Monday, August 27, 2012

Bulls, Studs, and Tropical Storms

We've got another Lasater Beefmaster bull in town! Mr. Nic Girgenti and his brother J.Girgenti (where were you Mr. Mike???) delivered "Buck" to us last week. We are trying out the Beefmaster breed with our cattle this year for the first time. You may remember earlier in the year I mentioned us having one shipped in from the Lasater Ranch in Colorado.  Well this guy is 9 years old and we may be able to get a few more breedings out of him.   We still have the other bull, but he's a young fella.  We will have quite a few cows that need to be covered, so all of our cows will calf within a specific time period.  I do believe Buck will be able to help out.  As you can see below, the ladies couldn't wait to come and check out the new man.


It wasn't long before all of the ladies made their way to him.  This is the last picture I could get before he was surrounded by them.  He and the young one have been working out their differences, and I do believe that today they had it pretty much worked out.

The ladies just kept on coming to check Buck out

Also, Shane made a trip to Buckatunna (thank you to the Anderson's ) to get a horse for his baby girl.  She has been wanting her very own horse for some time now.  He found this little Paso Fino and brought him home.  The only problem is that he is still a stud.....and boy did he let us all know it when he arrived.  He might be a small little fella, but his personality was quite large when he caught a glimpse of our mare.  Shane intended to keep him separated from our other horses, but he managed to get through one fence into another pasture.  Shane said they would all just have to work it out in the field, because he wasn't going to be able to keep him separated.  We didn't have an area that would hold that fella back.  And wouldn't you know the one mare that we have was in heat!  Seriously.....Shane turned him in and he wasted no time with introductions.  I stood there trying my darndest to get Dillon to go to the house before I had to dive into that whole conversation about what they were doing. Horses are just SO obvious!  Yes, we live on a farm.  Yes, he is aware that the boys animals and the girl animals can make baby animals by being together.  But......we haven't went into that conversation like how I was going to have to do if he stayed out there a few seconds longer.  I'll be honest.......I just wasn't ready for it. 
"Boomer" short for Boomerang

Let me change the subject please.....(I was starting to get that same overwhelming feeling of panic just thinking about it all over again ;)

We are preparing for Tropical Store Isaac that is in the Gulf of Mexico.  We live about 50 miles north of  the Gulf Coast.  After going through Hurricane Katrina almost seven years ago, we don't want to take any chances.  They are still unsure of where the system will make landfall, but we are in preparation for it.  Shane has had to work on the generator to get it connected to the house.

He had to connect the wire into this box that  contains the power selector switch.  That way if the power goes out here, he can flip the switch and fire up the generator.  It's a pretty big generator.  It should power the house fine for us.  Shane's grandparents had the generator here because they had 3 chicken houses to keep running should the power fail.

When it was all connected, he fired it up and gave it a test run.  It worked like a charm! 

As for now, they are predicting it to make landfall the the west of us, which will put us on the east side of the storm.....the worst side. I will be keeping my eyes glued to the tv and facebook updates from our local weather station.  This is the latest model I have seen.  Hopefully I will be able to update with good news.   

Photo courtesy of :

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Moving Cows With A "Little" Help

Get ready for lots and lots of pictures. I had many more to share, but I tried to cut back so you wouldn't get picture overload ;) We have divided a 15 acre pasture into three paddocks by using a "portable" electric fence. It is a strand of wire on a reel that can be moved in just a matter of minutes and put up in another location. The reel is secured on a metal t-post but we also use plastic t-posts that you just step into the ground for the wire. Pretty simple, even I can do it.

When it comes time to move the cows from one area to the next it all starts like this.  Shane stands at the point of entry and makes his call.  They know his voice and call....mine is different, but they seem to work similar.  Just make a good hoot and holler and they will come.

The area to the right of this post is where the cows were grazing before being moved to the side on the left.  You can see the difference in the forage.

The ladies and gentlemen make their way down the side of that paddock headed for Shane's direction.

Shane detaches the electric wire and makes a wide opening for them to enter into the new area.  You have to make a noticeable opening to the new spot because the word got around the herd that they do not want to come into contact with that "electrically charged string".  They are very cautious around it.

Once the first one makes the step onto the new grazing area, they all follow.  Some do get a little excited and push and shove.  Even a few start bucking like a bronco from sheer excitement of new ground!

