Posted By: Jesse Williams
Rain. Rain. and More Rain.
If I had to pick a theme for the month of June I would definitely pick RAIN. We have had probably about 8" of rain this May & June on top of that 8" of snow we got in April (read about that here). Which is FABULOUS for our part of the world, especially because we were bracing for a drought this year- HA! Compare that to last year and throughout May and June in 2015 we had 2-3" overall. Needless to say, we are very very thankful for these rains, even if the daily thunderstorms are getting annoying.
There is literally standing water in our flat tame pastures, our dryland garden (no we still haven't hooked up the water!) is looking great, and our hay will probably yield the best it has in the last 5 years (if we can ever get it cut!).
Bulls are out! Actually they went out the last few days of May, but they spent June getting down to business and hopefully breeding the majority of our cows so that we can calve the beginning of March in 2017. We decided to back up our calving by two weeks compared to last year because the early calving fits our lifestyle better. To read more about our decision to calve in the winter, click here.
Below: Photos from our Gelbvieh breeding group
This year we are focusing our efforts on producing replacement heifers so that we can expand our herd in the future. Because of this we have three separate main breeding groups, which makes things a little more complicated than usual. Our main herd is bred to purebred Charolais bulls to get hose strappin' big tan calves that bring us big bucks in the fall, but we also have Gelbvieh and Simmental breeding groups. We hand picked our best Simmental cows to be bred to purebred Gelbvieh bulls, and our highest performing red Angus cows to be bred Simmental. Our hopes are that we can make some really great red white faced, moderate sized heifers with maternal characteristics, high milking ability and tame demeanors. We shall see next year if our crosses worked!
Below, Left: A Charolais x red Angus cross steer out of a second calver
Middle & Right: Red gelbvieh cross calves out of first time calvers
Because I was certain it was going to be a drought year, we secured several rental pastures in addition to our home pastures. We have been busy running around to each one, checking on the health of our herd and grass. We are also very fortunate to be able to utilize the Bullpound Community Pasture, which is only 7.5 miles from our home place. We trailed a selection of pairs to the Community Pasture on June 23, 2016 with the help of Grandpa & Grandma Griffith (in their truck, below) and Clay's Uncle Bruce. Big thanks to them as it wasn't the funnest ride being poured on with a straight sideways wind for the last 1.5 miles, but we got 'er done!
Below: Trailing to the Community Pasture
On the home front we are actually FINALLY definitely making small steps toward progress! Due to some 'interesting' dealings with a certain house moving company, our house plans were put on hold since March. While we don't have the 2400 sq ft home we purchased and expected to arrive the first week of June, we are happy to announce that we officially have our completed blueprints for our DREAM house. And now when I say dream house, I mean DREAM. Clay and I actually designed this house in 2014 but changed our minds for cheaper options- several times. We since decided that because we are going to live in this house until we die, and are putting it on our brand new yard site we are designing from scratch, we might as well build our dream home to match. I will keep you updated over the summer but we are hoping to have a basement in July or August!
Looking forward to July...
Mountain horse trip to Indian Graves
Montana trip to celebrate love!
Hopefully, more house progress
#Hay16 (if it ever stops raining)
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