Friday, September 28, 2012

Moving the Cattle

Darling Husband ended up working late and while we finished putting up the fencing as the sun was setting.  
DH wanted to fix some things and we put off moving the cattle until tomorrow, again. 
Then when dh gets home he tells me he has about 15 minutes worth of work before we make the big move.  An hour later he tells me 10 more minutes, half an hour he says about 10 more minutes so we go out and put the halter on Onyx and see how Ruby will do with a rope halter on her.  
She was not happy but took to it better than I thought she would.  Onyx’s leg/hip were healing nicely but she last weekend she went into heat again and with the cows jumping on her and her trying to mount the other cows she hurt herself again.  So her limp is back and she moves slowly. 
Finally we move the cattle.  Dh and Stick boy stop them from turning down the driveway, the girls block them from turning were the driveway turns.  Teen Boy walks Onyx and I try to lead Ruby.  Once the cattle realized they were out of the pasture the Dexters took off running.  I had no hope of holding Ruby.  When they got into the new pasture they ran around kicking up their heels, they were in heaven!

When we dredged the pond we dumped the muck in the pasture that 
was not being used at the time. 
My son uses it as an RC car and mountain bike track.
  He is hopeful the cattle will clean his tracks.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Installing the Fencing Part 2

Monday I have to take Teen Boy to the Dr.  He is given permission to go back to school but has to take it easy.  It really is a sign of how hurt his head is that he is that he is taking it easy at all.  DH and I start working on the fencing and we run out of crimpers. Pioneers didn’t need them so we don’t either!  It isn’t pretty but HOPEFULLY we will not have any problems with tying the wire.

Oldest Daughter offers to help Darling Husband while I take Stick Boy to Cub Scouts and help with homework.  They run out of the special tubing that is supposed to protect the electric wire from the staples or other wires.  DH finds some air line (I am sure it has uses around here I don’t know about) and we use that.  He says it is braided nylon so should last longer than what we were using.  I go out and help them but I am not strong/coordinated enough to twist or tie the wire without help of the special crimpers so Darling/Poor Husband is doing most of it on his own.  About now a neighbor comes out and yells to DH how lucky he is to be married to me. 

We finish again as the sun is setting rushing to feed the cattle and put the sheep in their night enclosure. 
We are confident we will move the cattle tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Installing the Fencing...The Beginning

Went to water the cattle after Morning Duty and the hose was gone.  Someone stole my HOSE.  I go driving around the property to find a hose long enough to reach across the driveway and fill the cows water.  GRR  As I am filling up the water I go to grab my vinegar bottle (apple cider vinegar in the water is supposed to keep flies away) from behind a the rock and it was stolen too.  How nuts is that to steal an open bottle of vinegar!? 

Friday the fencing came in finally!!!!  Woo HOO!  BUT I had to go to a Puberty Class with Pre-teen's Girl Scout Troop.  Great class I highly recommend it!  But, not exactly how I was dreaming of spending a Friday night with no band performances.  I wanted to work on fencing.  Since I wasn’t going to be home DH took the boys motorcycle riding.  D Husband called me once around Stick Boy’s bed time the teacher of the class had a no phone policy so I didn’t answer it and I didn’t get a text or message didn’t worry. 
I didn’t worry until I got home and the cats were still out.  As I call DH Preteen drops the Crockpot full of sweet and sour meatballs on the floor, it’s a lovely broken glass, meatball, saucy mess and now I get a call from my husband telling me Teen Boy is in the hospital with a concussion.    They should be leaving soon.  3 hours later Dh and the boys get home. 
Saturday we get a MUCH later than planned start on our day.  I leave Stick Boy and College Girl in charge of Teen Boy who cannot remember anything and is supposed to be kept quiet.  We finish behind schedule but Darling Husband is confident we will move the cows Sunday.  

Sunday DH and I leave the youngest 2 to make sure Teen Boy takes it easy.  We installed all the cross wire supports.  A few neighbors stop by to appreciate our work.  We talk with them for a while.  After we get started on the top section of fencing a friend stops by needing help so DH and I get to a stopping point.  I check on the kids, make them lunch then go back to work to see if I can do it without my man!  I can it isn’t easy.  It is a lot better with 2 people.  DH gets back and as the sun is setting Sunday night we have installed wire for the top section of fence.  

But we are confident we will move the cattle on Monday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Still Waiting

We have had the new cattle 2 ½ weeks now.  The original shipment of fencing is still missing.  UPS Freight is very hard to deal with and asks me the same questions every time I call, promising to return calls but never calling me back.  Kencove Farm Fence Supply has been good to communicate with and Friday reshipped the order Air Freight.  It should be here today.  I am so thankful the Dexter Cattle are such easy going cattle.  They have not really even pushed out the bottom of the fence to get to the grass on the other side.  Knock on Wood!  I have called  UPS over and over again and keep getting the same answer my shipment should be here Thursday so this weekend we will put up the new fence in the new pasture and move the cattle Saturday or Sunday.  We are almost going through a bale of hay a day so not having the fence is getting expensive. 

