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54 vs. 900

My babies are growing up… too fast.

My sweet little Owen has turned into a boy with spindly legs and a desire to show calves.  Great…the showman in me is ecstatic…the momma in me is scared to death! At seven years old he has picked out his very own heifer, Miss Charger. She will be his partner in this adventure. Although he has been around cattle his entire life, he has never led a calf. Never held a show stick. Never had to ‘ set ’em square’. Never entered a show ring with a calf.

Thank goodness we have friends in the industry that are willing to share their knowledge.  Justin invited Owen up to his house for a showmanship lesson.

 

Introductions went rather well. Owen was to work with a steer calf that Justin has already worked with for some time.

 

 

With great patience, Justin tried to explain using the show stick,

 

 

and how to properly hold the halter when you lead and when using the stick.

 

 

With excitement Owen listened to Justin’s instructions and tried very hard. His little body pushed on the calf’s hoof.

 

 

Awesome. Calf was square. I was doing well up to this point. Then he led the calf. I had visions in my head of things going terribly wrong. I was very well aware that my baby…weighing only 54 pounds was going to lead a calf, weighing 900 pounds. He has led his horse many times, but a calf never. I held my breath.

 

 

Justin stayed close by and off they went. The steer was calm. Justin was calm. My knuckles were white holding the camera.

 

 

He did it!

Owen listened to Justin’s every word. We are grateful that he took the time to work with Owen. In the car on the way home Owen commented on the lesson…

 

“It was AWESOME!!”

 

We still have […]

By |February 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 54 vs. 900

SOLD!

Zeus has been sold!

 

Our very first bull sold at the Iowa Beef Expo as lot #6.  Getting him there required lots of work…and some outside clipping talent 🙂

 

Justin helped make the bull look his very best for the sale.

 

Scott got his first experience of being on the end of the lead…BEFORE the gavel fell and they said sold!

 

 

 

Overall it was a very nice set of cattle that the Iowa Hereford Sale offered.  For the Diamond P Ranch there were many lessons learned, but we look forward to the future.

 

Now…on to calving season!

 

By |February 16th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on SOLD!

Always something to do…

There is always something to do around here.  With the weather so cold lately the chores outside are limited. However, there are still animals that need fed and a few stalls that need cleaned.

Most of the time Scott does chores by himself. Spending all day mixing feed, checking water, filling silage wagons and opening and closing TONS of gates. Sometimes the kids and I go out to help. By that I mean, the kids watch me get the gates from the warm car!

 

A few nights ago the sunset was beautiful as we finally got to feed horses.

 

 

Of course the feed lot calves and the cows were already happy campers.

We have a bull we have been preparing for the Beef Expo sale. When I say we I mean he is Scott’s bull…Scott does most of his care. Most.I seem to be on clean up detail. For some odd reason it is something I look forward to! Some nights one of the boys will come out and help. Depending on which boy the definition of help changes. Lately, Levi has been helping a lot.

 

 

Although we can get a little cabin fever when the weather is rough we can usually escape to the barn. Looking forward to fresh air, feeding and cleaning is normal…isn’t it?!?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By |February 5th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Always something to do…

Helping Dad

Its a tough job, but someone has to help Dad! The usual helpers have gone back to school, so Levi has started to help. Being a whole 3 years old has given him a little more ability to help.

 

The weather was nearly 40 earlier this week. The cowboys sorted cattle on Sunday afternoon and we had to load a small group of feeder calves onto the trailer for a sale. Levi made sure all operations went well from his view…in the truck seat! After the calves were loaded he decided we should check cow mineral.

He saw it was empty, informed his dad, and then was off to get more mineral in the barn. He was also fully aware that without the older boys he would rate a pretty good seat in the RTV!

 

He is turning into a pretty good helper!

By |January 18th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Helping Dad

Winter weather

Although I am not a big fan of winter my boys certainly are.

They love the crisp temperatures, layers of cushiony clothes and of course the SNOW! If the temperature is warm enough they will stay outside until completely soaked then come in long enough only for the gloves, boots and snowpants to dry and they are off again. Levi has already learned to put his own snowpants and boots on in an attempt to keep up with his big brothers. For the record we are on the second set of sleds for this year. Slowly our stash of sled has been broken. Gee, how could that happen?!?!  They have decided the round saucer type sleds are the best. They appear to be the fastest. I’ve been told by the Code Man that they are ‘Super Cool’.

The Big O especially just likes being outside.

 

Reed and I are often along, even if just for a short bit.

 

We get all dressed up in warm gear…

 

Slide the pack on and we are off!

 

We usually get talked into opening gates or feeding small things like the chickens and cats. We don’t mind. Being out at the buildings is so much fun!

 

Ah, snowy days.

We make a lot of fun memories…but this momma is ready for summer. 🙂

 

 

By |January 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It is COLD!

Welcome to Artic Iowa!

 

 

The temperatures over the last week have not been very nice. I believe at our coldest we were -18 with a windchill of -50. Scott went out several times during the day to open the livestock water tanks. Although the tanks didn’t freeze the floats on the automatic waterers would seal with ice in between animals.

I snuck out one day to take a few photos.

 

 

The feeder calves were happy with plenty of feed to keep them warm. Several of them looked at me as if I was crazy though!

 

 

Zeus was very happy to stay in the barn. This is one of those time he is pretty happy he is a ‘show bull’ and allowed to be in the barn with a nicely bedded stall.

