Saturday, July 23, 2016

#37 Has First calf- Heifer #78- Bull #57 is found

Heifer #37 had a reddish dunn pointed heifer while I was at the Republican National Convention.  They both are doing well.  The newling will be #78 and I'm going to name her Ivanka after Trump's daughter who spoke the night she was born.

Today I also found the bull #57 that had been missing before I left.  He had fallen into a deep trench I made for draining a low spot and the poor thing had been there well over a week.  I promptly got out a shovel and dug a way for him to get out.  He is very weak but I think he will recover.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Calendar Update

If you look back in the blog you will find the post about the soil profile that documents layers of loess and volcanic ash that go back at least 3500 years.

Since that time one of our customers loaned us a microscope so we could study the different layers to see if there are any chronological clues in the deposits.  I have learned that it is one thing to have a microscope and quite another to figure out how to use it and how to figure out what you are seeing  even after getting something in focus.  It is fascinating to see how the particles in this loess sample are so jagged and often transparent, probably quartz crystals?  I have not had time to compare the different layers.

I did take a dozen samples of the different layers to the soil lab testing facility at the University to have a soil analysis done and just found out that the office was shut down due to budget cuts.  So I guess they just threw out the samples.  We know for sure that they did not do any analysis.

I have lost contact with Dr. Wallace so we aren't any smarter about her prediction that the large volcanic ash deposit was from Mt Hayes.

I guess the need at this point is for an educated, experienced microscope operator so we can document slides of the layers of wind deposited soil.  I do not even know where to get lens cleaners, and slides and microscope supplies around here.  There are several lenses with the microscope but I can only get the lowest power to focus.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fat or "Finished"?

"Finished" is a trade word in the cattle industry for animals that have hit their peak weight without excessive body fat.  This three year old barren heifer has a lot of the beef frame we are breeding for but couldn't give us any calves.  She has been on the same feed as the rest of the herd- hay, grass pasture, and cull carrots.  I'm guessing the marbling will be great on this carcass but would need an ultrasound to know for sure how much body fat there will be.  She probably weighs 1400 pounds.

Grass "finished" beef happens naturally with the Galloway breed.  It only happens in most of the exotic breeds with antibiotics, hormones and high octane feeds that are forced.  That's the source of most of the commercial meats in the stores.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Youngest Heifer #45 Finally Drops a Boy #77- 6/23/16

I lost 45 for a couple of days and she showed up with a very friendly, curious red tipped boy 6/23/16.  I didn't have the heart to spoil his trust by grabbing him and tagging him.  We'll put #77 in his ear first time through the chute.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Breeding Duty 2016

Starting July 4 the genetics for next year's calves will be deposited by these two bulls.  #47 will lead.  His dam was from this herd and went to John Hett who bred her with a gentle giant that finished out over 2000 pounds.

After 30 days the cleanup breeding will belong to Hercules #291.  His dam is another of our cows that transferred to Aaron Seeger who manages the herd in Delta.  Hercules's dam was artificially inseminated from semen collected from the late registered Glenfiddich Pericles # 21137 from the Blegen Galloway herd in Canada. Pericles was a champion at beef exhibitions in Canada and the US.   His mature weight was 2566 pounds. Hercules is really developing well and is not yet a year old.  He will be the lead bull next year.

I go into some of this detail so you know that a lot of intentionality goes into managing a quality beef herd and producing dependable, good natured breed stock that is still good eating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bulls Enjoy Dandelion Hay

I have been so thankful for this bunch of bulls this summer.  They have been out three times.  Twice they let themselves out by unhooking the gate.  They enjoyed grass from the road right-of-way and put themselves back by the time I showed up in the morning.  Last time I left a gate open and two of them walked out to mow grass and were very obliging to walk back where they knew they belonged.  The cows come up to tempt them almost daily but they have never gotten through those gates.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

#31 has Black Bull- #76- 6/4/16

#31 had been away from the herd for a week and finally showed up with a speedy little bull- #76.  Will probably name him Emil after Emily Hughes that got married on the farm today.