One Day In September - Home on the Range Blog at - 251970

Home on the Range

Sep. 29, 2011 12:39 pm 
Updated: Oct. 12, 2011 3:10 pm

Things have been cooling off considerably. Fall is in the air. Emma Lou has a new suitor. The boss sent an AkaUshi bull over for her, whom we named Mr Miyagi. He was a one night stand. He courted her, piqued her interest and when the sun came up, he was gone. I am sure this did nothing for Emma’s self esteem. She is putting on a brave front though.

The cowboss brought her another beau. This guy was pretty big. He never made it from behind the barn, because he was too snorty and our boss is a great guy and wouldn’t put me in that kind of position. A third bull was delivered, along with 2 of Emma’s heifer friends, Rio and Cholula. They are both orphans that we raised on Emma’s mother, DollyMoo, so they know each other well. They are beef cows and are much larger than  Em’s little Jersey-self, but she doesn’t put on airs.  She is a humble little cow. We figured the two extra cows could feed Lover- boy’s ego while Emma is gone for 15 minutes getting milked. You know how men are.  Miyagi couldn’t handle not being the constant center of attention.

The next morning, I looked out to see Emma Lou, Rio, Cholula, and little Mo, but no bull. I brought Em and Mo in to do the daily milking. I caught Wimpy so I could ride out to find the missing bull again, but before I saddled up, I saw TWO bulls in the big pasture behind the old milk barn. Not two AkaUshis, but beau #3 and  a big old Charolais.

 I was not thrilled to have 2 bulls with my tiny Jersey, and less thrilled to think she could be bred by a Charolais. Lucky for me, he was lame and had a cough, so I summoned the cowboss to look at him and he decided to move him out to the horse pasture until he could be shipped with the cull cows. Back down to one bull and feeling relieved. 

As if we weren't fortunate enough to just be living here on the ranch and having a great boss with a really neat family to work for, we also are blessed that he is letting Em date an AkaUshi bull. This breed is very rare and highly controlled. The only purebred herd in the United States is in Texas. The meat from these cattle is unique in that it actually lowers cholesterol
and is healthier for you than chicken and turkey. It is heavily marbled, however, and extremely tender. It sells for about $95 for a 6 oz filet...unprepared. Ground beef goes for $6 a lb. We are hoping against hope for a heifer because we need a milk cow that will be lower maintenance than Emma and Dolly. Right now, Em gets full time pasture, of course, in addition to alfalfa hay, and 20 lbs a day of grain and supplements! This is just to try and maintain her condition while she makes 6 gallons of milk a day. The milk is awesome but it don't come cheap!
A Jersey/beefer cross would probably produce a lot less milk, but would hopefully maintain condition on hay and pasture. That would be a huge savings for us and the resulting calves would make better freezer calves to boot. Em will always be my special cream cow though. She did do a good job on her first calf, Fat Willy. He's 1/2 Angus and at 3 mo. is almost as big as she is!

He has an affinity for hotdogs. 

I really think he just wants to eat anything that is in front of him.

The leppies are in the process of being weaned, as I have got to get everyone more independent. I have a very important and special trip to make. There is a new VIP for me to meet and my little Abster is a big sister now! Kinley Grace arrived last Saturday night. She is gonna help her sister shake up the world. I know they have been shaking up the household as I hear no one there has gotten to sleep before 3 a.m. yet. Personally, I think a couple of chickens and a pet cow would solve the problem, but I'm having a hard time convincing their folks.

I digress.