If you look in the background of this picture below, you will see the windshield of the Kawasakii mule.  Mal is bringing up the rear of the herd.  The calves always get caught up in the excitement and can't figure out which way to go.  Mal really enjoyed getting to do this part.  I think it was her first time to do it by herself!

Can you tell by this photo that she was so loving being able to help out?  I mean when she pulled up there by me, she couldn't contain that smile.  Shane joked around and told her to give me her serious working face....

Trying as best she could to get that serious look.   You see, her big brother always gets to do these sorts of things.  Well he has been sick all week and Mal jumped at the opportunity to help her daddy out.  She didn't even take the time to change from her school uniform into her "workin clothes".  That's alright though, I'll do a little extra scrubbing.  This day was priceless!

Serious about her work

I proceeded to go reel up the fence so it could be moved and wouldn't you know that girl wanted to jump in there and do that too!  She was such a great helper, let me tell you!  Her big brother better watch out!

After the fence was moved, Shane got out in the pasture with his bush hog and knocked the "tops of the weeds down", as he calls it.   Hopefully we will get more rain and the grass will come on up even better.

I forgot to mention that we have the one strand of electric wire to keep the cows out of those areas of pasture, but the goats are able to come and go underneath it and graze the whole pasture.  They just can't keep up with all of the weeds we've got.  Hopefully we will get our numbers back up with the goats.  We haven't put the bucks in with the does yet.....trying to hold off so we don't have a freezing cold kidding. We are shooting for later in the spring.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photos From My Morning Walk

As I prepared to make a walk out in one of our pastures today, I remembered to take my camera! Yay for me, because I have been a such a slacker when it comes to photos and this blog. I am still unpacking boxes, all the while trying to keep the house clean.  It's been quite challenging for me. We just haven't settled in quite yet. For those that still come back to our blog to see what's happening....Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly do appreciate the kind words from you guys! 

So here are photos from my morning venture. 

Dixie's colt taking it easy.  He is now about 11 months old. 

Mr. Shaggy

I absolutely love Mr. Shaggy.  When I walk towards him, he meets me halfway.  All the while, he keeps his head down and has such a humble attitude about himself  (can horses really have a humble personality?).  This fella takes care of my dear sweet 9 yr old each time he goes for a ride; and for that, this momma is grateful!   

A few of the goats taking it easy under their favorite pecan tree

As I squatted down near another pecan tree to get some photos of the goats, I was met by this noble guy.  He had to come check out what I was doing near his goats.  Although we don't look for beauty in our selection for our LGDs, I must say we managed to get a good looking one here.  He's the whole package...looks and super guardian instincts.    So thankful we were able to get him several years ago.  He has been a definite asset to our operation.


Monday, August 13, 2012

He Did It Again

For all of you out there that don't like creepy crawly things......I suggest you don't look any further. For me, I still get the heebie jeebies, even though I know the outcome of this story. Saturday, while my dear husband was out in the fields with his bush hog, he happened to see this creature slither out of an area he had just clipped. He said that it managed to get out of his sight so he figured he would see it later on. Naturally, he saw it later....heading straight for the pasture that had our doe herd, cattle, and 2 of our anatolian shepherds (Livestock Guardian Dogs).  Some of you may be aware of what happened to one of our LGDs a little over 3 years ago involving a rattlesnake. To see that story, click here.  Our vet is still telling the story to others about that huge rattlesnake that got a hold of our LGD.     

Shane said that he found a stick and went to get to it before it made it's way into the pasture with all of the animals.  We certainly don't want to relive what happened with Chopper.    

Of course, after my initial shock (screaming and jumping around) of seeing the rattlesnake, I decided that I needed to get my camera.  You know, so I could share this story with you all.  I know that most of you are surely enjoying it.  Hardee har har...

You can see the size of his head in comparison to his body.

The snake had 14 rattles and 1 button.  I'm not really sure what that indicates, but I know most people around these parts always ask,  "How many rattles did it have?"  So for you curious minds, there you have it.  Also I didn't want to run to get the tape measure, but to give you an idea of how long it was....My hubby is around 6'1". 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Likin' What I'm Able To See

This is the view out of our living room...Pastures surround us in the house we are in now. It is so nice to look out and be able to see all of the animals in every direction. We definitely keep the drapes pulled back during the day! We are so blessed I tell ya!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Scratch -N- Sniff

I really wish that computers had the capability of offering scratch 'n sniff.....then again, in some situations that may not be such a grand idea ;) I absolutely love the smell of fresh cut hay, though! I would love the share the scent with yall. 

