Wow, guys! You did VERY WELL with the amount of questions this month! I’m so impressed! Before I get started, I’d like to point out that ALL of my entries are easily available by year and month just by scrolling down the left sidebar. So those of you that are new… help yourself! (Taylor, it’s NOT creepy!) We do many things the same date or week from year to year, so you can see different photos or stories about the same topic by visiting those old entries. I also have stolen an idea from my good friend over at Daily Coyote, and I plan on putting a link to the same date’s entry for 2009 and 2008. When I first started I was NOT very consistent, so sometimes there won’t be a matching entry for 2008! Hopefully, that’ll be helpful for those of you reading this at work… less time wandering around this blog!
Let’s get with September’s questions!
I have only been reading for about 4-5 months and was wondering about the”Mills Place” that you are working on. Are you moving to it when it’s finished and how far is it from your current home? LOVED the wedding pictures!!! Gina
Gina, glad you enjoyed the wedding pics… the Mills Place is 3 miles down the highway from me. We have been remodeling it when we have the time… We’ve opened it up, put in new kitchen cabinets, painted, and are re-doing the upstairs bathroom at the moment. Vernon and I will move there maybe this winter… We’ll have 4 bedrooms (or 3 with a ranch office) and two bathrooms… now that my three children are grown… sigh.
Question:I’ve noticed that there haven’t been many photos of Elsa lately and she doesn’t seem to be going out and working with you since she was spayed. Is she OK? Sue
Sue, Elsa is fine. I’ve just failed at taking her picture lately. She is the hardest to photograph since she only leaves my side when chasing a cow! She doesn’t pose like Dally and Lucas!
Hey! I have a questionabout branding. When you sell a cow with your brand (or buy one with anotherranch’s), do they get a second brand? Or you just know that they are yours? Thanksfor blogging, I only started following a few weeks ago but went back andstarted from the beginning (possibly creepy?). Taylor
Taylor, we only buy bulls from other ranches, just to clarify that at first. When people on other ranches buy our cattle, either our cull cows or those heifers that don’t make the replacement list… yes, they do have to brand them. Sometimes you see cattle with 5 or 6 brands and you have to think why they were sold so many times… they are cheaper than a “one brand” cow, but they may come with ugly looks, attitudes, bad parenting, or some such “problem”. It could just be bad timing too… being pregnant with a due date that doesn’t fit our schedule gets you sold here! Those cows are a cheaper way to build your herd, though. Many times an auctioneer has promoted our herd as One Brand. You do have to have a bill of sale, too! And again, it’s NOT creepy! Glad you’re interested enough to read them!
Love the idea of the countertop… and it looks great. Same question as Gina had,what are your plans for the “Mills Place”? jodik
I’m pretty psyched about the countertop too… I love doing creative things inexpensively!
Question which you hinted at telling us: how did Boomer get his name? Marilyn
Marilyn… When I asked that question my friend Vince from New Zealand answered that since Boomer was an Australian Shepherd and he has a VERY bouncy personality, that he was named Boomer, Australian for kangaroo. I like that story so much I think I’ll steal it and tell that from now on… it’s much better than the Real Story! The Real Story is that we got Boomer in August… and while laying out in the backyard discussing his name, we heard the rumble of thunder. (Something else Vince is very well acquainted with!) Around here, we occasionally call these storms thunder boomers. Boomer it was. Though I also have called him Boomer-ang (he keeps coming back with that STICK), Baby Boomer, Boomer Sooner, BoomBoom….
Carol- Could you talk about the differences between aussies and english shepherds?Your ES seem so similar to my aussies…. Ketra
Oh, heavens, Ketra! A ton has been written about this topic! What I’ll say in a condensed version… is that I had Josie Mae, Cooper, Custer, Reno, and Boomer who have all been Aussie or Aussie/BC mixes. Then I got Lucas. Though the other dogs loved me, none of them loved me to the depths he does. Though some were happy to hang out with me, others went where the action was, and I was secondary or tertiary to working! My English Shepherds want to be with me… all the time… doesn’t matter if there are cows across the fence being worked. Josie Mae was a Sweetheart… but she didn’t want to melt into me like Elsa. Though Cooper was an excellent cowdog, better than my three ESs, I’d still rather have my “partners”, because of our connection. That’s what I’ve seen with my dogs.
