Monday, January 26, 2015

Day to Day at Gizmo Angus Farm

I have been really behind with writing on our blog the reason is life in general has been busy, busy busy.  I decided to share what life at the farm is like on a day to day basis, some days are packed others are just routine. 

11/7/2014  (Friday) - Ronnie took his mom to the hospital this morning for a swallow test, I had to run to town for my PT appointment.  Back in April I had a four wheeler accident when I was dragging a pasture and managed to sustain a fracture in my spine, the fracture is healing but I have lost a lot of strength on my left side so I get to go to PT to try to regain the strength and hopefully get rid of the burning that has been my constant companion since the accident.  We had plans to meet back at the farm when we were finished to work the open heifers.  While we were doing our morning running Mike got all the first calf heifers fed, and started working on an alley way fence.  We met up at the farm by 11:30 ran over to a neighbors to check out some work he was doing on a piece of property that butts up to our farm, it is looking good.  We are planning to work together to build a new fence on our joint property line this winter.  Ok time to get to work, we have 31 open heifers and a couple of steers in the pen were working today.  Each animal will get a shot of Cattle Master Gold, Vision 20/20, Ivomec wormer and pored for flys and lice.  In addition we check the calves feet, and remove any warts that they might have.  This is also the time that we take yearling weights and hip height measurements on these heifers.
Ronnie getting a hip height measurement

  Ronnie and Gabby moved the heifers into the working area while Mike and I were talking it is amazing how handy Gabby is she is growing into a really nice working dog, not to mention Ronnie's best buddy.  We started working the calves by 12:30 and had them all finished by 2:30.  Ronnie, Mike and Gabby moved all of the heifers into a new pasture while I cleaned up the working area and put all of the supplies away.  While Ronnie and Mike finished up I left ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner, went home and started cooking.  Ronnie got home and fed the bulls that we keep here at the home place.  We made the decision three years ago to keep all of our young bulls and develop them here at the home place it keeps all those raging hormones eight miles from the heifers (the other raging hormones). After supper I spent the evening entering the data that had been collected into our AIMS (Angus Information Management System).  Bed time!

11/08/2014 (Saturday) - Ronnie had a Men's Ministry breakfast first thing this morning our son Jacob and I had farm duty.  Jacob and I met over at the farm around 8:00 one new calf a bull calf out of our 9R9 bull and 409 cow.  I guess I should mention that today is day 39 of our calving season, the calf today is calf number 77 so we have been tagging calves pretty much daily for the past 39 days.  It has slowed down now the calves that are coming are out of cows that either didn't take AI or were not AI'd and just put out with the bulls so instead of 3 or 4 a day were getting 1 every day or so. 

Jacob tagging a new calf
Jacob and I had some time to walk through the calves we have on the ground, our conclusion we have some good ones.  Some of the standouts this year are some ET calves out of our A47 X OCC Juneau 807J we have three bulls on the ground out of that mating and they are all little studs.  Another group of ET calves are the N Bar Clova Pride F2839 X Sinclair Legacy 3R9 calves we have two bulls and two heifers out of this mating and they are all really nice, another mating that really worked is the Final Answer X Fink Pride 065 two bulls out of this that are sure looking good.  We split a flush with our Friend Tim Hopkins from Alabama and have a bull and a heifer from that flush that look really good  RB Barber 756 528 B192 X Boyd New Day 8005 another mating I was super excited about was the N Bar Primrose Y3051 X 5522-6148 I only had two eggs from this mating and got two bull calves, I sure wish I could have got a heifer but really glad that I was able to get two calves.   We also have a Final Answer X A47 heifer on the ground that looks like she will make a cow.  Our RB Bridget 658 11 111 cow died this year so needless to say I was really excited to get a heifer calf and a bull calf on the ground out of her and EXT!  We have a two year old bull out of this mating that is a stud, we plan to use him on our 2 and 3 year olds this year.

