The baby goats are growing quickly. It won't be very long until they move to their new homes and start learning to become show goats. :) This is the very best time of the year to enjoy all the little ones antics and play! They are so fun to watch...
These two handsome boys will be joining Matt Penderson and his family in June. They are very nice bucklings and we are excited to see how they do in the Mayes County Fair shows this fall. From what we saw last year, these people kids are amazing at preparing and handling their goats in the show ring!
Two lovely doelings and two handsome wethers will be joining the Ty Russell family. The people kids showed several of our goat kids last year and did very well for their first year of showing goats. We're excited to see how these four do at the Benton County, Arkansas fairs this fall with their handlers. :)
Two precious doelings and our favorite boy Pete, will be shown by Troy and Sammi Bates' children. I really enjoyed watching them handle and show their goats last year and look forward to seeing them again at the Benton County Arkansas fair. They did an amazing job last year!
We have several new baby Murray Grey calves. The boys are out numbering the girls a little this year, but all are healthy and doing well. It's fun to watch the kids out playing in the pasture and doing all the normal things they do that drive their mommas crazy running after them! More pictures coming soon!
We sold some Murray Grey youngsters and a few mommas to keep our numbers reasonable for this property. It's very sad to see them go, but luckily they've all gone to really good homes.
RR Honey Girl and RR Rose are heading to Slaton, TX in July to their new home with Zach and AMber Dicken. They are both bred to BB Navajo and we look forward to seeing his calves. Honey and Rose were the first two heifers born on our place.
Nonnie and her heifer RR Grace, along with Nellie Belle and her bull calf Amos, are moving to Brownwood, TX this May. Congratulations to Gene and Shawn Russell. Both ladies are bred back to BB Navajo and will be having nice spring calves.
The rest of the crew has been purchased by Haley Rankin of Hico, TX. Petunia has been bred back to BB Navajo. The other girls aren't quite old enough yet and along with RR Tuff Enough they'll be out in the pasture enjoying the grass for some time. Good luck to Haley with building her own Murray Grey herd.
We've been blessed with good rains and not too much severe weather this spring. The animals are healthy, both calves and goatie kids are growing quickly. The grass is green, trees are leafing out, fruit trees are heavy with peaches, plums and a few apples. The garden is started nicely and is gifting us with fresh lettuces and spring crops. We are enjoying luscious home-grown strawberries and cream. Life is good in Oklahoma... :)
We have been extremely busy with several does kidding in the last week and more to come. The weather has been our worst enemy this year with extremely cold temperatures, freezing rain and drizzle, snow, and then more ice and cold weather... Oh...add some strong winds to that mix and it's been rough on our animals and on us. Certainly not our typical March weather here in Oklahoma.
Lonesome had 3 bucklings born 2/28/2015 in sub-freezing temperatures sometime during the night. She managed to keep 2 of them alive. We moved the smaller little one to the house so we could keep a close eye on him as he wasn't doing as well as his brother. He's now a bottle baby and house pet. :) We named him Pete. Lonesome has Thomas with her.
We lost Harley this year... :( She started showing signs of pregnancy toxemia about 10 days ago, so we were treating her for that and trying to keep her appetite up. She seemed to be holding her own for a few days. Then the really bad weather came in and it seemed to just take her down further. She gave birth to four premature babies. Way too many for her... We worked hard but weren't able to save her or her little one. This is one part of raising animals I truly hate. RIP Harley. We miss you and are glad we have your girls from last year with us. Eat lots of green grass and lay in the sun with other friends that have gone before. Love you bunches Harley girl...
Still fighting terrible weather, Ginger gave us a triple blessing when she kidded with no troubles and had a doeling and two bucklings on 3/4/2015. All three of her babies are eating well and running around like crazy...driving Ginger nuts. LOL She's such a great mom!
Both Shamrock and her daughter Daisy kidded 3/5/2014. They were a day or two over their due dates, thank goodness. Yes, another round of bad weather caught us mid-week and temps once again dropped... along with more freezing drizzle under 3" of snow and strong winds. The girls managed to hang in until the weather was a little better. Daisy gave birth to a doeling and a buckling. Both babies are doing well and Daisy is an excellent first time momma goat. :)
Shamrock is an old hand at kidding. She always has a single and usually has a little girl. We weren't surprised when she delivered a very nice little doeling this year. Shamrock is big doe and a very protective mother. She wasn't real happy with us being in her kidding pen when we were trying to make sure the baby got her colostrum. She has settled down now and both momma and daughter are doing well.