First question: whatshots are the dogs getting. Second: Who does thehorse shoeing? Ginny They are getting their distemper shot… Boomer got his rabies as well. We only do rabies every other year. There was a bat with rabies in Ten Sleep just last week, and a family dog hadn’t had its shots, and had to be put down. Living along the creek like we do, I like to keep ’em current on their shots! We hire out our horseshoeing. We aren’t good enough to do it ourselves, these rocks are tough on shoes! I’ll have to try some of that jelly someday, too…
No questions but I fell over laughing and blew dietcoke all over my laptop with your poetical description of my destination”getaway” and retreat. Been there, done that, and still have the sh*ton my t-shirt. Thank you very much for such an entertaining read with mybreakfast! Sally Sally, sometimes I *think* I’m funny… glad to hear occasionally it comes across in my writing!
OMG!!! This trip was booked and I had no idea!! LOVED IT!!! Just one question–why are we “mouthing out”? Checking teeth? Age? To see if everything is ok in there?? How many of the girls are pregnant??!! THANKYOU FOR THE MOST AWESOME RETREAT EVER!!!! Robin Robin, surprise trips can be the most fun! Yes, exactly. “Mouthing out” is just looking at the teeth on older cows. Due to the sandy, rocky soil around here, most cows start losing teeth about age 9. One or two lost teeth are OK, more and she’ll have a harder time staying in good shape. Once all their teeth are gone, cows will pick back up, and do well at eating again, but we don’t hang onto them that long. So, three teeth gone and they’re heading for the sale barn. How many are PG? Hmmm… I don’t have the paperwork here… and some were pregnant but too old and we marked them all for the SELL pen. So I’d say… MOST of the cows were pregnant! How’s that for a non-answer?
What’s the biggest moneysucker for a rancher,perportionately (spelled that wrong )? Horses, cows, or farmland? Also, do your dogs get alot of ticks, fur mattings, etc from being outside with you all the time? How do you prevent it? Do they get groomed regularly? Grace
Moneysucker. I *like* that term! If you were starting out ranching today… land would be the costliest item. That’s why it’s so hard for young people to get into farming or ranching today. Prices are horrendous. The government continues to increasingly make it difficult to pass down family farms and ranches. The cost of equipment is also prohibitive… tractors cost a lot more than a car! As do balers, combines, loaders, etc. Cattle prices fluctuate, as do horse prices… Vet bills, vaccines, fencing, corrals, and pasture leases all add to their cost too. So… I choose land. I try to keep my dogs flea and tick clear… but they don’t seem to have a big problem. They clean themselves very well of ticks and burrs, and they can be belly deep in sh*t in the morning and white by the afternoon… I don’t *see* them take showers, but they are clean dogs! Yes, they do get matted, Elsa in particular, Dally rarely except for behind her ears, Lucas only in his tail… I love brushing them, they love being brushed… works for all of us. When they blow their coats… watch out! Floating hair EVERYWHERE! ugh.
What does the shaved (at least I think it’s shaved) “P” on the cow in the picture above mean? I even looked back at the video you made last year and couldn’t figure it out. Alice
Alice, no it’s not shaved. The vet actually uses the peroxide that your beautician uses, only full strength, to bleach out the hair on the cow. Usually it’s just a stripe, but our vet was being creative and used a P for Pregnant. Some were very fancy, with squiggles and curlicues! The position on the side means when the due date is… the closer to the shoulder the earlier… closer to the hip, the later. I’ve always wanted to “paint” a scene on the side of one cow… our vet has put political slogans on his personal cows before! Just like in your hair, it fades away eventually.
