WOW! I had great response for this Q&A!
Let’s get to it!
Kris wrote: When you were sorting the cattle a few days ago — was that all your cattle, and you were just taking out the ones you wanted to brand? Or was it your cattle mixed up with other ranches, and if so, do you then have to trail them back to ??? (some central gathering spot)? Remember to sort… the calves’ eartags must match the cows’… #836 cow will leave only with #836 calf… or it’s not a pair.
When we were here … on the sorting grounds… we were with other ranches. We split our cattle up and took them home. From here on out until fall they are on private pastures. Later we sorted them for other reasons… we moved them or wanted certain ones in certain pastures. We have to brand ALL of our cattle out here. There’s too many cattle to do it any other way. And, yes, rustling is still a problem in the West.
Ginny wrote: What are the branding laws in Wy.? In Az., the brand is registered for the whole state, in Tx. the brand is only for that county, so one brand can be owned by two different people as long they are in a different county. You ear tag but do you ear mark also?
In the state of Wyoming, you get a brand statewide. You can renew it every ten years. They are pretty strict about new brands, most new people use them for “decoration” but the brand office wants to make sure that they just don’t become blotches when actually used. We do use ear tags in the right ear… and we have an earmark in the left ear… a square underbite on the bottom side. A long time ago we used to cut a wattle too, but stopped that years ago.
Lynn wrote: I’d love to hear an update about Lucas’ foot.
Yeah. Poor Lucas. I fail him miserably. I had it healed up in December, but then my mom got sick and I was gone for months it seems… though my family tried to keep up the doctoring, when I came home he was back to his sore-footed self. I think I make headway, and then he wears it off… sometimes in just a few hours of running around.
Melanie wrote: A few weeks back, Vernon was trying out a new horse. Didn’t he have a horse named Winchester? What happened to him?
Oh, Winchester is still Vernon’s horse. The one he was test riding was to become Brandon’s horse. In fact, Brandon and Victoria and Vernon have all ridden the Brown Horse (still unnamed, sadly)… everyone seems to like him, but we have a dozen horses… many of them on “retirement”, and we need enough for everyone and a few spares as well. So we keep trying to get one a year… maybe!
Rhonda wrote: Hmmm … “rain” and “reins.” Did you make those reins?
Yup. Sure did. It’s the second set I made this spring. Wrote about the other ones here.
Marilyn wrote: How old is Boomer?? Any update on your daughter’s wedding dress?
Boomer is five. I think. I’m pretty sure. One year older than Lucas. He just looks older! He’s had a rough life too… broken leg as a pup and run over with 4 wheeler. My daughter bought her wedding dress and I have to say, it is absolutely gorgeous. I just made her veil… which is very simple, and I keep saying I should “fancy it up” some, but she likes it the way it is…
Sally Rowe wrote: I am impressed with those dogs! Nice goin’ and it is so rewarding to see effective training. Are there any new litters in the future? Just checkin’
I had Elsa spayed this spring. She’s given me 30 pups in 3 litters… and had had two litters before I bought her. She deserved the rest of her life to herself! That means it’s up to Dally to produce… which means I have to find her a boyfriend… for hopefully, a litter in the spring. She will undergo a hip test and a “collie gene” test this summer to see how she does before any final decisions will be made. So yes, maybe next year! I thought Lucas was going to have a girlfriend, but the guy never called me back… so Lucas could father some somewhere sometime… just hopefully not with his daughter!
Marilyn wrote: Boy, did I smile as this photo-story opened this morning!! Doggone good doggies for sure! But I am just a little mixed up as to who Sam is??
Johnny, who is my father-in-law, bought Sam last year. Sam is from Lisa Cunningham in Kaycee, Wyoming, she is fairly well known in the Border Collie world… My dogs do not like Sam, especially Dally. She will run over and bite him, we all root for Sam to just turn around and get her back, but it hasn’t happened yet!
Don wrote: You mentioned pulling a tarp over the kennel. What does your kennel look like?
I guess as a “breeder” of English Shepherds you’d think I’d have something fancy. My dogs don’t spend tons of time in there… just when the girls are in heat… or when we are trading them around as I ride (I usually only take one at a time). My kennel is just a simple 10×12 kennel… with two houses in it and a raised platform in one corner. The platform keeps them dry-ish or cooler… out of the dirt with circulating air under them. I have two panels on two sides to provide shade and in the summer a tarp over most of it to provide shade. In the winter I take off the tarp, to let the sun shine in. When I move to the Mills place I hope to have a fancier set-up including a whelping area…
Robin wrote: He is so HANDSOME!!! My question–I’ve seen Lucas with his foot wrapped–what happened???
Oh, Robin, sadly we ran over Lucas when he was 7 months old. He ended up with horrible hips and nerve damage in his front left leg. He kind of “skips” when he runs and he drags that nerve damaged paw… which results in a constant sore on the big pad of his paw. I doctor it and wrap it and used to buy boots (which he’d promptly lose). Now I just do the redneck (cheap) version which is vet wrap and duct tape! He will be that way forever, until he gets to heaven where he’ll run beautifully once again.
Judy wrote: Do the dogs spend the night in the house? Or are they out guarding everything?
Boomer stays inside. He yaps all night long otherwise… Lucas loves to be inside with me, but in the summer it’s usually too hot for him in here. He’ll then spend the night under my bedroom window in my raspberry patch. The girls spend the night outside, otherwise they wake up at 3 am to be let out and that makes me cranky. *Nothing* gets in this yard… and we give them a few minutes to chase it away. If they don’t shut up or go chase it and corner it… we have to go out, take care of it, or lock them in the kennel or they’ll stay on high alert until it’s no longer a problem. That makes Vernon cranky. He can be sleeping SO soundly but one little peep from the dogs wakes him up…
Alice wrote: Stunning picture! My question for this month is do you have any other animals on the farm besides dogs, horses, and cows? If so, would love to hear a little about them (when you have time…lol)
If it was up to me, I’d have a petting zoo… I’d love a chicken tractor and some weed-eating goats and some Highlander cattle for lawn mowers/decorations. On occasion I’ve raised some mallard ducklings… but they grow up in 6 weeks and fly away! Oh yeah, I’d like some Indian runner ducks to practice herding with, too. BUT. Vernon wins this argument. He milked a cow growing up, doesn’t wanna do that again. His mom raised chickens for eggs. He’s not interested in that either. In fact, me, growing up in town, had more pets than Vernon had out here! He’s just not interested. I have three dogs. I shut up.
Laurie Christensen wrote: As the relatively new “mom” to Lucas’ grandpappy, “Dersam’s Sparkplug”, I have to say: what a great shot, and what a good-looking boy! I’m struck by how closely Lucas resembles his dad and grand-dad both – handsome as the dickens, the lot of them!
Oh yes, Laurie, though this isn’t a question, I want to publicly thank you and Sparkplug and Boston for half of the looks and personality of my Lucas! You should drop by on your trip… it’d be great to see grandfather and grandson together… well, if Lucas can mind his manners!
Well, I hope I caught all the questions… and answered them well enough!
I leave you with…
Dally on the hillside…