Tuesday, May 19, 2015

News From The Ranch

My neck is in a kink and my mind circles around thinking of all the things that have been done and are yet to  be done.  It is always that way on the ranch.

It has been a beautiful spring. 

We have been blessed with a sprinkle or two and it has kept things green although there are some spots very short and already browning.  Signs of our California drought.

The calves and cows are getting fat on the green clover and grass.  Here is a picture of Perse, one of the cows I bottle fed as a calf.  Look at that belly.

The piglets are traveling all over the place with their mamas and papa, nibbling as they go.  They've discovered that they like mud.

And Fridays, when we bring home the 'slops' from our local store.

We castrated the males on Sunday and it was surprisingly quick and easy and virtually blood free. This was our first pig castration and I had to watch a few youtube videos before tackling the task. We band our cattle, but pigs can't be banded and they become too aggressive and their meat can have a bad taste if you don't castrate.  Mark held them and I did the surgery.  It took about 30 minutes for us to do 8.  Not any record, but pretty darn good for our first time.  They really only squealed when we caught them.  I had earplugs in my pocket but didn't need to use them because once they were caught and held firmly they settled right down. 


We recently had visits from both the older students and younger students from our local community school.
The donkeys are always a big hit.  They are such sweet creatures and seem to really enjoy greeting our guests.

 The older kids spent most of their time on the ranch at the falls.  They had no problem diving into its icy waters.

The kids and parents hiked from our house down to the falls, but we gave them a ride back up.  Here is the group I drove up.

A week later the younger students  visited the ranch for a tour.  The piglets were a hit and Shadow made a special friend.

The children  also got to brush a horse and go for a short ride. I was kind of busy, so I forgot to get photos, but there were lots of smiles. They also helped feed some cows.   My favorite thing they did though, was catch all of my young chickens and help me move them from the brooder pen into their outside pen.  Those kids caught all of the chickens quickly and what would have taken me hours took only about 15 minutes!  The 6 week old birds seemed real happy to be outside. 

We also took a hike through an area of forest that burned and was replanted.  Kids that had attended this school 11 years ago had actually planted a few of the trees in 2004, so we made sure to revisit that area.  I think these students enjoyed  climbing on these oak trees the most.

Thanks Salmon Creek Community School for you visit and for your parting gifts.  You guys are great and welcome anytime.