Spring at Thistle Hill Ranch means it's time to plant some flowers, burn the winter brush, and of course it also means it's breeding season at the ranch.
This year we're only breeding the cattle...no horses this year.
I KNOW....those sweet foals are the highlight of my year, but breeding horses is a LOT more work, and SO time consuming!
Quite frankly...I needed one more year off.
Between building the farmhouse, moving in, homeschooling, and ranching...well, I was a tad overwhelmed.
So this coming Fall, we will revisit the idea of breeding the horses next Spring....don't give up on me...I love those sweet babies too!
We are breeding our Charolais to a full bred Charolais named LT Ledger.
We are so pleased with last years crop, that we decided to continue breeding to him this year.
Isn't he a LOOKER?
I mean look at that straight back, those big ol' thick legs and that face...PURRR!
I think our girls would be more excited if LT Ledger would visit the ranch instead of our vet, LOL!!!!
I mean SERIOUSLY, aren't those calves just PRECIOUS?
I know cattle ranchers may be reading this and cringing...did she just say PRECIOUS?...eye roll....
Well, to me they are darling!!!
But, on the technical side, their conformation is great and their birth weight to growth weight, has been fantastic.
So far so good!
We had 5 healthy calves this last Fall. Unfortunately, one bull calf got sick during the heat wave of 100 degree temps this last summer and didn't make it. So, we currently have 3 bulls left and 1 heifer.
Here at our ranch, we keep the heifers to grow the herd and sell the bulls.
The little bulls are almost old enough for sale.
We are hoping for another great Fall crop!
Last week took our steers from our very first crop at Thistle Hill Ranch to the sale barn in Oklahoma. They were a Charolais Angus cross.
We bred our heifers, (heifers means that they have never had calves), to an Angus bull that was known for low birth weight and great growth. This is very important, so that you don't have to pull the calves. That can be dangerous for the cow and the calves.
They were all great bulls and boy were they big! Even the auction house commented on how they were ready to go...ie. ready for slaughter...( Sorry for those veterinarians or vegans out there. This is part of cattle ranching. This is also part of our livelihood and we love producing healthy premium beef for families).
I won't lie...it was a little hard for me....sniffle
I helped deliver almost all of them. Since this was new to our girls, being their first calves, I was with them in case anything went wrong. Those sweet cows let me help clean them and hold them! It was such an awesome experience, that I get every Fall now. I love my job!
But, for this first time cattle rancher, it was a weird transition, taking those steers to the sale.
But, my logical, technical, business side kicked in, and I know some family will get premium Thistle Hill Ranch beef, and there's a good feeling that comes with that!
Spring at the ranch also means lots of activity at "Duckingham Palace".
So far this Spring, it's the Thistle Hill Ranch geese that are sitting on nests.
We may have some sweet African and Toulouse geese babies soon!
These new moms help each other with their nests...it's the sweetest!
However, they weren't thrilled with my visit to D.P. last week, LOL!
Obviously they get very protective of their nests, so I get it...but really? They have to hiss at me? They let us feed them, and put them up at night, but if you don't come bearing gifts...you must quickly exit the building! LOL!
I'm seriously SO excited about seeing little goslings and ducklings at the pond...I'm crossing my fingers they come soon!
The next thing on our LONG list of To-Do's for Spring, was to burn the branches and downed trees from the horrible ice storm from Winter.
I was so happy to finally get rid of those ugly piles.
Thanks to my husband, the eye sores are gone!
The funny thing was watching our mare Bailey and her 2 year old filly watching the fires burn. I thought for sure it would freak out the horses, and all of them acted like it was nothing.
These two stood by and watched the whole thing. They are like twins...everything together!
I was very thankful it was a stress free event for all parties. Burning makes me nervous...I'm always afraid we'll burn 3 counties down for 1 pile of branches, LOL!
So, the breeding is done for now, and clean up is complete...
We can start relaxing and enjoying the Spring weather in Texas!
The loungers are out, eating alfresco has become a weekly occurrence, and the nightly sunset & star watching has begun!
Spring is HERE to Stay!
Have a Fabulous Week and I hope Winter has taken it's final bow for you too!