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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Steers in the morning, heifers in the afternoon

Cows at Elephant corrals

Cows at Elephant corrals

When the cows and their calves come off of the summer National Forest grazing permits, it is time to sort them. We pregnancy test the cows, and sort out the opens, and the cows who won’t make it another year at our high altitude. Some will go on to slaughter, and some will go on to homes where the wintering conditions are easier. We sort the heifers from the steers.  The steers are all sold, and go on to feed and eventually become steaks. The heifers are sorted into replacement heifers for us, replacement heifers for other ranchers, and fed heifers.

Cows with Squaw Mountain

Cows with Squaw Mountain

Eamon sorting

Eamon sorting

Seamus and Maeve, helping

Seamus and Maeve, helping

Sharon and Siobhan, with extra horsepower

Sharon and Siobhan, with extra horsepower

Herefords, Angus at corrals

Jim, Tiarnan, Clyde and his mom Peanut

Jim, Tiarnan, Clyde and his mom Peanut

Cows coming into the Home Ranch corral

Cows coming into the Home Ranch corral

Eamon, McCoy, Dirte's ears

Eamon and McCoy looking through Dirte’s ears

 

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Private Parts

sperm under the microscope

sperm under the microscope

This is the time of year when we decide who stays and who goes.  The rams are evaluated, intimately, by Geri Parsons and her crew (this year her one-woman crew) at Optimal Livestock Services for fertility, age, potential disease or injury, and condition. The ewes are evaluated by our crew for many of the same traits which indicate whether they will be productive for another year. We check their teeth, which affects their ability to eat the hard winter grasses on the desert. We check their udders, and their overall condition. The rams are basically judged to stay or go. The ewes are judged as keepers, good old ewes who are sold to someone who can give them an easier lifestyle, and “killers” who are culled due to age, condition, and injury to their udders.

checking the ram

Ashley Miller checks a Hampshire ram, with assistance from Christian

Lots of assistance

Lots of assistance

Pepe with a buck in Optimal's custom-made chute

Pepe with a buck in Optimal’s custom-made chute

Geri at the microscope

Geri at the microscope

Tested buck hang out in corral

Tested buck hang out in corral

Ewes in the corral

Ewes in the corral

Avencio and Timeteo checking the ewes

Avencio and Timeteo checking the ewes

Pepe, Avecio and Timeteo put a ewe in the chute

Pepe, Avencio and Timeteo put a ewe in the chute

ewes reflected in the muddy corral

ewes reflected in the muddy corral

Pat with McCoy and Tiarnan on corral pole

Pat with McCoy and Tiarnan on corral pole

Tiarnan, Pat and Meghan

Tiarnan, Pat and Meghan

 

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Squaw Mountain in Fall

Squaw Mountain in fall

Squaw Mountain in fall

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Nature and Wildlife

 

Winter’s comin’ on

It begins. 10 p.m. on October 3rd.

It begins. 10 p.m. on October 3rd.

Honeysuckle bushes at 7 a.m., October 4th.

Honeysuckle bushes at 7 a.m., October 4th.

first big snow

Haystack with flags, 8 a.m., October 4th.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Events

 

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Fall again

Winter gold

Winter gold

October 1st is a day of transition for us. It is the off-date for the cows and sheep who have spent the summer grazing on our national forest permits. This year, it is also the date that the Farm Bill expired, and the government shutdown started for everyone except Congress, which continues to dither along. No budget, no Farm Bill, no Immigration Bill, no plan. After a dry spring and summer, we finally received blessed rains,  a lot of our ponds and reservoirs have filled, and the springs are flowing. After foreseeing a dry fall, we have blessed water.  The leaves are finally changing colors–the latest I can remember. The first freeze came on the day of the equinox. October 1st is Rhen’s first birthday. Last year, the trappers killed a bear who had been killing rams. We said, “Bear in the morning–baby in the afternoon!”

Round bales ready for winter

Round bales ready for winter

Eutemio's wagon at Dudley Creel

Eutemio’s wagon at Dudley Creek

Switch horse Daisy and her colt Lulu on the Savery Stock Driveway

Switch horse Daisy and her colt Lulu on the Savery Stock Driveway

looking West to Muddy Mountain

looking West to Muddy Mountain

rainbow over Sheep Mountain

rainbow over Sheep Mountain

Siobhan trailing cows off the Routt National Forest

Siobhan trailing cows off the Routt National Forest

Battle Mountain from the government corrals, Savery Stock Driveway, Medicine Bow National Forest

Battle Mountain from the government corrals, Savery Stock Driveway, Medicine Bow National Forest

97-year-old Marie O'Toole with six of her nine great-grandchildren

97-year-old Marie O’Toole with six of her nine great-grandchildren

Rhen eating cake on his first birthday

Rhen eating cake on his first birthday

deer crossing Cottonwood Creek north of Dixon

deer crossing Cottonwood Creek north of Dixon

Seismograhic helicopter flying over Battle Mountain during deer hunting season. They hope to drill next year.

Seismograhic helicopter flying over Battle Mountain during deer hunting season. They hope to drill next year. Don’t like.

 

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