We are in the process of stocking up on hay supply before the winter comes along.   The newest bales are are not stacked on top of each other yet, and are set apart from each other to let the heat out of them.  Here is an interesting article on hay fires that I found put out by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service.  It has a lot of good information about how to prevent your hay from catching on fire. We've had a lot of rain here lately and it makes it very difficult to get hay cut and baled with the appropriate moisture content.  We've heard stories of folks losing their hay crops due to the spontaneous combustion of the hay due to high moisture content. We are taking precautions to be on the safe side.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pumps, Pruning, and Moving...oh my!

Boy, has a lot happened since my last post! I have finally made a point to stop what I'm doing and sit down in front of this computer just long enough to share a tidbit. As most of you know, we have been remodeling Shane's grandparents old house to move into. It has been 2 years of literal blood, sweat and tears. Shane and I decided to do all of the work ourselves; with no knowledge of how to do it under our belts. Nevertheless, we set out to do it so we could save money and strengthen our marriage. (Haha Heehee) Well, not really for the strengthening our marriage part but definitely for the money savings.....for any of you out there that have done this type of thing alongside your spouse, you know that if you've made it through to the are some kind of strengthened! 

Two weeks ago we were seeing light at the end of that long, dark tunnel. And of course, as usual, something had to go awry. Our pump on the water well failed while Shane was at work.  This is not only an issue for the housing situation, but this well supplies water for drinking pads in 3 of our pastures.  With the heat like it has been, those animals can really put back some water.  With Shane's guidance over the phone, I made several checks for him so he could determine what was the issue and would know what he would be facing when he arrived home from work.  

pump house

When he got home, he got ready to lift off the top of the pump house to pull  the pump out of the well. Luckily, he did one more check and it ended up not needing to be pulled.  It was a "run capacitor" issue and the water tank had no pressure.  Now folks, I'm just repeating what I think I heard about the run will have to verify it with Shane on that one.   I'm no mechanical/electrical genius like my dear husband ;)  As for the tank pressure, I witnessed it with my own two eyes.  We had to take his air compressor and fill the tank.  That also included measuring many 5 gallon buckets of water to get the pressure and the shut on/off switch set up just right.  We managed to get it to where we would get 25 gallons of water before the pump would kick on; where before it was only 5 gallons.  Once again, this was something we had no knowledge of what we were doing, but it all worked out.  That whole story may have bored you to tears, but I tell you, I'm so proud of that accomplishment!

All while the work was going on at the pump house, we had a very attentive audience.  You know that feeling you get that someone is looking at you?  It is a common everyday thing here.....Everywhere we turn, there is some animal looking at us trying to figure out what in the world we are doing.  

attentive audience

On another note, we have these huge trees growing up beside the old chicken house, which is now our barn.  They needed a little pruning, so of course, we had the perfect solution.....

Just turn the goats out and let them nibble.  It was like a day at the candy shoppe for them.  I'm not sure what these trees are called, but the goats really do enjoy them.  

Lastly,  I wanted to mention that I had to have my gallbladder removed.  That is a lot of the reason for such a long break in my blogging.  It was done outpatient, but I must tell you that just because a procedure is done outpatient doesn't mean that the recovery from it will be minor.  Every person responds differently, but  I can honestly say that it kicked my behind!  For 7 days afterwards, I was not worth two cents. On top of that, we decided to go ahead and make the move into the house.  I have to say, that I thank the Lord for my mother in law!  She came this past Saturday and between her and Shane, they got all of the heavy things moved.  Let me tell you, that lady is one hard worker.......   So we are officially in the "new" house.  There are a few things left to be done, but hopefully we can get to some sort of normalcy before the kids start school Monday.   

I'm sorry that I have no pictures to share of all of that, but the last thing I thought about was the camera.  I hope to get back into the swing of things and keep you all updated on our happenings in a more timely fashion. 

 Hope yall have a great week!