Today the weather is beautiful...sunny and warm. We have a short break until the rest of the girls are due starting in about 4-5 days. Peaches, Lily and Emma are resting and getting ready to become new mothers soon.
Hershey had a little bull calf 3/6/2015. She had no difficulty calving and is loving her new little man. He was born about 4 AM and got chilled before we found him. We brought him into the milk room, dried him off with the blow dryer and gave him some colostrum to help him warm up. Hershey is very proud of him and both momma and baby are doing well. With the weather staying warm we will turn them out in one of the small pastures this weekend to keep an eye on them for a few days.
Babies grow up and months pass by so quickly. It seems faster every year! The dairy girls, Dolly and Dottie have each raised their own calves and several others in the past year... as well as sharing their wonderful Guernsey milk with us. :) 'Tuff Enough' was weaned last week as he is now over 7 months old and a very big boy. He was moved up to the boys pen with the other bulls. We were able to find a new baby for Dolly Moo close to home that is fitting in very well. Welcome Jed,,,
Life is good with new babies and sunshine. Happy Spring! :)
Spent most the day Saturday getting the Boer ladies caught up on their pre-kidding shots (CDT, A&D, BoSe), copper boluses and feet trims. The weather has been up and down, rainy and dry, warm for January... then very cold. About normal for NE Oklahoma! Most of the older does are bagging up and slowing down as they get closer to their due dates. Kids should start arriving mid-February through March. Hope the weather favors us and all the little ones arrive safely. Can't wait to see bouncy baby goats again. :)
Dude is growing and looking good. Looking forward to seeing his babies on the ground this month! He is turning into a really nice buck... and well mannered.
We moved Clyde, one of the MG twins, off his momma and put him on Dottie the milk cow. Mom wasn't quite giving enough milk to keep both babies full. He missed his mom until the first mealtime and is now enjoying good Guernsey milk and plenty of it! He's so small right now that he fits completely under Dottie. :) He's definitely not shy.
As usual, Tuff has to be in the middle of everything... checking out what is going on and offering his help... LOL He loves being rubbed and scratched all over, especially inside his legs and on his belly. He'll even lift his leg so you can reach his favorite spots. :)
Til next time... :)
So of course we had babies born this week. We moved Lana and Misty from the big pasture to a smaller pasture closer to the house a few weeks ago, so we could keep a closer watch on them with the bad weather we've been having this month.
Misty was due first and it looked like we might get lucky and she would give birth between storms. Her ligaments had loosened, her udder was filling nicely and she was showing signs of mucous. All the things we look for when on baby watch.
Well... not only did she waltz right past the 'nicer' weather... when it was actually above freezing for a few days. Nope... Misty waited until it was the very coldest day we've had this entire winter. The high for the day was 22 degrees, we had a strong north wind, and she waited until after the sun set to actually start hard labor.
Misty got very nervous and we weren't able to get her into the barn when her water broke. Now we were running out of time and she was having trouble delivering her baby... so we pushed her into the chute (outdoors of course) and went in to check. Big, big baby and this was Misty's first calf. She needed some assistance with birthing it.
Did I tell you it was freezing outside? If we touched anything at all, our hands or fingers froze to it and then we ripped the skin off when we tried to get loose. Pulling a calf is hard work on a good day, let alone 5 degrees outside! On top of that, Misty decided she didn't like what was going on and she wasn't going to co-operate... so down she went in the chute with no intention of getting back on her feet.
Hmmm... now we were on our hands and knees in the birthing fluid and muck that froze on contact with the cold air. We started to get a little worried about saving her calf. We re-grouped for a minute, rearranged the calf puller, placed the chains on the calf a bit farther up, and working from the ground, we started to make some progress. After a lot of stretching and pulling, we eventually managed to get the calf out and on the ground.
At this point we may have been questioning our choice of raising cattle... at least in January... in NE Oklahoma. :-/
Good looking bull calf. Having a little bit of trouble because he'd been in the birth canal so long. We got him on his brisket, cleaned out his mouth and nose and he started breathing on his own. We let Misty out, once we got her to stand back up, and she went straight to her baby and started licking him and making those sweet momma moos. Unfortunately, the little guys was turning into an icicle as we stood there.
