Over the weekend we had our family birthday supper for our February birthdays. At the conclusion, I began to feed the four bummer lambs. Somehow a picture was taken and I had to post it. A number of people asked, “What is a ‘bummer’?”
A bummer lamb is one that is raised entirely or partially away from a mother. They come from a variety of situations. Read more…
For those wondering about what it is like to put up hay on our ranch, I have tried to put together some short videos to give a sense of what takes place.
Swathing / Cutting
We wait until the dew has burned off the hay before cutting. It is important that the water has been turned off and that the ground moisture has dropped to a point so moisture does not transfer from the ground to the hay, preventing proper drying.
We rake in the early morning, while there is still dew on the windrow with alfalfa, so the leaves stay on the stem and the stems do not break. Grass hay is raked in the afternoon, with out dew, so it does not get trapped and cause mildew.
We bale grass and grass-alfalfa hay in the early evening and early afternoon, so it is soft, but not damp. Dew is not our friend when baling grass as it will cause the hay to mildew and mold. With alfalfa, it makes the best hay when baled in the morning as the dew is coming off, but we also bale in the late night/early morning as the dew is coming on when our windows for morning baling are short. We want the dew with the alfalfa, so we do not lose leaves off the stem and the stems do not shatter.
As some of you are aware, my parents have sheep as well as cattle and have been in Denver the past few days at the NCBA Convention. As with most family farms and ranches, the family that stays home covers the responsibilities of those who are away.
This morning, my 4 year old son Kyle and I drove to the other side of the ranch to check the lambing ewes for my parents, do their morning chores and feed their cows. Upon arriving we quickly noticed a Suffolk ewe in one corner of the pen in labor and a Hampshire ewe in labor in another corner. The Hamp ewe already had one lamb out and its head was up, indicating that she was getting along by herself. However, the Suffolk ewe looked to be in great distress and we could see a head of lamb showing and it was swollen with its tongue hanging out, not a good sign. Read more…