We spent some more time going through the two and three year old cows, the calves on this group are looking good we AI'd quite a few of our heifers to our Coleman EXT 6149 bull we really love these calves they just work for us.  I really like the look of the Cole Creek Cedar Ridge IV calves that we have.  This year some ET heifers calved for the first time so I was pretty excited about getting them in production.  We have three heifers out of N Bar Kinochtry Bty V1498P X  D H D Traveler 6807 one of the heifers had a heifer out of our Coleman EXT 6149 bull, another had a bull out of 6149 the third had a heifer out of OCC Missing Link 830M.  The other mating I have been excited about was the N Bar Miss Emulous G4709 X EXT we had two heifers out of this mating one had a bull calf out of OCC Paxton 730P the other slipped her calf sometime after she was palpated safe.  All of these heifers look really good and with the exception of the one are getting the job done.  We have so many first calf heifers and three year olds that I like it is hard to say I really have a favorite.  I love the Coleman EXT daughters they have such depth and everyone of them has a picture perfect udder.  The other group that I am really liking the look of are the OCC Missing Link 830M deep, thick and picture perfect udders.  We are planning to breed more to him this year.  I left Jacob to finish up with tagging the new calf and checking on everything else.  I had to head home to get cleaned up and meet Ronnie we had to attend the funeral of a friends daughter.  I have to say I just can't imagine the pain of losing one of my children.  By the time we got home it was time to call it a night.

11/09/2014 (Sunday) - Sunday, Jacob takes care of the farm on Sunday morning.  He and Carla go to a different church and their services start a bit later than ours so it works out for us.  He sent us a text that the cow we purchased to hopefully use as a donor had calved.  The donor is S A V Blackcap May 0524 she is a really nice cow the bull calf was out of SAV Campbell 0262.  He said the calf was a stud weighing in at 98 pounds.  Ronnie and I got home from church changed a ran over to the farm to feed the heifers and the two and three year old cows.  Came home and had a quiet evening, I spent the evening answering emails while Ronnie read through the Florida and Alabama Cattlemen's.

11/10/2014 (Monday) - Ronnie and I both still go to the office on Monday, for me it is one of three days per week for Ronnie the only day.  We attend the staff meeting and Ronnie has meetings with the boys.  I had a doctors appointment with the surgeon, and received good news the fracture is almost completely healed, so now he wants me to go to a pain management doctor to see if we can get the burning under control, I am for anything that will put this dang fire out.  Mike reported that we had one calf today a bull calf out of our Sinclair Rito 9R9 bull and Gizmo Elluna 942 0168 8005 an ET daughter out of our now deceased Elluna donor cow.  Mike also went into town to collect the brewers grain that we pick up each Monday, then he stopped by the office to pick up a pallet of Sweet Pro Feed.
We became a Sweet Pro dealer about two years ago.  We had used the product for a year and really liked the product, but had problems getting it when we needed it.  We have been really pleased with the results since we began using the Sweet Pro 18 tubs we have not fed our mature cows one bite of grain.  Home from the office Ronnie fed the young bulls at the house, dinner, dancing with the stars then bed another exciting day in the life.

11/11/2014 (Tuesday) - Veterans Day God bless each and every one of our veterans, those still serving and those that have served.  Since the banks were closed today I didn't go into the office no mail no deposit no Debbie.  I did some computer work, which includes working on the AIMS file and this very blog.  Ronnie headed over to the farm to check the cows.  No calves today, once I finished my computer work I ran over to the farm and road through the cattle with him.  We split up with Ronnie heading to the house to feed the bulls and me heading to the Lee Veterinary clinic to pick up a health certificate, Trich test results for the bull sale on Friday.  Ronnie and I met back up at the house ate lunch then met with a bull customer.  The bull customer was a repeat buyer that came over to look at the bulls we have going to the sale as well as our yearling bulls.  We spent a nice afternoon visiting and talking cows.  Once our customer left we headed back to the farm for the afternoon check, still no calves but have a couple that should be any day.