Hi! I have a question about English Shepherds. We just put in an application with the National English Shepherd Rescue organization.Hoping to give a young female a loving home! My question is: How do you think an English Shepherd will do in a “non-working” environment? We live in the suburbs and do not have a huge yard. We do plan to provide her with regular exercise. And take it from there with maybe more, like agility, etc. Do you think a dog of this breed can thrive without cows or sheep to herd?Thanks!! Lynn
Lynn, congratulations on your future ES! Well, this could be a loaded question! Knowing the parents of the pups I raise, I prefer to place mine in working homes. However, a couple pups I have put into “pet” homes. The ones that were more reticent, and less aggressive as pups that may not have had the “courage” to take on a cow. (As much as I could tell by 8 weeks) Of course, getting one from rescue, you probably won’t know the parentage… so that won’t help you. Some breeders don’t work their own dogs, so often place their dogs in pet homes. That said, if you tried to compare siblings from the same litter, there are sometimes just the full range of personalities! So… yes, if it’s the right dog for the situation, it can work! But if any behavior problems do crop up, an increase in activity or *thinking* may be the answer… nose work, tricks, assistance activities, all might help! Just realize that a walk around the block isn’t enough exercise for most dogs, much less a herding dog.
Do you take your bullsoff for a season? Where do you run them? Do you have anywindmills for water? Whenyou first started ranching, what was the hardest thing to over come? Ginny
Yes, we only run the bulls with the cows for a certain period, then we take them to the Bull Pasture, where they lay around and eat until winter, when we bring them into a different Bull Pasture and feed them until spring, when they go to “work”. We do not have consistent enough wind here for a windmill… so no, we don’t have any here. OOOOHHH, Ginny, good question. We just celebrated our 29th anniversary, so let me see if I can think back that far… The grocery shopping was quickly learned… I made good lists, and realized it was 45 miles to the grocery store if I needed something… so that wasn’t it. At first there weren’t other couples our age around, so I do know I missed “company” for a while, but then, I helped Vernon a lot and learned more about the ranch. I used to go to the movies with my dad in town, and here again, the theater was 45 miles away. I think that bothered me the most! It’s silly, but I *loved* going to the movies and we only had two tv stations and only one in the winter when our antenna would get frozen into the ground and we couldn’t turn it! I remember insisting on getting satellite tv when I got pregnant with Victoria! Staying inside with an infant through the winter with only one tv station was more than I wanted to do! I couldn’t have imagined netflix and fiber optic internet access!
the porcupine didn’t seem the least bit concerned about you, the horse, or the dogbeing so close to it. It really didn’t care? Just went around searching for what? food? and they are solitary animals? Gina
Porcupines are like skunks… their defense mechanisms ward off most enemies, so they don’t get too wound up! I think it was getting a drink when I first spied it… though they are attracted to salt (they can be hell on leather tack that horses have sweated onto) and we have salt next to the spring where it was drinking. They are pretty solitary. I remember elk hunting with my dad and we heard strange noises in a tree which turned out to be two porcupines discussing the flavor of the treebark or some porky-type topic… We just listened for a while…
Anymore welding going on? I loved your gate. And, do you make the braided reins (I think that’s what they were – I am clueless about horse stuff) for others? Not a horse in sight, but I’m thinking they could be great tie-backs for the curtains that I’m weaving. Linda
Linda, I’m halfway done with another gate… But it’s been too hot to go back and finish it… or I’ve been “working”! Welding is best done on cool days! I do make the reins… I haven’t made them for anyone but family, but if you’re interested, perhaps we could work something out!
I couldn’t find it, but I think someone asked about my cousin and his world wide travels, my Out of Scope entries…. He actually was offered a job overseas and stopped his travels. Perhaps he’ll read this and send me some new photos, HINT*HINT, COUSIN!
Well, folks, I think that’s it.
I enjoyed hearing what you were doing over Labor Day as well…
It is so FUN to be able to talk to people across the country and around the world!
And, Sue, this is for you…
September 7, 2009 My Taste In DogsFind me here!