Welcome Spring

Spring DirtSpring has hit us with a bang…finally! I don’t know about you but Old Man Winter lasted way to long for my family and I and we have been going stir crazy waiting for spring. The family has what I medically refer to as “houseatosis” …we can’t be cooped up in the house any longer.  As my little guys says as soon as he wakes up…”outside, outside, outside, MAMA, outside”!  The cattle around our farm find this little, but highly noisy human being, to be fascinating and follow him around everywhere on his adventures.

 

These longer days with the glistening sun = PERFECTION. We have been outside enjoying all the new baby calves, literally hitting the ground left and right. Some days we have had over 6 baby calves born within hours of each other. They are so much fun to watch when it is dusk…they buck and kick all over the fields, some are still a little wobbly and do trip and fall.baby calf

 

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This little Angus bull calf was born with in the hour and his mother got him all cleaned up just before dusk for a sweet picture pose.

 

Lots of DIY projects have been happening around here and I can’t wait to find a free moment to post some of my 30 minute or less “Feelin’ Crafty” projects.  A few of these fun crafts are so quick and easy my 22 month old help me tackle them and had a blast doing it.

Bye Bye Bulls

This blog post is going to switch gears a bit and reveal some of the financial side of our cattle ranch~WinterBrook Farms.  Sometimes you got to make a little money here and there, at least that’s what our farm accountant preaches.  Plus my dad is always in my ear telling me I can’t keep them all, even though they may be my very large pets; we need to sell some of these cows and bulls.

Earlier this month we traveled down south to the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale; where we had 2 of our show bulls entered in this show and sale.  These Purebred Angus bulls were 18 months and a coming 2 year old; they were of age and ready to start breeding some cows.  In fact, they were constantly trying to tear down theirs pens and the barn to escape and go visit our lady cows. Basically, they were turning into BIG pain in the @ss bulls. They were halter and show ring broke, we hauled them to several shows on the west coast this last summer, where they always placed top of the class. WB Brilliance ISAC 1216 “Brilliance” was born in September 2012 and weighted over 1600 lbs and WB On the Mark 2124 “Marky Mark” was born in March 2012 and weighed over 2000 lbs.  Both bulls graded over 90 in sale, which is very high on a scale of 85 to 92.  Below 85 bulls are not fit to sell as a breeding bull and 92 graded bulls are the champions.  Our Brilliance bull claimed Overall Champion Halter Bull after claiming Champion Halter Angus Bull and sold 2nd through the ring. Marky Mark graded a 90 and sold 16th through the sale.  I am happy to say that both bulls went to great cattle ranches in Oregon and California, which makes me excited for their future and their offspring’s future.klamath champion halter

This photo (courtesy of Country Couture Photography) is of me holding Marky Mark, while he was being auctioned off to the highest bidder in the sale ring.

klamath bull sale 2014-Marky Mark

Now that the bulls were off to their new homes we needed to get back to the ranch as soon as possible and help my dad tend to the rest of the cattle herd, which were buried up to their bellies in snow.  It just so happens that this sale weekend was the same weekend our “WINTER” decided to show up and covered the valley floor with over a foot of snow, breaking all sorts of weather records. Our ranch is not set up for below 20 degree weather for long periods of time…our water wells and stock tanks freeze SOLID.  Oh ya, did I mention that our brand new baby calves where hitting the ground and you had to tend to them immediately before frost bite sets in or something worse.  Therefore, we had no other option, but to trek home in the snow/ice covered freeways with chains on both truck and trailer for over 150 miles. In this picture, if you could only hear the words coming out of my hubby’s mouth, as he is trying to chain up our dually truck, with the very narrow “flatbed to tire” clearance.klamath road trip

We made it home safely and all the cattle and farm animals survived the storm…and floods after the snow melted.

Darling Donkeys

Over the holidays, we added a few new additions to the farm…Miniature Sicilian Donkeys!

{Meet Minnie and Daisy}

Daisy Minnie

As a child, I have fond memories of our Farm Mascot, a mini donkey named Gabby…Gabby was a mini jack that my dad and grandpa shipped out from Nebraska, as a weanling.  He was very LOUD, playful and slightly mischievous {he would escape from his stall by jumping over his “mini-sized” stall door and roam the farm}. We would take Gabby for walks all over the farm and play fantasy horse show with him, giving out old ribbons and trophy’s lying around the farm. When he was done playing with us kiddos…he would simply buck us off and run back to his stall. Gabby was even my school science fair project one year.  He came to school during the science fair and met my entire grade school throughout the day.  He loved kids.  Gabby lived on our family farm to the rightful age of 34.

Cason’s passion for animals and helping care for his dogs, cats & cows has grown tremendously throughout the year. However, as a typical crazy mama, I am panicking over the lack of fear he has towards the “large and in charge” cows. He continually wants to brush and feed ALL of his animals, which is a super sweet thing, other than our Doxie Dog, Gracie, is taking advantage of this sweet task and has packed on a few extra pounds!  I love the fact that he is gaining the knowledge and experience of responsibility, but fear he may accidently get hurt or injured by the cows at his small size.  Therefore, I knew what would be the perfect pet for him to learn the “how to’s” when caring for a farm animal. MINI DONKEYS! Miniature donkeys by nature are a sweet, docile and loving animal, which makes them good companions and pets for children. They do, however, demand attention and don’t like being alone.  So we decided to get a pair of young Jenny’s, for companionship.

Cason is in LOVE with Minnie and Daisy, along with everyone else around the farm.  These sweet girls love it when Cason comes to visit or brings visitors.  His favorite thing is to hand feed them carrot horse treats, while sometimes sampling the treat himself and then feeding it to the easy-going Minnie. Cason has taken on the routine of feeding his donkeys grain and hay, while helping fill the water buckets.  But his favorite task is taking them for walks and finishing up with a good ol’ brush down. When we are out in the barn taking care of the show cattle, Cason will play and run around in their paddock, while Minnie follows him around waiting for hugs and some lovin’! A boy and his donkey…2013-5174 2013-5149 2013-5151 2013-5178 2013-5181 2013-5186

Photos were captured by our favorite family photographer Audrey, @ Vintage Photography.