Marilyn: Question: how is your new granddaughter? and the bigger siblings doing?
Reagan seems to be doing fine. I’ve actually not seen her much, she’s had lots of visitors, so I’ll bug her more when things are quiet again. Big Brother is in love, Big Sister is not overly impressed at this point. Eh, that’ll change day by day, especially when she starts crawling, I’m sure!!!!
Russell: How did the forage wheat turn out as hay and do you plan to plant it again in 2018?
Yes, I imagine they will, though I haven’t overheard any plans. This, I believe, was our second time with it, and I know they were pretty happy with it.
Pam: I was wondering if there will be any more puppies / litter on the ranch? Have you given up on breeding ?
Oh, I think you timed that question just right before all the Lucas/Eden/AI posts! I had not given up on breeding, it’s just the two times I tried to breed Dally, she didn’t take, then I had to wait two years for Eden to grow up, and then she didn’t take last spring, so… we did the whole AI thing… twice! It’s just been killing me, all my neighbors have had pups… some multiple litters… and me, the “breeder” with the kennel name and everything, couldn’t get a litter to save my life!!!! Here’s hoping Rimrock English Shepherds has a litter in February!!!
Kris: My question – did the Good Doctor take a look at what Lucas was producing? Numbers and motility?
Oh, yes. The Good Doctor took the slide back to his office, then yelled at me to come look. He walked away and I looked in the microscope. “That doesn’t look good,” I raised my voice so he could hear me in the next room. Back came the yell, “Focus! Focus!” “Oh. Oh. Hey, that’s GOOD!!!” 😉 He said he was very impressed with the numbers and liveliness!
Mary: Any chance you can collect and freeze some semen too?
We are checking into it… but they have to get a kit of some kind???? I don’t know, the new young vet is looking into it for me. If we could, that’d be AMAZING. What do you know about it? We have tanks full of bull semen, Lucas could just have room for a few straws easily enough!
Joanne: A question: if a winter storm is coming your way, what do you do to prepare for it. Both for your family, home and your animals.
This is a great question, Joanne… and it made me think. The honest answer to your question is that we prepare all year long. We’ve grown all that hay so the cows can make it through the winter on good feed. We don’t sell our feed, we use it or stockpile it or even buy some just to make sure that we will have surplus in case of bad weather. I have a basement full of food and toilet paper and a full wood box for my wood stove. I have medicine and tanks of gasoline and probably more stuff than would really be necessary, barring the zombie apocalypse. I see those people on tv clearing off store shelves if a storm is heading their way… and I think, REALLY? You should have that stuff ALREADY ON YOUR SHELF AT HOME, PEOPLE!!!!! Three days of food is all a supermarket holds in most areas, if people had a big emergency. Barring fresh milk (that I hope I could get from some of my neighbors), I’m set. We’re prepared. We might eat a lot of beef and beans, but, hey, that’s ok! If the cows are going to be calving soon, we might bring them into a closer field to keep an eye on them easier… but other than that, I couldn’t think of anything that just isn’t standard practice here. We are here to protect ourselves and those animals. We are ready.
Ellen: What do you feed your adult dogs? Has that changed over the years–for instance, have you started relying more (or less) on commercial feeds over time? Do you feed supplements like glucosamine or vitamin C or fish oil?
I feed Loyall brand dog food, mixing the flavors up a bit for variety and weather/work conditions. It’s not the most expensive, nor the cheapest. I will, on occasion, buy some Taste of the Wild brand, because my dogs really like it, but the price is pretty high. I just mix it in with their normal fare… kinda like gravy with mashed potatoes! Special treat! If I buy treats with glucosamine or chondroitin, guaranteed Lucas will like the first one, then refuse the rest of the bag. He’s a poop about it. I gave him Platinum Performance Plus powder, but he got to where he’d eat around it. He’s been off of it for a while, and I’m giving him some now. He’s currently eating it. Of course, I feed table scraps. I would feed a raw diet, but Lucas can’t handle the gristle and tendons since his pelvis is so narrow. It just clogs him up. Eden can eat ANYTHING. and does. old. gross. dried up bones. disgusting things. yup. that’s her. I’d get her a deer license and fill her a freezer, if she had a say in anything.
Peg: Plymouth Rock?
Yes, I have Barred Rocks, brown Leghorns, and New Hampshire Reds. It is a Barred Plymouth Rock that is setting this time. I won’t get Leghorns again, even though they’re good layers. They freak out every day when I walk in the coop. They’re horribly flighty birds!
Marilyn: I see the Christmas Cactus plant looking healthy, but no blossoms yet?
It should be renamed Halloween Cactus. Silly thing.
Thanks for the questions, folks! I hope I answered them all!