 

The cows are used to me taking pictures of them…but I’m sure they thought I was crazy as well!

 

 

 

As the animals were dealing with the chill outside the older boys were busy on exploring.  Owen had gotten a dinosaur kit and the two boys had great fun ‘digging’ for bones with chisels and hammers. When they finally got the t-rex completely put together they were very proud of themselves. It will be making appearances at school for multiple show and tell events!

 

Stay warm!

 

 

 

By |January 10th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Getting Ready for the Expo!

We have a bull that we are preparing to sell at the Iowa Beef Expo. The Select Hereford Sale is February 13, 2014.  We have an About Time Son that will be two on March 4. He is a handsome guy!

 

Deciding to keep him a bull was pretty easy. We liked him from the time he was little.

 

 

We let him grow, working on halter breaking here and there. This fall, once he was accepted to the sale, we got more serious. We got word that he was one of 75 selected from 125 nominations in 7 states!

 

Scott worked on keeping him quiet.

 

Owen was more concerned on how he looks!

 

 

Knowing we need a little help in the ‘fitting’ department we called in a good friend.

 

Justin worked his magic.

 

 

He was washed and clipped. Zeus went from a growing calf to a bull waiting to be used. His thick body really showed once he had a good trim job!

The next few weeks will be spent on leading. He ties well and is pretty quiet. He can’t figure out why Scott wants him to walk with him!!! This weekend the show heifers are to come in the barn and be worked with. Owen is hoping to show in March. The weather forecast is pretty brisk next week, so the workouts will be short 🙂

We hope to see you at the Expo!

 

By |January 4th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Christmas Time!!

Christmas is fast approaching. We have the house all decorated.

 Levi counts the line up of Santa figures many times thru the day. We’ve told him they are watching his every move…that hasn’t helped his rotten streak though ! 🙂

 

There have been a few times to go sledding.

 

The boys have been helpful in the kitchen. We made some treats for Owen’s class to celebrate his birthday last week. Of course, Hereford cookies were his request.

 

Cody and Levi are usually in the kitchen helping the most.

  Cody loves decorating cookies!

 

Levi preferred to help make the Christmas Slime for Cody to give to his classmates.

 

Reed tries to help…as long as it involves his Jumperoo or being held.

 

 

 

Owen prefers to fly his planes or play Battleship…there are no photos of that. 🙂

 

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Remember what the holiday is to celebrate. It is not the gifts, but the birth of our Lord. During all the hustle and bustle of the holiday take a moment to enjoy the wonder of Christmas!

By |December 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Working cows in the snow

I’ve seen tons of photographs with cattle being worked. It makes me think that it must be easier for other people. There is always a large group of cattle with a large number of cowboys on great horses. The weather is always perfect…cattle always head the right direction…and I just think how much fun it is…

 

On the Diamond P we try to do most things ourselves. Our herd is still growing and most of the time we manage to get by. We have some great horses, but sometimes having horse and inexperienced little boys can cause this momma more stress than being on foot.  On big jobs we’ll call for help, but we work cattle a lot with just the boys.

 

Case in point…a few days ago it was time to bring the herd in and sort off the fall calvers. Scott does an AI program that requires a certain series of shots that all need to be done at a specific time to ensure the cows ‘catch’ when he artificially inseminates (AI) them. We started doing this about three years ago. Scott attended the training course and has had pretty good luck. He catches between 50-75% of the cows. He uses a variety of bulls thru the AI program. It has helped us expand our genetic program pretty quickly. We turn the herd bulls in for ‘cleanup’ a few weeks later. The cows we are breeding now will give us calves born in September and October next fall.

 

During the process the cows are caught and processed thru the chute for medications 4 times in a 7 day period. To say they are a little tough to catch is putting it lightly! We had to have […]

By |December 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Gingerbread Houses

My mom started a tradition many years ago of making gingerbread houses with her grandchildren. I used to be the cool Aunt that would help the kids. Mom made each piece from scratch in old clay molds.  The kids LOVED it!

 

Now, my kids are little and still LOVE making them. My Mom’s tradition is to do them the day after Thanksgiving.  My kids and I make gingerbread houses for nearly every holiday  – bunny houses at Easter, Haunted houses at Halloween and of course the traditional Christmas time gingerbread houses. The boys all get excited to make houses!

 

 Of course when they are little it is harder to keep them from eating the decorations!

 

  Or being outdone by their cousin!

 

 

  At our house, we start by covering the table. I take the lazy way and use pre made houses. I hot glue them together so that they are good and strong. The boys all know not to eat the decorations…but occasionally they sneak a bite 🙂

 

Every other year we are in Iowa and miss the tradition with cousins. Lucky for us, we have great friends to share the fun with. Owen and his best bud, Rachel,  have been best since the were 4. Her mom, Angie, and Scott actually went to high school together.  Our families enjoy loads of laughs together so having them do this fun project with us is awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Reed was very into the event this year!!!

 

 

 

 Rachel was into the hand touch method!!!

 

 

 

 

Wait, what about snow????

 

 Our finished houses! They even had a powder sugar blizzard!! The creativity of the children amaze me. They had a great time getting icing everywhere. We all laugh when a candy piece hits the floor and rolls away!!

 

They make a mess. Mom would agree. […]

By |December 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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