Darling Husband finished the gate for the top of the pasture.  

We will continue to use the old gate at the bottom. 

 This is the road most friends take to go up to DH’s shop I am betting we will be putting so we can drive up the road without opening gates really soon.  DH says he will improve the ranch road that goes around the house.  I actually like that idea better but we will have to move some rock walls and do landscaping.  Funny how every job around here leads to 3 more.
Ruby and Hope
I have been working with the cattle every day.  When we got them they were not afraid of people but didn’t like us much.   Right now I can pet all of the older Cattle while they are eating.  Hope (the calf) is very fearful.  Hope’s mom, Ruby will even let me put my arms around her neck and walk up to her without food in my hands.  One of the steers Filet is very friendly but Mignon is a little more skittish.  I wasn’t really planning on trying to work with the steers since they will be in the freezer as soon as they are big enough but Filet likes the attention.  Having halter trained cattle is so much easier than them being wild so if I can work with Fillet and Mignon I might as well.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Neighborhood

Our fence wire is still lost.  Kencove is having most of it air-freighted to us.  We are going to buy hay for the next week.  Next weekend wasn't planned on being devoted to the fence like this one was but... plans change.  I thought I would share a story that happened here a while back. 

We have a crazy ex neighbor lady.  She claims to be the “mom” of my neighbor’s mustang.  She regularly gets kicked off of his property for leaving water on or letting the squirrels out that the neighbor has trapped.  So when she is kicked off of his property she parks her car across the street and hides under a tree feeding the Mustang treats.  She will also give our animals treats (apples, carrots, plums – cut up of course), until we got the Dexters.  If she doesn’t think we are keeping the horse or cow water trough clean enough she will dump it out and scrub it and refill it for us.  She is very angry with us because we eat our cute cows with their adorable eyelashes.  I think she is mostly harmless but there is a nagging thought that she might report us to animal control whenever she doesn’t like something, I have had words with her a time or two too, but it is nice when you think you have to clean out the darn water and come home and it’s nice and shiny clean
Hubs and Teen Son were taking care of drilling fence holes.  Stick boy, Preteen, and I go down to take care of the sheep.  We hear yelling, can’t figure out what the guy is saying but definite yelling going on at the tree that Ex-Neighbor hides under.  Then I see a guy trying to get on a horse and falling off.  I think ok this guy has lost it with his horse and we get back to take care of moving the sheep.  Stick Boy tells me “that guy is really mad” yes well, he still isn’t on his horse either.  The guys at the top of the hill hear the yelling and assume it’s me so DH sends Teen down to see what is going on and to take care of getting hay to the Cattle. We get the sheep in their night enclosure. The yelling continues and now I see Crazy Ex Neighbor and she is following the guy who is yelling and can’t get on his horse.  Poor Horse.  I send the youngest 2 up to their dad and go to see what is going on. 
Ex Neighbor is walking towards me with the horse.  She tells me this guy is riding his horse so drunk he can’t get on the horse then he sees her he starts yelling at her.  So she says he shouldn’t be driving drunk and the poor horse should be taken away from him.  That was when he was about ¼ mile away from the road and the real swearing started.  So he rides, falls, walks to the road and keeps falling ending up near his driveway.  She called 911 and a few other of our neighbors.  When he is lying in the street she takes his horse away from him and comes to me.  We put the horse in a coral at a neighbors house (remember my fencing sucks) and the sheriff and an ambulance go down the street and stop at the man.  I don’t want to do anything to the horse until we know what we have permission from law enforcement to do. She wants us to”Hide his horse from him forever so he can’t get his disgusting little hands on any animal again”.  DH and I go to talk to the sheriff.  Ex Neighbor was trying to get him to press animal cruelty charges.  That is an animal control issue apparently.  We ask the sheriff what to do with the horse.  “Not a clue. Can you leave the area?” Not until we know what to do with the horse.  I don’t want to be accused of stealing the horse or have some drunk come hunt us down to get it.    Apparently DWI Horse is not common. 
We end up standing around with a group of neighbors.  I see people I have not seen since I was in middle school.  We also meet new neighbors.  Anyway we finally get the sheriff’s permission to give the horse to one of the man’s neighbors to take care of.  We go home and wonderful Teen Boy has fed and put his younger siblings to bed.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The fencing on our property is a mess. 

