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Archive for January, 2015

Tammy’s Cowdogs…Facebook…shared an article on Issuu. January 29 at 8:13pm ·

The Cattle Journal Beef & Business Winter Edition…Tri-State Livestock News, January 03, 2015.

Tammy’s Cowdogs Page 130.
To get to the journal, click the arrow on the picture, the photo will change to “The Cattle Journal”, click that picture and the journal will load. After it loads, at the bottom of the screen or below the journal pages will be a series of bars. Each bar represents a section of pages…just hover your curser over the bars and you can select a page to jump to. When done and you want to exit, just click ESC and it will close where you are. Press ESC again and it should take you clear back to FB or if you are viewing the post via my blog then you will be returned to my blog site.

#hangintreecowdog #tammyscowdogs

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Tammy’s Cowdogs added 2 new photos. January 29 at 9:27am · ~~ Cowdog Training ~~

I really believe that “training” dogs/cowdogs is unique to each situation – the type of dog, the dog’s personal character, the dog’s genetic expression of how they are wired, the person who is working with the dog, the attitude and abilities of the owner of the dog, how the dog is going to be used, how the dog is not going to be used, the job or task or tasks that the dog will be required to do. In the end and years down the road, the dog/cowdog will be a reflection of who owns or uses the dog. For me, I prefer to begin with the end in mind.

Back in 1997, I met with a group of cattle feeders and breeders. I was the odd one in the meeting since I was a female, a genetics background, a cattle breeding/feeding background, had spent lots of time in coolers looking at carcasses and measuring carcass data from 3-6 AM up and down the Platte River Valley plants in Nebraska, and the cherry on the sundae was, “I was a retained ownership cattle producer and cattle feeder”. The meeting was about coming up with a concept to drive a cattle breeding program geared towards high performance feedlot cattle. I listened for hours while folks jockeyed around to drive the program in their own personal direction. Yet no one could cite real goal driven results from their own breeding programs. Everyone had their own thing, wanted to promote their own thing as the direction for all, and no one was listening in an effort to develop a compromise and an outlined plan of attack. I had said nothing during the day, just listened. Then one of the leaders of the meeting said, ‘Well, what do you think? You feed cattle. Your cattle perform well. Come on, what do you think?” Of course the remarks aimed at me were a bit sharp and snarky, but I replied, “I’d begin with the end in mind. None of you have offered to give up your data of how your cattle really perform. But you all have “the bull” or the “genetics” that will work. I don’t think anyone truly has the magic bullet.” I’ll never forget that meeting. A lot has changed in that group of folks. Only 4 of us from the original group stayed in the group during the 1st 13 years. During that time, the goals of creating good quality feeding cattle did produce some great results though. At the high, we had over 200,000 head per year in the system and some of us practiced the disciplines to hit the top of the performance summaries.

I had to drop out of the multiplying side of things when the extended drought years chopped the cow herd here into a small size. 2014 was the 1st year I did not send my residual calves to be fed. I had too many replacement heifers sales, too many repeat bull customers and a partial load of feeders to send to the feed yard. I chose to sell the residual calves locally. I did pencil out that I’d be better off to send the partial load on to the feedlot but I opted to just sell them and move along. I regret that I did not finish them on out.
No matter what you are doing – cattle, dogs, horses, row crops, raising kids – if you begin with the end in mind then you might wind up with a better final product. Why bring this up? Well, some folks like to be critical that I do not use ducks, goats, or sheep in my cowdog training processes. And, I show pictures or video clips of cowdogs or pups being around cattle when they are not “working” cattle. Yep, that’s right…I like cowdogs that respect the difference between “we are going to work” and “we are going to not work” cattle. I don’t want to have to put an e-collar on a dog or set of dogs to always be able to “control” them. I never have full trust or confidence in a cowdog that has to always be strapped with an e-collar. Been there, done that with some purchased dogs. You put dogs in a round pen with a few sheep for the day and come back in a few hours to give the sheep some relief then what you instill in that dog is the attitude to go like hell until someone pushes a button to stop you. That philosophy might work for some folks and some geographical areas but I can assure you it doesn’t work for everyone. Do you always want to worry that if your dog ever gets out that you will have a fencing job, injured cattle or injured cowdog to repair or put down? Mishaps will happen and the fewer mishaps the better…in my opinion.

