Here is an update for Brittany’s 4th week!
Its been another very busy week here at the Ladder ranch with finishing up docking and starting to AI cows and heifers.
Sunday and Monday we docked again. We had enough people to run both Dinkum Dockers again which made the day go by a lot faster. One of the lambs had a broken leg and unlike cattle and horses, lambs can be splinted. Pepe used sage brush sticks as splints and wrapped the leg with duck tape while I held the lamb still. After it was splinted and taped, the lamb was set loose to go back with its mother.
Tuesday we gathered all the cows to be AI’ed off of the Lower Big Gulch pasture. We brought the cows to the corrals where separated cows from calves and ran the in the chute. The chute was elongated by a mobile chute with a head-catch that we borrowed from a relative of the O’Toole’s earlier in the week. This extra length allowed for ten cows to be in the chute at a time. CIDRs were put in the cows which would be pulled out a week later. The CIDRs have hormones which make the cows’s bodies think they are pregnant so when the CIDRs are pulled out in a week, all the cows should come into heat at the same time, allowing for the cattle to be AIed and hopefully conceive. We also branded about seventy head of unbranded calves.
Wednesday, I helped move pairs from the St. Louis pasture down the road to the Bull pasture. Multiple calves ran back on steep hills and refused to be turned. Once we reached the Bull pasture with the tail end of the cows, we held herd for a while allowing the cows and calves to mother up. We left the gate open so the cows who hadn’t mothered up could go back and get their calves who ran back and be trailed down another day. After this, one of the other hands and I went and fixed fence on the forest. The fence we were fixing was a let-down fence which needed to be put up but many trees had been toppled across the fence and had to be cut to allow the fence to be put up. After fixing the fence, Antonio and I stopped to check on the guard dog puppies up with the black faced sheep. We made sure the mother had food but the puppies were extremely hungry as if they hadn’t eaten for a day or so. We waited and called for the mother but she didn’t come so we moved the four pups closer to the food and gave them water. The mother eventually showed up the next day.
Thursday we gathered the heifers from across the river. We found a good spot to cross the river with the heifers but they still had to swim half the way across. They went fairly easily. We put the CIDRs in all of them and then branded the 6 calves that were there. After lunch, I went to the three day pasture with the tractor to brush beat for the rest of the afternoon.
Friday and Saturday were our final dockings. On Saturday I saw my first inverted eye lid on a lamb where the bottom eyelashes turn and grow against eye. It is very heritable and to fix it, a flap of skin is cut away from the bottom of the eyelid and when the scab forms it pulls the eyelashes out and heals that way.
Well, this week finishes up my first month at the Ladder Ranch!
The best to you all,