The Husband calls it Taco Fencing because it is curled in at the top and bottom.
I wonder why he can't find his glasses.  hmmm
What we have is a patchwork that is older than I am in many places.  Darling Husband and I decided we should do High Strength Tensile Wire with 2 or 3 wires charged.  We thought buying the wire and parts would be easy.  We decided to use telephone poles as our upright fence posts because we have several.  We start digging the holes using an auger on the back of our tractor and the forklift to push down the auger because the tractor doesn't have much downward pressure.  
I am not good with either the forklift and had never even sat on the tractor before.  DH (you decide what the D stands for) got rather frustrated with my lack of driving the tractor ability then I didn’t respond fast enough with the forklift.  He decided Teen Son would be a MUCH better helper than I am.  Have I mentioned I love Teen Son?  We went to cut the poles but our telephone poles have been lying in the dirt too long or are just too old so they are mostly hollow and rotten.  Now we have to find telephone poles.  We spend time looking on Craigslist and calling friends.  Fortunately we have friends with some on their property and we don’t need to buy them for the first part we are fencing in anyway.  Thank YOU, THANK YOU!
Friends stopped by and ended up helping us unload the trailer.
We go to the local hardware store and discover they don’t carry the wire or hardware we need for the fence.  We start the search for high tinsel wire and finally decide to purchase off of the internet.  We are paying a small fortune in shipping but it still ends up costing less than what we could find locally.  We order our fence charger from 1 company and the wire and parts from another.  We get a call from the wire company with a tracking number and I think yay it is on its way and think I do not need to do any more. 
10 days pass.  We finish installing the posts. 
A thunder storm struck as the guys were working.  They are pretty rare here so we sat outside and enjoyed it.

 I call the freight company and get told they will call me back to schedule a delivery I should have called to schedule it already.  No call back.  I called this morning and after some research I get told it was sent to another freight company.  I call that freight company a little more research. Then they call the first freight company.  No they don’t have it.  Now I have two freight companies looking for my wire and the rest of the fence stuff.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Cattle and Rooster

The first morning we had the cattle a neighbors rooster went to check them out and got into a contest as the sun was coming up to see who could make the most noise. Our neighbors have to love us!
I did not get up to take a picture!

The new cattle and Onyx have been having a blast frolicking in the pasture.  Onyx is not used to having her species to play with and after a few days she couldn’t walk.  Nothing was wrong with her that we can feel.  We see no visible signs of swelling and no rocks or thorns stuck between her toes.  She is still favoring her leg but walking around and eating with no problems.  I assume she pulled a muscle playing.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Dexters

All summer long I have been researching what cattle to get.  I do want it to be a little more scientific than Darling Husband reading (they wag their tails when pet).  We decided on Dexter Cattle.  They are small and finish well on grass.  Every website I have read on them talks about how easy going they are.  Darling Husband and I took a trip to pick up the new cattle.  After 10 hours driving, a night in one of the smallest hotel rooms ever on the hardest bed I have ever slept on including Girl Scout Camp, the best taco ever we met our new cattle. 
Rolo and Ruby
Fillet and Minion are behind the cows

Load them into the trailer we borrowed and start the long drive home at noon.  We have them all 5 Dexter in a 4 horse trailer and easily could have fit 5 more.  Every time we stopped for gas people would ask us what was in the trailer.  Going slowly through  town kids would stick their heads out the window and moo back at the cows.  We made it home without any problems and put the new cows in with Onyx.  Onyx was in heaven!  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Midnight Herding

We are going to leave the kids in charge and Darling Husband and I will go pick up some cattle.  In an effort to make things easier for the kids we put an ancient 1 horse trailer in the electric enclosure so the sheep can sleep.  Then the kids can just open the trailer and let the sheep out in the morning and heard them into it in the evening.  Coyotees can get into the windows of the trailer if they really want to but we figure with Onyx and the electric fence around the trailer that will keep the coyotes safe.  Sounds good right? 

At midnight my daughter comes into my room saying it sounds like coyotes are with the sheep.  Darling Husband and I throw on shoes and run out to check on the animals.  The sheep are fine Thank God!  But Onyx is missing!  Thankfully the moon is full and we find Onyx in the pasture with the horses.  We move the sheep back into the coyote proof enclosure and leave Onyx were she is.  We get back to bed at 1:30.  The next morning I ask my neighbor and Onyx went to visit her horse and eat the hay she had sitting out after the coyotes chased her.  Happy Days!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I discovered the sheep sticking their heads through the netting and freaked out.  When I came home from doing morning duty I got out the dog trimmers, spent a long time chasing Dot and Max.  Finally I caught Dot and put her on the halter and started walking away.  Max didn’t want to be left behind and followed us out of the electric area.  I attempted to shave their heads so they would feel a shock when they try to stick it out of the netting. 

Dog Sheerers do not work very well on sheep I need to do more research before I try this again.

Cling wondering if she should hunt the sheep or just supervise me.  
My other supervisor.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sadness over Marshmallow

We have had an incredibly busy time since I posted last I will try to get everything caught up this week. 

Marshmallow is the sweetest sheep but something has been wrong with her.  She falls often and would just lie waiting for us to pick her up. Marshmallow seemed to like being carried by us.  She didn’t seem to mind getting her face scratched by the barbed wire fence or shocked by our electric fence.  I contacted the breeder we got her from and she did some research but said she couldn’t find anything that it was except possibly a vitamin deficiency.  She said we could bring her back and get a refund but we all loved Marshmallow.   Preteen had chosen her after her first sheep was killed by coyotes, and hoped to use her as a possible 4H project.    
Last weekend we were working on our future fencing Marshmallow stuck her head through the netting and must have fallen by the time we saw her it was too late to save her.