11/12/14 (Wednesday) - I had to go to PT this a.m. and since I took the day off for Veterans Day I  went into the office today.  When I got off work I cam home and started cooking.  Our Sunday school class is planning to take a meal to our friends that lost their daughter last week and I volunteered to contribute, since we are going to be out of town on Friday I needed to get my contribution cooked and delivered today.  Ronnie fed the bulls then headed to the farm.  Ronnie and Mike worked the two and three year old cows today, they received the same round of medications as the open heifers.  They didn't have to get hip height measurements or deal with any warts today just Cattle Master Gold, Vision 20/20, Ivomec wormer and pored for flys and lice and weights.  They worked a total of 36 head.  Once they finished up with the group they moved them into the last field of standing hay we have.  They should have enough pasture to hold them for another week or so before we have to start feeding some hay.  Hopefully we will get some rain, Ronnie and Mike have planted over 100 acres in winter pasture at this point, and it is trying to grow just needs some moisture.  If we get some rain we will probably be able to start grazing the first fields planted by early December, we wanted to have them grazing by Thanksgiving but no moisture since we planted is driving this train. After they finished working the cattle, they checked all of the heavies then hooked up the trailer to get ready for our trip tomorrow to Uniontown Alabama for the Alabama BCIA Fall Round Up Sale.  We have to have the bulls at the sale barn by 3:00 tomorrow afternoon.  Ronnie got home from the farm, I had part of the food ready for delivery so he got cleaned up and took it with him to church.  I finished up another batch one for dinner and one to put in the freezer for later.

11/13/14 (Thursday) - Got up packed for the overnight trip to Uniontown for the bull sale.  I straightened up the house a bit then went out to help Ronnie get the bulls loaded up.  After we loaded the bulls we waited for a friend of ours to arrive with his bull we were hauling him to the sale as well since after the one bull breaking his leg we had extra room in the trailer.  Once we got Keith's bull loaded we headed to the sale.  We arrived in Uniontown about 2:00 got the bulls settled in.  We spent some time visiting with some other breeders, one of my favorite things about the cattle business is the people.  We stay so busy with the farm it isn't often that we actually get to visit with our cattle friends.  It was sure enough cold we have been participating in this sale for a long time and we have had some cold ones but this one made the others look like heat waves. Once we finished up at the sale barn headed to the hotel in Demopolis Alabama to clean up we then met friends at the Red Barn steak house for dinner.  Needless to say we enjoyed our meal and our visit.

11/14/14 (Friday) - Sale day!  Ronnie got up and rode to the sale facility with friends, I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather not to mention standing for long periods is rough on me at this point.  I headed to the sale barn about 9:30 so a nice relaxing morning.  Arrived at the sale barn about 10:00, and was surprised to see our son Jacob had made the trip over.  Lots of folks to visit with Jacob and I had a real nice visit with our Regional Manager David Gazda, it is always a pleasure seeing David he is just a wealth of valuable information.
About an hour prior to the sale I decided to find a seat and warm up.

 The sale started at 12:00 as always the BCIA staff did a great job for both the consignors and the buyers.  By 2:00 all the bulls had been run through the sale pen and we were on our way home.  We arrived back at the house a little before 6:00 I fixed some dinner and spent some time doing some farm paper work. 

11/15/14 (Saturday) - Game day, our daughter in law Carla headed to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama Mississippi State game, Jacob had a fund raiser for Young Farmers and Ranchers and Ronnie and I were able to spend a day taking care of the Gilmore Girls for the day!  Jacob arrived a little after 7:00 a.m. with the girls, then headed out for the shoot.  I fixed breakfast for the girls.  Ronnie headed over to the farm to take care of things.  This left me at the house with the girls and as usual we managed to get into anything and everything.

The girls wanted to check out the dog kennel

They also wanted to check out the new squeeze chute
good thing only three bulls have been pushed through it or it might have been a bit messy!

Ella loved checking it out fro the inside out.

