Archive for December, 2012

Here are a few memory lane things from the place that was my home as a little one. The Nebraska Sandhills were long known as a place with a lot of water, wonderful grasses for raising cattle and the provider of great performance Horned Hereford cattle to the farmers and feedyard of the corn rich state of Iowa.  There used to be a sign on Highway 2 near Whitman that read, “Horned Hereford Capitol of the World.”

A country rich with wonderful cattle, horses, mule deer, antelope, white tail deer and lots of grouse, kangaroo mice,  leopard frogs and garter snakes hiding out in stock tanks fed water by windmills or springs.  Cold, clear water that you loved to partake of on those long hours of horseback riding.  A place rich with history.  Things change. But, one thing that will not change is that it was a wonderful place to be raised and call, “Home.”

These pictures are Kodak slides that are viewed with a Kodak projector.  I used my digital Canon PowerShot SX40 HS camera to take pictures of the pictures!  The projector screen was my mom’s refrigerator.  Another great memory, sitting in my mom’s kitchen with 2 chairs pulled up, projecting onto the ‘frig and looking at my folk’s days living on the S- or Synder Land and Cattle Company.  My dad was the foreman.  My mom the ranch cook.  Eighteen years of their young lives spent in the cookhouse as a young, responsible married couple.  My dad loved the land and all the sand. My mom, well…not so much!  She hated the remoteness and the constant wind and blowing sand.  But together, they lived a good life.

I have to rifle around and find the pictures of when they worked the ranch with horses…haying in the summer and feeding livestock with horses and sleds in the winter.  One could truly call it a hard life.  It snowed like there was no tomorrow and summer range fires were a constant threat.

Our schooling was a one-room school house for grades 1-8.  And then it became a 2-room school house when they partitioned the little building so that the older and younger kids could be separated.  So we were then grades 1-4 and 5-8.  Our family entertainment was loading up once and awhile to travel to the Benners or Gorsuchs for card playing.

What a life!

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People with deposits on file and on the waiting list will be looking at and making their selections from this litter. Some people may decide to move their deposit to the next litter simply because they are wanting a specific sex and color preference for a pup.

This is a litter of 7 female pups. Born Oct. 31, 2012 (beginning shortly before midnight on the 30th).

The pups are doing well with their vaccinations and dewormings. They will be ready to travel on January 09, 2013.

The parents are Diamond (Dam) and Sly (Sire). This a repeat mating.

Diamond is 50:50 heading:heeling. Sly is 50:50 heading:healing. Both the dam and sire heel low, clean and quick. When they head they are direct to the nose/face and quick. They do not fly around hanging or swinging off the tails, heads or ears. Barking is minimal. Both parents have been used in the pasture, the lots, the corrals and loading trucks/trailers. Diamond generally weighs 50 lbs. Sly 63 lbs. Diamond is jet black. Sly is blue merle with striking black markings. Diamond’s eye color is solid brown. Sly’s eyes are brown with one eye with a little blue crack. Both parents work without the aid or need for electronic collars.

Update (as of 03-24-2013) … All Sold.

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Cowdog Puppy Pictures

Just an update on the current litter of pups and their pictures.  I have taken pictures 2 times in the past several days and have not gotten a good set of pictures either time.  I am using my new camera and not doing well with the indoor picture taking.  This afternoon I took 86, yes 86, pictures of 7 pups and only got 1 picture that was worth 2 cents.  Plus, the pups escaped and part of them ended up outside in the melting snow.  They totally looked like “soggy doggies”.  I apologize for the delay! I’ll try again to get a set of pictures of the 7 girls.

Just thought I’d let you know!

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Well, Friday, December 14, 2012 at this little part of Americana was, “joyous”!  It was the AI day.  Those work days of putting in CIDRs, injections, taking out CIDRs in stages from 10:00 PM ’til 1:00 AM, and then again at 6:00 AM – priceless.  Of all the work days, we got so lucky with the weather.  The days before, the days after were all a hair “not too nice” but the days of the meat of the work were nearly perfect.  Especially the AI day.  It was overcast, a high of 50F or so, calm, gentle breeze.  It was, “Yes, perfect.”

And my work crew was, “Yes, perfect.”  With a smattering of cowdogs in heat, the work crew ended up being females.  Ms. Ducchess and her sis Ms. Gabby and their mom Ms. Hawk.  Ducchess and Gabby in heat and Hawk was “normal”.  lol… We had staged and lotted the cows the afternoon before.  Then a tad before dark (which this time of year is EARLY) we went about the business of sorting the calves off and letting them drift to the trap where I had put out some hay, water, Red Mintrate Rumensin block and a little cracked corn and soybean meal mix (2 of the cheapest commodities in the livestock feeding industry…another subtle joke!).  Friday morning, at 6:00 AM we went about the business of taking the cows to the corral to sort them into the AI sire groups.  Two groups – GLS Combination and Rookie.  By 9:00 AM were done with the cattle end of things and just needed to do the equipment prep work.  Sometimes it takes as long, if not longer, to set up all your equipment. Planning, planning, planning! By 9:30, Richard the AI tech helper was rolling in the drive.  Our goal was to be started by 10:00 AM and we actually started just a bit early.  I introduced Richard to Gabby and explained that this was her 1st “AI rodeo”.  And, that it was her 1st day of working the pens and alleys with wet cows, “So, I might be talking to her to get her positioning and routine down.”  Richard laughed and said, “Oh, I’ll bet she’ll do fine. I love watching your dogs work.”