Loaded the big baby in the back of the 4-wheeler and with momma Misty close behind we made a slow trip over the frozen mud and ruts to the milk room, where there is heat and hot water. We had more help than we wanted at that point as all the horses and mules came up to see what was going on and wanted to be part of the excitement.
We dried off the little guy as best we could with towels and then went back over him with the hair dryer. Sure didn't want him loosing ears or tail to frostbite after all that work! Misty was closely supervising the drying process and telling her baby to get back over to her. He was trying his best to mind mom. :)
We are always amazed at how gentle and trusting the Murray Grey cattle are. Misty walked right inside the milk room with us to make sure her calf was alright. She's a pasture born cow that hasn't been inside a building and yet she never tried to leave her calf or get stupid and hurt one of us or herself during the trauma of her giving birth, us having to pull the calf, and take him to a strange place. It doesn't surprise me that Murray Greys are becoming such a popular breed of cattle now that more people are learning about them. They are the best!
Two days later when Mike got home from Tulsa, he noticed Lana was acting differently than normal. When he went out to check on her, he found that she had just given birth to a nice, long legged heifer calf. Mom was doing well and was busy cleaning her baby up, but baby was cold and shaking.
Once again the temps have been below freezing for many days and the cold wind blowing strong. Baby got covered up with hay in hopes to block some wind and help warm her up. After a quick bite to eat and heading back to work, Mike got the feeling something wasn't quite right. He moved the baby and Lana up to the barn and out of the wind where they had some shelter.
About an hour later he went out to check on the cows and their new babies. As he walked into the barn, he thought that Misty's baby was trying to nurse on Lana. Then he noticed the second calf was new... Lana had healthy twins! Both babies were born completely unassisted. Lana had them both cleaned and dry- up and nursing. Those babies were sure glad to have room to run and play! Lana has a challenge with those two energetic calves and she is doing a great job. She's a very good cow momma and proud of her babies!
Happy New Year!
We met a new MG friend a couple weeks ago when we made a trip to Yates Center, Kansas to pick up three nice, new Murray Grey heifers from Greg Barron of Crooked Bar N Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Greg and his wife Karen raise some nice Murray Greys and we are excited to be adding this bloodline to our herd. Thanks Greg!
We're starting to feel a hint of Fall and seeing the changes around us. The horses and dogs are starting to hair up a little more. Fall calves are on the ground and the colors are changing. Mornings are getting crisp and cooler even though afternoon temps are hitting the 80's and 90's. Fall is here!
We have several new calves that were born this fall. All are doing well and enjoying the cooler weather - and driving their mommas crazy!
We have a new bull and heifer from Backbone Ranch, Texas. Thanks to the Lindsley family for the great new additions to our herd. We're excited to have them here and looking forward to others that will be joining our herd later in the year.
With changing bulls we have to say goodbye to Levi. He has been a good herd bull to us the last few years, but as we are keeping several of his daughters - and making some changes to our breeding program, Levi has been sold to a ranch not too far from us in Rose, Oklahoma.
All the Boer does have been bred this month. We are excited about the new bucks we bred them to this year and will anxiously wait for new babies this spring. Roy has gone to a new home in Missouri, where he is loved and happy. Although we miss him greatly, we are very satisfied that he has a great new home. Thanks Craig and Dana!
2DOX also went to a new home this week. He did his job here this month and we are looking forward to seeing his offspring in March. He has some impressive, older bloodlines that we hope will invigorate our herd as move up to the next level in our long-term plans. We are happy the Dox found a good home with Mike and Kristie from the Haskell, Oklahoma area.
One of the hardest friends to say goodbye to was Miss Emily, our Guernsey heifer. Emily is a wonderfully loving animal. She always made us smile with her enthusiasm and antics. Although we miss her, we are excited about her new family as she has joined a new herd of Guernseys in Brenham, Texas. We look forward to many years of hearing how Emily and her friends are doing in Texas. Thank you Cody and Tracy. :)
And as one chapter closes, another one opens in part of our family. We are extremely excited about our new buck, SDG Rocknhills Dude. We are positive Dude will continue improving our Boer breeding program and we are looking forward to seeing his offspring from four of our does this spring. Thanks so much Steve and Debbie Gailey.
With the coming of cooler weather, we once again start the cycle over. It's time to start working on winterizing buildings and water tanks, putting the garden to rest for another season, checking antifreeze, repairing fences and pens, along with other mundane chores that are necessary to get through our cold, beautiful NE Oklahoma winters and keep all the critters safe and healthy. 'Til next time...
