Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let the AI'ing begin...

It's hard to believe it, but the 2014 Fall AI Season has begun.
Last night we bred the first part of a set of Thomas Angus heifers - I thought it was pretty appropriate that we began the Fall AI season on the official first day of Fall. 
We had set up the AI barn Sunday evening, so last night it was just a matter of heading out and sorting off the heifers that were in standing heat so we could breed them.  Once those heifers were sorted, we ran the remainder of the heifers in and gave them a shot of GnRH.  We'll head back later today to breed them. 

We sorted and gave shots in the daylight, so by the time we were breeding it was dark out.  But that didn't stop me from snapping a few pictures with my cell phone in the barn.  I thawed semen, Jesse brought the cattle, and RJ, Clint & Morgan took turns breeding.  It didn't take long and we were done with the flight of heifers and headed home.


Morgan breeding a heifer.

RJ & Clint breeding heifers.

Even though it's grainy, this may be my favorite picture of Clint & Morgan ever - it totally represents their rapport in the barn. 
While they're breeding, they usually have planning conversations or talk genetics, or something like that.  In this picture, all I can think is that Clint is trying to explain something to Morgan, and Morgan is all like "What?!?"
And the funny thing is when I showed them this picture, Morgan said the same thing. Lol. :)
RJ & Clint breeding heifers.
Here's to a successful start to the AI season!  We hope with hard work, a detailed work crew and proper planning, we can reward our customers with high conception.
Success is Reason Enough!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall calving.

It's hard to believe, but the fall cows at the ranch started calving early last week, and this weekend was the first time I had a chance to go out and take pictures of them.

Note that sentence did not say the first time I've been out to see the calves....last Wednesday, after Round Up there was one cow who decided that she did not care to be a mother to her calf, so we had to gather her and the calf and take them to the calving barn so we could milk her out and let her calf nurse.  My hands were full (I was the one holding the calf on my lap while Ty navigated the four wheeler), so no pictures. 

Right now, all of the calves being born are either ET calves (Meadow Acres Angus embryos that were put into Double M recip cows last winter) or AI calves that are sired by bulls out of the Genex Progeny Test.  It's exciting to see the progressive genetics in the calves.

Even though in the fall Clint calves mature cows (in the spring he calves the heifers and young cows) and they don't need as much help, we still check the cows fairly often throughout the day to make sure there aren't any problems.  This weekend Clint had 3 sets of twins, and Mike had a fourth set over at his place.  Two out of the four cows claimed their twins and are doing ok now, but a beef cow usually only has enough milk to raise one calf well so we're hoping the Jersey cow decides to calve soon.  :)  Then we'll put the extra twins on her, since she'll have more than enough milk for her calf plus 2 more.

And secretly I'm hoping we don't have a fall calving season like we did in 2012 where we had over 30 sets (!!!) of twins out of 250 cows.  ;)  Twins are A LOT of work!

Clint always says that the first and last weeks of the calving season are the hardest, and again I find his words to be true. But the extra efforts are worth it when you see healthy calves frolicing out in the fields.  :)

Are you fall calving where you live?

Friday, September 19, 2014

5 on Friday.


The sink is full of dishes, but the laundry is going.
The last of the calves were weaned today at Double M, and the trailer is pressure washed but my to do list still needs a few things checked off.  My cold is getting better - turns out it was more of an infection in my lungs and ears so antibiotics and steroids were ordered and I think by tomorrow I will actually be able to hear out of both ears. 

It has been a week.  But it's been a good one, and we have a lot to show for it.

Just don't look too hard at my floors....

With that - here's a few misc notes from this Friday in mid-September.  I'm linking up with Andrea, Narci & Erika today for their Friday Favorites - be sure to hop over the blog link up to see what everyone is up to this Friday.

{PS} - How did it get to be mid-September already?!?!


1. Weaning calves.

I had grand intentions of getting a lot of great pictures today as Double M finished up weaning the last of the spring calves.  But - life took over, a driver was needed, and I spent the entire morning shuttling sorted calves from a field to the feedlot.  Little time (or patience) was had for pictures, but all of the calves are now weaned and we can focus on keeping them healthy while their mama's get a break for a few months before they start calving. 