Well, like I say, “Everyone’s got their own thing.” lol…that 1997 cattle meeting comes full-circle again. I guess there is room for everyone’s opinions and techniques. I like to begin with the end in mind. Because I know out of experience, life will force one to an exit ramp and force you to a path you really don’t want to travel. My best cowdog results come from those cowdogs that travel with me and get used to the concept of patience and work when I ask and if I don’t ask them to work then they best learn to wait ’til I am ready. I own these cattle and expect the cattle to pay their way…so little cowdog, “Pay attention because I don’t need you running the profit off simply because you want to run and bite and run and bite.” This little penning was prompted by the photo I posted the other day of the cowdogs and cowdog youngsters laying down while I did something else. I do not ascribe to the theory of a cowdog should never be around cattle unless they are working. Some folks state it takes the grit and aggressiveness out of the cowdog if they can always see cattle when they are not working. I think having genetics for common sense, brains and respect is a good thing. I want “the button” to be optional in my training…not a lifelong constant requirement for a dog/cowdog. Training collars are a good thing and I use them but I do not want to have to rely on an e-collar system to maintain control of a cowdog or a group of cowdogs. The concept of always needing an e-collar to control a dog/cowdog just does not work for me. When I rode horses every day I never rode with spurs on every horse. I felt whole without feeling like I had to have spurs on to ride a horse to work cattle.

Everyone has their own thing and for me, “I like to begin with the end in mind,” and that will mean that I want a tough, gritty, aggressive dog/cowdog that can work without being collared and at the control of a button. I want my cowdogs to be around cattle and to learn there are times to work and times to relax and be patient. At this stage of my life, I don’t have the ability to train a dog in 30 days or less…simply because I have other ranching duties to take care of on a daily basis. Maybe if or when I “retire”?

#hangintreecowdogs #tammyscowdogs

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Tammy’s Cowdogs…Facebook…added 6 new photos…January 28, 2015, 8:01 AM.

Yesterday afternoon I took several cowdog youngsters and oldsters out to check pairs, water, and hay. On our way through the pasture we passed the red bull and the mother Barbado ewe as they were walking home for mineral and water. I turned around and buzzed back home to get my camera…that ewe and bull just crack me up. The cowdogs and I get back to the pasture and the bull and the ewe had already gotten about 1/2 mile closer to home. We stalked the bull and the ewe with the camera. I returned some phone calls, put the cowdogs on a “down” and made them stay put in the same place for a little over two hours. The regular cowdogs know the drill and they just plopped over in the sun and took a nap. The young ones? Well, a couple of them (Maude and Chatterbox) thought they would “just browse” around…wrong answer. But they got the bigger picture and finally parked and stayed on their down. Grandma Hawk was by the water tank snoozing. At one point, I gave them a “that’ll do…go potty”. They all popped up, trotted around, got a drink, did their business and proceeded to let me know they are fond of living here and even though schooling is mandatory they still “like” me. When it got to the point that I had to hold onto the fence to keep from getting pushed or knocked over then it was time to “down” again. 50’s yesterday, 60’s today then downward to chances of snow and teens, 20’s and 30’s…back to normal. Sure beats 2014’s polar vortex silliness and the 24×7 nursing Cowdog Levi back to life plus Bugsy broken leg.

What a difference…very pleasant 2015 so far! Can you believe January is almost gone?

~~ To see all the photos, just click/follow these links to Facebook, log on and enjoy. ~~

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Tammy’s Cowdogs …Facebook…added 12 new photos. January 27, 2015, 7:53 PM ·
~~ Barbi and the Bull ~~

A few weeks ago on a Sunday morning I fed hay to the pairs over N. There are 3 Barbado ewes that stay with the cows. One is a mother to one of the younger ewes. A few years ago, the 2nd younger ewe’s mother was killed by a 70+ pound sable, nearly black cat that was teaching her youngsters how to hunt. It was a sad day when I seen the cat stalk, attack, and kill the ewe. I was in the Deere and on my way to feed hay when I spotted the cat running the ewe down. I was too far away and couldn’t get to the ewe to save her. I stopped and shot at the cat with my 22-250 but I was too late. Since that fateful morning, the rest of the Barbi dolls has clung close to the cows and when the cows begin to calve the Barbi dolls make sure they switch to the pasture with the most baby calves. There is a more secure feeling when the cows have newborns and the Barbi dolls have figured out that cows with new babies can be downright vicious with predators. Anyway, when I fed the pairs a few weeks ago I fed in a place that was out of the wind. The next day when I went to check the pairs and to see how much hay they had left I noticed that the 2 younger ewes were in the pasture but the older mom ewe was not around. That is totally not normal. They are always together…all 3 of them. I felt panicked. I buzzed around the cows and calves and could not find the mother ewe. I went back home to the lot and started my search over again. I headed back W then N and I found the ewe. She was laying with the red bull and they were both laying in some hay. It was really odd that the bull wasn’t with the cows too. I drove the iron steed over to the bull and the ewe. I could tell the ewe had been roughed up pretty bad. Something had gotten a hold of her throat and there were tufts of ewe hair pulled and sticking out. The ewe reluctantly got up and her right front leg was hurt. She was tender in the shoulder and she couldn’t step down on her foot. Her shoulder, knee and foot were hurt. Something had obviously gotten a hold of her in an effort to kill her. It was also clear that the red bull had saved her life from whatever had gotten a hold of her. The ewe went over to the bull and cuddled right up under his head and stayed there. He was her protector, her shelter. The bull is extremely good natured and he took his head and embraced the ewe as if to let her know that he was there for her. The cowdogs and I went on. The ewe didn’t travel for a few days and the bull never left her. I kept them fed with hay and there was a small trickle of water coming down the hill and pooling in some cow tracks. I thought it was best to just let them be. The bull was taking care of protecting her and she needed to rest up to a point that she could travel. And the ewe did begin to travel even though she could not put her foot down. She carried her leg and stayed glued to the bull. The bull never walked off and left her either. I was just glad I didn’t have any cows in heat. Yet, it occurred to me that the cows might just understand what the bull was doing and maybe a hotty cow would find the bull for their dating time. Afterall, when you don’t want a hotty cow looking for a bull what does the hotty do? She looks up a feller! Today, I went N to check the pairs and the ewe was following the bull home to the lot for mineral and water. They really are the odd couple but it is extremely funny to watch the ewe follow the bull around. If she feels like she needs protection she just runs in front of the bull and gets under his neck and snugs herself up to the bull’s front. He stops and stands guard over his ewe pal. They are quite the pair. Kind of like “The King and the Queen”. It is pretty safe to say, “He’s got her baaaack.” Here are their 2 hours at the lot today. I could probably waste an entire day following the bull and the ewe around. It really is comforting to know that the bull cares for the older Barbi doll.