Another day went by and I woke up to find TWO BULLS again! This time, Mr Miyagi showed up again and was chumming around with  the Bachelor #3. I have since dubbed the pasture “The Oyster Bar”. It seems to be feast or famine for poor Emma Lou. She’s taking it out on me. This morning she gave me 2 1/2  gallons of milk, and not a drop of cream. Luckily, I still had some from last week, so today I made peppermint ice cream, which is MY favorite.
Our new sheep are here. They are CUTE as buttons. I wanted Katahdin ewes and a Dorper ram, but no Katahdins were to be found. So we have 3 little Dorper ewes and a Dorper ram.  Both breeds are ‘hair sheep’. Instead of having to deal with shearing and tail docking, these sheep will shed in the summer. They are more parasite resistant, better foragers, mature earlier, they are not seasonal breeders and because of the lack of wool and lanolin, they taste sweeter and don’t get that strong muttony flavor so many people dislike. This is all research info, I have yet to know this for myself, but I look forward to finding out. What I do know for certain, is that these guys are cute, really cute. They are not nearly as flighty and silly as my other sheep. They are very courageous for their small size and they are voracious eaters. We tossed them a flake of hay and it was like a feeding frenzy. Piranhas would not have been more focused on their feasting. They took right up with the other 3 sheep and have settled in like old timers. I have no idea when they are due to lamb, but it will be fun and I know the pups will be so excited to have babies to watch over again. They love their critters as much as I do. Maybe even more. Cletus just KNEW there was something special in the trailer when it got here last nite. I had a heck of a time dragging him back to the house so we could unload these guys without them having a panic attack from seeing their first “Polar bear”.

Cletus so wants to be a sheep. He'll do anything to blend in...

Cletus and Bruno introduced themselves at the first opportunity. They got bopped in the nose by one little ewe, but undeterred, they checked each one out, did a perimeter patrol and went to take their morning naps.
Time for me to clean up the house, and turn the cheeses. We have 2 more wheels of Pepper-Jack and a Parmesan curing. The Pepper-Jack is ready in another month. The first one I made tasted pretty darn good. The Parmesan has to cure for 10 months, so I hope it turns out well, as I need to keep making it so its always on hand. Darn its great having a cow. But I do still miss DollyMoo so very much.
I peeked out after doing the dishes and found a large snail trail on the porch. Looking down, I found the culprit.