We weaned three groups of cows this morning.  At each pasture, the whole group would be gathered, and then the guys would sort the cows from the calves.  Then steer calves were sorted from heifer calves.  The steer calves were loaded and hauled to the feedlot where they were weighed and given their booster vaccine.  The heifers were loaded and hauled to the white corrals where they were weighed and given their booster vaccine.   Hauling calves took all morning, and then after lunch we processed the heifers.  (The feedlot crew takes care of processing the steers.)


I think everyone is glad to have the spring calves weaned.  Now we can focus on keeping them healthy, and calving fall cows.

2. My favorite post of the week.

Robyn's post about couples working cattle together is a good one.

 If you are married to a farmer or rancher, I'd encourage you to check this one out.

And a special Happy 10 Year Anniversary to Robyn!

3. Favorite thought of the week.

I can't say that I've suffered from depression, but I do know that I feel better about myself and more confident when I exercise.  I started going to Zumba a few nights a week at the beginning of the month, and I really enjoy how it makes me feel.  My goal isn't to be skinny; it's just to be healthier and I try to go 3 nights a week.  I can't even tell you how excited I was when I went to Urgent Care for my cold this week, and they told me my blood pressure was 110/74.
So if there's some extra positive side effects (like weight loss) that come along with the exercise - well, than that's just a bonus.  
4. This dog.

I love this picture of Leo....he has two of his favorite things; a water bottle & a bone, and is hanging out in the shade. Life is good.  :)

5. My favorite picture of the week.

Almost all of the pictures I took this week were at sunset - it was just one of those weeks.

But this picture is a good reminder that even when life is chaotic, and maybe not perfect - it is still beautiful.

Happy Friday friends!

Keep living the dream!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Drysdale Wedding.

I spent last weekend in Minnesota celebrating the wedding of my cousin Amanda to Cody.
I flew into MSP late Friday night, and flew out early Sunday morning so I was really only there for a day.  But we made that day count!  Mom, Lindsay and Henry flew back to and met up with the rest of our family on the Clancy side. 
Clint had to stay home since the ranch is fall calving.  :(  We missed him!
Prior to the wedding festivities, the Clancy cousins who weren't in the wedding headed to Surly Brewing.  Because who doesn't love a little pre-funking and an {Ag Tour} all rolled into one?!? 
Henry & Lindsay

My cousin Alayna & her husband Kenny
My cousin Alicia had scoped out the brewery prior to last weekend and learned they were giving tours of the brewery that day.  So after tasting a couple of their beers - they served 8 oz glasses, which was great for sampling - we headed into the brewery to learn about the process.


Then we headed to the church for family pictures (can't wait to see the Clancy Cousin Stack!) and the wedding ceremony.  Amanda and Cody are two loving, light hearted and funny people and their wedding totally was a reflection of themselves.

Even up to the "selfie" they took at the altar after they were pronounced husband & wife!!!
And one with their awesome pastor (and personal friend) too!  :)
After the ceremony the newly named Mr. & Mrs. Drysdale had a fun reception at the church where friends and family could visit as everyone went through the reception line.  Aiden & I took our chance to continue his selfie-fame, since he had so much practice at Ryan & Kellie's wedding earlier in the summer before we cheered the bride & groom on as they left the church.

After Cody & Amanda made their getaway in a cherry red Corvette, we headed to the hotel bar and cashed in on our free drinks from the hotel (the wedding party did too) before heading to the reception in the Earle Brown Heritage Center that was connected to the Embassy Suites where we were staying.
The bride & I with our Grandma.

Lindsay, Amanda & Grandma

PS - RAVE reviews for our hotel this weekend.  If you're ever in MSP, this is the place to stay!
The reception was fabulous, dinner was delicious, the dueling pianos were SUH-WEET and all of the Clancy clan had a great time celebrating the newlyweds.

We were ready for the Dollar Dance!

Look who caught the bouquet!

Congratulations Amanda & Cody!
I wish you all the best - marriage is awesome & you two will wear it well.
Love always wins.