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” —Rachel Carson (1907-1964) Marine Biologist, Author
Rainy day today... makes it a good time to catch up on pictures and blogging... showing off new babies that have been born on the place the last several weeks... or... perhaps it's been months... Oh my!!
On 7/27/2014 one of our young Murray Grey ladies gave birth to a set of twin girls, her first! Both are doing great. Sophia was the second one out and she was a smaller heifer, so we moved her on our Guernsey milk cow Dottie, where she is being raised with Tuff. Olivia went out to the pasture with her mom, Hope. Both calves are growing fast and doing very well.
We had a short break from July to September. During the last of September, we've had two beautiful heifers born and are waiting impatiently for Dylan's baby to arrive any day.
The clouds have drifted away and the sun is now shining. A beautiful fall day in NE Oklahoma awaits outdoors... Thanks for joining us!
Goats are showing at Benton County AR Fair and Mayes County OK Fair this year.... Fun!!!
Ready for their classes!
Clipped and looking good!
The young ladies are doing great!
Congratulations to all!! The people kids and goat kids showing this year did really well. Although we didn't get pictures of everyone, we enjoyed watching them show their goats in many, many classes and showmanship. We hope they enjoyed showing and learning as well. We appreciate each and everyone of you and look forward to seeing you all next year for more goat shows! :)
As promised... here are a few photos from the latest drive to Arizona. :) We took a side trip to see Palo Duro Canyon, Texas and drove to the bottom. West Texas and eastern New Mexico were the greenest I have seen them in years! Beautiful...
Spent the night at the Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico. A wonderfully nostalgic place with super friendly owners. If you're ever driving through there, it's worth the stop. Rooms were clean and comfy and we loved the old gliders to sit and drink morning coffee. We met some really nice folks visiting from Holland. Like stepping back in time. :)
There are many murals all over Tucumcari, NM. They were painted by a talented local artist. Some are paintings of interesting or historical events around the area and others are of the people that live there. It's fun to try and find them all.
Look what we found at the Mexican Restaurant when we went to dinner. :)
This was rather strange... The gentleman in the painting was actually sitting at a table behind us eating dinner. LOL
After a great mug of coffee and visiting with our neighbors, we had a great Sonora Mexican breakfast and headed to Arizona.
After a few days of visiting with family, we decided to visit the old historic copper mining ghost town of Jerome, Arizona. Once known as the wickedest town in the west. :) It's a fun and interesting day visit in a bit cooler part of Arizona.
An enjoyable day spent looking at historical Jerome, visiting artisan shops and spending time with family!
Time to head home... Stopped in Lubbock, TX on the way back to visit with dear son and daughter-in-law. Had a good time spending a few days with them and my fur baby grand-kids. :)
While there we visited the National Ranching Heritage Center. It's a museum and historical park that preserves and honors ranching history and traditions. Great place to visit if you're ever in Lubbock, Texas. :)
A good trip and glad to visit family, but sure is good to be home!
Summer is here and as usual has slipped up on me. We have had such a wonderfully cool and rainy spring! The weather has been perfect... We have greatly enjoyed it and have been taking advantage of the lovely 70-90 degree weather every chance we can get... visiting many interesting places around us. :)
The blackberries in our area loved the cool weather also. Copious amounts of berries ripen along every dirt road around the home place. We have picked to our hearts content, enjoying warm, fresh blackberry cobbler with homemade ice cream. We picked enough to put some berries in the freezer so we can enjoy the taste of summer later in the year... Yummy!
We actually had a visitor from Arizona this summer! My SIL came out to visit for a week. We really enjoyed her company and had lots of fun working in the garden, helping her learn to milk Blondie, making cheese, and lots of other fun farm stuff.
We took a day off to float the Illinois river. It was a beautiful day and we had a perfect trip. :) We even floated by a pirate ship...
Another day we ventured to Fayetteville for dinner and stopped on the way to hike Natural Falls. There is so much beauty nearby!
After our week together in Oklahoma, it was time to head to Arizona to return my SIL to her family and have a nice visit there with family. We had a good road trip with many enjoyable side trips and I really enjoyed the company. :) Pictures of our road trip adventures soon... Meanwhile...back at the ranch... summer is here to relax and enjoy. Have a great one!
Russell Ranch is located in beautiful NE Oklahoma, just a few miles from the Illinois river in Green Country. There are lovely rolling hills, lots of wonderful lakes and rivers, and forests full of wildlife.