days ago, which went very well. All our ladies we are keeping for cows are now sporting the appropriate hardware in their right ear.

Selling our light steers also occurred on Friday. To get to the livestock auction, we drive through Badlands National Park, and were fortunate enough to see some Bighorn sheep on this trip. My mother-in-law is pretty good at roadside photo stops, if I do say so myself!
It was also great to receive an exceptional price for our cattle yet again, which has us both perusing the bull sale catalogs with a slightly higher budget in mind...
Hope everyone else's 2014 is off to a great start!

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