He keeps climbing in the whiskey barrel waterfall and using it as his personal spa. I’m not sure why, but it makes him smell like stinky feet. I wonder if they make “Odor Eaters” for dogs....
Sep. 29, 2011 1:23 pm
Mr Miyagi sounds very interesting, keep those darn charolais bulls away from poor Emma Lou. I remember the year one of them broke into our pasture, he threw such large calves-we had to pull too many that year. We were even pulling on some older cows, but our poor heifers suffered dearly. Your cheese making sounds wonderful.
Sep. 29, 2011 1:41 pm
yeah, the boss had a Jersey X and she got her back broken by the bulls. I am a little nervous about the Oyster Bar.
Sep. 29, 2011 5:08 pm
Love your blog as usual! Kinda wanted to keep reading... you know I live vicariously through your life! I'm a country girl at heart!
Sep. 29, 2011 5:40 pm
I can not imagine living any place else...I would wither and fade away
Sep. 29, 2011 6:06 pm
As usual Rocketwoman, as usual.
Sep. 29, 2011 7:52 pm
Thanks for another interesting and special blog. Love the sheep and dog blend! We have pulled calves, but don't like it! Lost a first timer 2 years ago from a too big calf, and have lost a calf or 2!! Keep on hoping for one of those "high-priced" calves! The boys at our place got a surprise visit from the neighbor's 7 heifers, who wandered over. Their owner let them stay for 3 days before he could get them trucked out! Have a great October!
Sep. 29, 2011 8:07 pm
Emma looks so content to be with her girlfriends - she looks like she's sharing a bit of gossip with Rio. And poor Cider - after he took a "lickin" from Willy he just had to have a bath - he looks like he's waiting for his manicure. lol
Sep. 29, 2011 8:53 pm
LOL raedwulf. You are too funny! Thanks you guys! :)
Sep. 29, 2011 9:05 pm
Yep, I feel Fall coming....Kiss Cider for me, and the HUGE pups (who would rather stay inside than watch the coop) Bless your heart!
Sep. 29, 2011 9:11 pm
PS....that was the cutest picture ever with Cider in the "Spa" show it again! Pretty Please?
Sep. 29, 2011 10:01 pm
Hugs to you Petey for living the life you have and it comes through loud and clear on these blogs of Love you are creating:)
Sep. 30, 2011 5:23 am
Geez even Emma the cow is getting more action than me! lol. Great blog as usual :)
Sep. 30, 2011 6:14 am
Another amazing blog Petey. You mentioned the AkaUshi bull before and I had to goggle it. Sounds wonderful - I can't wait to hear about their progress. So when is your book due to be published?
Sep. 30, 2011 7:51 am
thanks Patty :) LOL@Alex! I am trying to figure out how to put things in order and flesh them out BN, then I have no clue what is the next step!
Sep. 30, 2011 8:04 am
I agree with you BN - - - ok everyone on the count of 3 - ready? - - - - 1 - 2 - 3 - - - book. . .book . . .book!!!!!!
Sep. 30, 2011 8:49 am
Great blog! And congrats on your new VIP! ;)
Sep. 30, 2011 4:41 pm
I am always just so amazed at how MUCH you KNOW! Not all people who live around their livestock actually know and understand them so well. I am loving these new sheep, so I don't blame Cletus for wanting to blend in! Thank you for making us richer for your words!
Sep. 30, 2011 5:04 pm
More great stories of your life. Thanks for taking time to keep posting...really look forward to reading your latest and greatest.
Sep. 30, 2011 8:20 pm
BOOK BOOK BOOK!! Petey, you Could be RICH!! But if you would rather be Happy >>> LOL I understand,,, Kinda:)
Oct. 1, 2011 9:53 am
Do any or you AR gals/guys have specific information which would help "our gal/writer" out? There's a big step between writing well, and finding out how/getting your works published! Self-publishing is a start, but that's not, in my opinion, how "Petey's" works would best be printed. I was just reading of a (local) farm wife who wrote newspaper columns, published books, etc. about 50 years ago. The books are so good, the publisher has decided to reprint them. I recall reading some of her columns, and feel "Petey" is right up there at her level, in a different way! Nancy Prill, of the Chicago area, write a column which is printed in a farming newspaper we receive. Her writings are simple, "cup of coffee with you" reading. She is well-received.
Oct. 1, 2011 10:53 am
Does anyone know of a book agent or publisher? Does anyone know of a magazine or newspaper contact that you could forward some of Petey's blogs to that person? Perhaps we can help with some "networking" here.
Oct. 1, 2011 1:46 pm
that would be great. I have NO idea how to go about any of this! :)
Oct. 1, 2011 3:24 pm
Petey, make sure you write a one or two-liner of what your story or book of stories is about. That summery will help you sort and flesh, and helps spur on more writing. I love your blogs- they are SO wonderfully full and entertaining. Keep it up.
Oct. 1, 2011 3:27 pm
PS The hard part will be I think, not being able to include EVERYTHING. Because everything is so good! But what you can put in there, will be good. So focus on that.
Oct. 1, 2011 3:30 pm
PS again- when you can, take a peek at Rachelle Gardener's Blog. She's a literary agent with a lot of info for writers like you
Oct. 1, 2011 3:31 pm
Having loved All Creatures Great and Small, I am drawn to your blog Petey. I am just a small wee voice, but dang, your blog is good enough for publishing! I see Luv2cook and Mamaw agree. My bro-in-law did editing work. I may find a helpful contact. You neede to be discovered, Petey.
Oct. 1, 2011 3:58 pm
I would love to get my hands on some of that meat. It sounds so good, my mouth is watering. And, that lucky Emma Lou, having all those fellas after her. Hehehe As usual Petey, great blog!
Oct. 2, 2011 1:29 pm
Typical guy only staying the night.
Oct. 2, 2011 8:01 pm
Super blog! I echo the sentiments..."book!! book!! book!!"
Oct. 3, 2011 10:55 am
Very enjoyable read. Very entertaining and enchanting.
Oct. 5, 2011 12:30 pm
***applause***!!!! Another outstanding chapter start copy/pasting it together into a book :)
Oct. 12, 2011 3:10 pm
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
My favorite things to cook
Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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