I probably did a lot more talking to Ms. Ducchess because she was wanting to naturally assume her normal position at the AI/palp gate.  So, I had to remind her several times, “Ducchess, no.  Get back to the alley gate.”  And she did.  When she got into the routine of Richard going from his pickup to the chute, then Ducchess was fine and then gave Richard “his space”.  She looked just like her dad Bert as she patiently watched Richard AI a cow and then step up to the gate just in case she was needed to help a cow move out.  But, she never had to move a cow along.  The cows worked great.  Just like a well-oiled machine…that’s how Friday at the AI’ing event went.  Click, click, click.  We kept right on schedule and finished about 10 minutes before our anticipated time to be done.  “It was perfect.  I love watching your dogs work,” said Richard.

So. One AI guy, three cowdog girls and one chute gal and 72 head of happy, AI serviced cows and heifers.  Which by the way, the cows will all have settled to the AI’ing!  I hope.  We generally average 69 percent across virgin heifers, 1st calf heifers and older cows.  And in a CIDR, mass timed AI situation, we consider 69 percent pretty good.  Now.  If I can manage to hold it together to see the calves hit the ground here and not at someone else’s place.  Durn drought!

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Last night…Wed. 12/12/12, 12:37 AM…makin’ progress –

10:00 – 10:38 PM – Model 2007’s and 2008’s

11:00 – 11:48 PM – Model 2009’s and 2010’s

CIDRs out, Lutalyse in…cowdogs in bed, few hrs. sleep and finish at 6:30 AM.  Pheweeee…what a day!
I did have one 1st calf heifer that had lost her CIDR.  Oh well.
At least I was successful in not flippin’ CIDR goo on myself or flippin’ some in my face!  All my little CIDR tails were still up and on the right-hand side for pulling.  And, I didn’t poke myself with a Lute needle…callin’ it good!

This morning…Wed. 12/12/12, 7:38 AM, back the the house.  Pheweee, we are good to go with these 2 groups for Friday.

7:00 – 7:32 AM – Model 2011’s and 2012’s

10:00 AM – everything all washed up, drying or put away.

Let the cycling begin!

Tomorrow evening we will sort up the groups into the AI sire groups, put everything in lockdown, let the calves stroll to the trap with the hay/Red Mintrate Rumensin block/water/little cracked corn, cross our fingers nothing gets out and awake Friday to the AI’ing party.

Suppose to get a little rain Friday night and Saturday.  That would be a blessing.

The work crew in the wee hours was Ms. Hawk, Ms. Ducchess and me.  Go girls!

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Sunrising on our Tuesday…

8:00 AM…Looking W from my mom’s backyard.  The wind has shifted to the SSW from the N wind of the past few days.  High of 42F and sunshine.  Lots to do today so the fine temperatures will be a plus!

Feels like 8F...Tues. Dec. 11, 2012 001 Feels like 8F...Tues. Dec. 11, 2012 002 Feels like 8F...Tues. Dec. 11, 2012 003

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012.

The day has arrived!  It is the marathon work day to pull the CIDRs and Lutalyse the cows and heifers.  AI day is Friday.

I get so excited for days like this…especially when the weather is going to be sunny and decent.  Mind you, if it were a typical early December day, it would be overcast and snowing.  Or, better yet, windier than all heck and below zero.  I can clearly remember one December 8th and the wind was out of the N, blowing 20+ mph and the windchill was -8F.  And the conception rates for that work day on 100 hd. was 69 percent.  Not too bad for a work crew of one chute person, one AI tech, and cowdogs Bert and Hawk!  Everytime I look at the cows that are a result of that AI work session…I still get a chill!

Tonight, it is going to get down to around 15-16F, clear and a moderate SW wind.  That is not too bad.  We will see…I’ll let you know later how much fun we had from 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM.  The last CIDR group will be the heifers at 6:00 AM.  We are only going to AI 79 hd. so we will get done on Friday in pretty good time.

I truly wish the drought was not here.  I dread the thought that all the work and successes from 1997 to today will be further eroded by the length and depth of the drought.  The saving grace is we are having a warm winter…which means calorie requirements for the cows and calves is at least 30 percent less than if it were cold, windy and wet.  But, the long-term impact of not having grass to graze, the hay reserve is gone and the projected spring/summer forecast is a continuation of warmer than normal and no measurable precipitation.

The future of these AI efforts is bleak.  But, being a die-hard for striving for excellence will keep me excited for the work of today.  “IF” I can hold on, those AI calves will be like the AI calves I see on the ground today, “Dang nice and fine additions to the cattle industry in my little part of the American dream!”

To be politically incorrect, “Damn drought.”  Hope that “D” word doesn’t offend you, but that is how it is.

At least I have awesome help…go Tammy’s Cowdogs, go Tammy’s Cowdogs, go Tammy’s Cowdogs!

PS…for more short glimpses in our work and days here you can follow us on Facebook at Tammy’s Cowdogs.

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