~~ To see all the photos, just follow/click the links and log in to Facebook. ~~

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Tammy’s Cowdogs added 25 new photos to the album: ~~ Last of the Day Gander ~~. January 26 at 6:32pm ·

Levi, Sly, Liza and Gabby took the trip with me for the last of the day buzz around. Mission was to check on Mr. Tuesday…the frozen eared calf…to see how his ears were progressing with the rolling up and peeling off. Tuesday is all boy. We found him, his mother and friends…out of the W wind…in the ditch where he had held up in the below zero weather on the evening when I strolled him and his mother home in our efforts to save his life from the deep freeze and dehydration. On the way home, the cowdog crew and I stopped to “gander” at the large group of geese that spent the afternoon on the pond…peddling to stay in one spot on the water and riding the stiff W winds.

~~ To see all the photos…just follow these links and log into FB. ~~

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Tammy’s Cowdogs…Facebook…Sunday, January 25, 2015, 7:14 AM.

Yesterday while out checking cattle I had stopped at the S place trap, put out some range cubes, backed off to the far corner outside of the pen, hollered for the calves, told the cowdogs & pups…down…watched the calves race off of the hill with the hay, bee-lining to the trap for their cake, and I listened as they gleefully rattled the cake in the metal bunks. I also listened for the calves’ breathing, “Was there any coughing?” Breathing was good and no coughing spelled healthy in the respiratory department. The cows were just hanging out, waiting on their calves, and standing guard just in case some cowdog pup got the notion to pester the calves. I had strolled off a few hundred yards, to check the water tank which had the handy dandy late night make-shift trouble light…aka light bulb in a jam jar. Things at the water tank were fine. The weather has been really warm and I had unplugged the “trouble light” heat source a few days ago. I was about to step back from the tank to let some cows and a bull drink when I spotted a fox squirrel coming up from the ditch. A fox squirrel on a mission judging by the speed of its gait. It was loping up the hill, went under the hedge apple trees, stopped at the brush pile left by the guy who came for firewood, then skampering to the tree stump. I was trying to foto the dang critter. If you have ever tried to get a fox squirrel foto you know it can be an anticipation task, “Where is it headed next? I’ll point my camera at the next spot, focus and wait with my finger on the button, and hopefully get a ‘gotcha’ picture.” Well, I got a gotcha but it wasn’t much. But the foto signifies that I did capture the moment and the fun part of trying to catch that squirrel. I no more got done snapping the foto and that red fancy tailed squirrel was headed on S.

Today, the little devotion that popped up on my ‘puter says: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

Pretty fitting. Sure wish the thoughts of the verse would resonate to every human on earth that is breathing. I’ll bet my little fox squirrel friend yesterday can relate to pure and lovely. He or she sure seemed pure and lovely to me.

#hangintreecowdogs #tammyscowdogs

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Tammy’s Cowdogs…Facebook…added 13 new photos. Saturday, January 24, 2015, 5:19 PM.

This is our version of a “cruise”…cowdogs, calves, cows, bulls, feeding cattle, putting range cubes in the traps for the calves, a squirrel, the trickling spring at the home place including snails on rocks and water bugs with whiskers, plus framing the cows on a hill far away. ~This is How We Roll…

You can see all the photos on my Facebook site of Tammy’s Cowdogs Timeline.
#hangintreecowdogs #tammyscowdogs

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