Ronnie got back from the farm around lunch time, once we had some lunch we headed to the meat processor to pick up the bull that had broken his leg a couple of weeks prior to the sale.  The girls were really excited about going to pick up the meat, needless to say we had more fun just making the trip.  By the time we got back Jacob was returning from the shoot.  He helped his dad unload the meat and get it in the freezer.  By this point the game had started, he took the girls home and Ronnie and I watched the game.  I cooked dinner and then we watched the Florida State game then we called it a night.
11/16/14 (Sunday) - Breakfast church, grocery store home.  Ronnie ran to the farm to check on things, Jacob spent the afternoon planting some additional winter pasture.  I spent the afternoon cooking my mamma's home made vegetable soup.  One of the girls at our office has breast cancer, she is a single mother to a sweet eleven year old boy.  The chemotherapy is rough on her, she is just so tired and at times ill.  I just felt that I needed to cook up some comfort food for here to have in the freezer on days she just doesn't feel up to cooking.  While I was cooking, I also got some clothes washed and dinner cooked.  Ronnie got back from the farm and ate our dinner, once the soup cooled packaged it up for delivery tomorrow. 

11/17/14 (Monday) - Today Ronnie and I both go to the office.  I have to leave for my PT appointment then head back to work.  We got home and had to take care of transferring embryos from the shipper into our embryo tank.  The embryos were all purchased from Coleman Angus throughout the year.  I don't know how many of the embryos will be used this year but I know we will be using some of them.  The tank had 4 eggs out of Chloe Juanada 7009 X Sitz Rainmaker 6169, 3 eggs out of OCC Dixie Erica 754U X Leachman Right Time 2700, 4 eggs out of OCC Dixie Erica 744P X Coleman Charlo 0256, 5 eggs out of Coleman Blackbird 1554 X Wulffs EXT 6106 and 2 eggs out of Sinclair Eriskay 2N1 7883 X Leachman Right Time 2700.  Needless to say we are excited to see how these mating will work in our herd.  Ronnie got the bulls fed and we called it a day.

11/18/2014 (Tuesday) - I headed to the office and Ronnie to the farm.  I spent the day at the office paying bills sometimes I feel all I do is pay bills.  Ronnie fed up at the farm he and Mike checked to make sure everything was ready for the hard freeze that is predicted tonight.  If the temp drops as predicted we will break all the records.  I saw a few minutes of the news tonight and will not complain about the cold we are having especially when I see how dang cold it is in other parts of the country.  Once the guys got everything taken care of as far as prep for the freeze they started putting fertilizer on the winter pastures.  They spent the day spreading fertilizer.  I got home from the office and had about twenty minutes before I had to head out for a Molino Water Board meeting.  I have served on the water board for the past four years, and was just re-elected to serve for three more years.  I got home from the water board meeting and fixed myself some supper Ronnie had already eaten.  By the time I finished dinner Ronnie was headed to get his shower and hit the hay.  

When I started writing this I had good intentions to get it posted, here it is the end of January and I am finally getting that done. Needless to say I need to do better at getting these blogs written!  Since I quit doing the daily log, we have completed our calving, one cow just didn't cooperate and was the last cow to calve, on Christmas day with twin heifers.  She decided she was a union cow and her contract was to raise one calf per year.  So we are now bucket feeding the heifer she didn't accept.  We did all of our AI breeding on December 22nd and 23rd.  We started setting up our donors on December 19th and flushed them on January 4th.  We set up 29 recips and put in 24 eggs so we are in hopes we have a good conception rate.  Ronnie and I celebrated being done with a trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver.  While we were gone the Florida Bull Test Sale took place Jacob, Carla and the girls attended the sale.  We have been playing catch up since getting home from Denver a week ago.  It never fails when we fly I manage to catch a bug and this trip was no different, but by being home with the crud I am at least getting to finish this blog.  We have already selected our lots for the All Black Classic sale at the University of Florida Beef Unit on April 11th and the Southeast Classic in Opelika Alabama at Lawler Farms on May 16th. 

It is hard to  believe that it is already 2015 I wish each of you a Blessed year I know it will be gone before we know it.