Practicing Herd Health

by admin Email

Our Heritage Spanish Goats have almost finished kidding. We have two first time doelings that are still about a month away from birthing but all the others have finished. We have 17 happy, healthy kids on the ground. They are 3-4 weeks old and following their mothers to the field every day. We have 9 doelings and 8 bucklings. Two of the bucklings are sold.

We wait until their 3rd or 4th week after birth to give them their first CD&T shot. This is the time that we also ear tag them to record whose baby they are, when they were born, birth weight, etc. By keeping excellent records from birth we can see what does are doing well, producing excellent, strong offspring and who is not. Herd health is very important to us. We follow up with their second CD&T shot three weeks after the first. Our goats all get an annual tetanus shot. It's a good practice.

My wife and I are old enough that we have made the decision to stay with our current bloodlines instead of working toward developing our own Cozine Springs Ranch blood line. It is a very long and drawn out process. We will instead devote ourselves to developing an excellent, healthy Heritage Spanish Goat herd.

Herd health is achieved in several ways. I strongly believe that if you are going to raise a healthy herd that you have to follow some stringent guidelines that will give you the optimum advantage over people that do not. The very first thing that you have to decide and stick to from the get go is never accepting an animal into your herd unless you have seen PROOF of the animals origin, it's vaccinations, history and abilities to reproduce healthy off spring.

Unfortunately there are people that want to get rid of animals so bad that they will not be truthful when it comes to these things. Many people start raising livestock and then decide that is too much work or too expensive and they want out quickly. I can't help but remember the very first calves that I purchased many years ago. The lady that sold me the calves spoke glowingly of their heritage, that they had been born on her place and had all of their vaccines right on schedule. She told me that she was selling them because she was moving to a place where she could't have large animals. Sounded great. The price was really low and she agreed to deliver them without charge. I don't have to tell you that what I got was a huge headache.  Nothing that she told me was true. At the end of the day I could have bought beef at the grocery store much cheaper. When you put things off or let your herd health fall behind, it is always more expensive to try and catch up.

One of the scams that I have seen on The List is that people beg for people to give them any unwanted animals so they can properly care for them and give them good homes, etc. If you keep track of these people you will find that some of them are just turning around and selling those animals through livestock auctions to turn a quick buck.  You are much more likely to get excellent livestock by dealing with producers that have been in the business of raising livestock for many years. Producers that take their profession seriously will be willing to show you the records of their herds health and what they have done to maintain it. If they won't I suggest that you look for another producer.

Once you choose and purchase a new animal, never let that animal mingle with your herd right away. Here at our ranch we have an isolation pen where we hold all new livestock for at least a week. That gives us the opportunity to get to know the animal and them to get to know us. It also allows us the opportunity to look for any tell tale signs of problems. We do this even though we only purchase from sources that we know and trust. The way I look at it is that anyone can make a mistake and I don't want those mistakes to become part of my herds. I am speaking of our cattle here primarily because our goat herd is a closed herd. We started our Heritage Spanish Goat herd with four bred does that we purchased from a long time breeder with an excellent reputation in Montana and had them shipped to Oregon. One of our two herd sire bucks is from that same herd, the other is from a trusted source in California. We have no need to add new goats to the herd. The herd is growing from within.

I have studied a lot of books about raising livestock and I have learned from actually taking animals from birth to adulthood. I have shipped animals off to become food, some ( our goats in particular) to become brush eaters, others to become family pets and some as breeding stock. My books are open to customers that purchase our animals. My wife and I are proud of the way we care for our animals.

I have never sold an animal that I didn't get a positive report back from the new owner. It is important to me that people know that they can trust me, that my word is my bond. I think that is how the business world should work.

Until next time, find something to laugh about. It's good for the spirit, soul and body.

Harless

 

These are a few of our beef cattle that will go to market in 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Winter Round Up

by admin Email

Here at Cozine Springs Ranch we always spend time in late January rounding up our feeder cattle and moving them into a corral so that we can work them one at a time through the cattle chute and and get a good look at how they are doing.

Round up is time consuming but my wife and I have trained our animals to follow the feed wagon so it's really not a physically  demanding  job. However we probably look pretty funny driving along in our gator with fifty head of cattle following close behind.

Once we have them in a pasture close to the corral we hold them there for a couple of days so they can reconnect with the place and settle down some. That means we have to keep them fed and make sure the water tanks are full and thawed.  On the day that we are going to work them through the shoot we feed them their hay inside the corral. They go right in without hesitation, we close the gate and the work begins.

Our cattle graze on 283 open acres and although we are out on our quad checking them on a regular basis we find that it is best to get a close up, one on one look at them at this time every year. It helps us to head off any potential problems.

We check to make sure that they don't have any signs of  bumps, scrapes, ring worm, pneumonia or anything else that might adversely affect their health.

We use Ivomec to worm them and  treat them with appropriate medicines if we find something that we need to correct.  We want to always make sure that our livestock is healthy and and gaining weight at a proper rate. In a small operation like ours we can't afford to have a sick animal that doesn't grow well and we sure can't afford to have one die. We only raise around fifty head of beef so we have to play things close to the vest.  It's much better to be ahead of the game than to try and play catch up.

This year our friend that we buy our cattle from came and helped. He is a treasure trove of information and experience in the cattle industry. Ken has more than forty years of experience. His knowledge and insight are invaluable. He is also a lot of fun to work with and visit with. He has a keen sense of humor and a quick eye for problems that quite frankly I would probably miss. I depend on his expertise a great deal.

This year we had a couple of calves that seemed a little too light so we treated them with an antibiotic and when we sent the rest of the herd back to pasture we held those two back and kept them in a pen close to us for a few days with extra hay rations and some 14% all stock feed. Once we felt that they were doing better we led them back to the rest of the herd and they reconnected right away. All is well.

Working with the cattle and our Heritage Spanish goats is a great pleasure. A lot of work to be sure but very satisfying and a lot of fun. It's a great way to live.

If you would like to know more about us and our ranch please visit us on the web at  http://www.cozinespringsranch.com

Until next time, find something to laugh about. It's good for the spirit, soul and body.

Harless

Tip Toeing Through The Tulips

by admin Email

Well, we are well into winter and I am tired of it!  I want some warm sunshine, to walk trough fields of clover and stop and smell the flowers of spring. It's going to be a while before we can do that so I decided to share this link with you. I hope it brightens up your day and brings a smile to your face. We all need that!

When the black page opens, just start clicking with your mouse anywhere on the black or hold your left mouse button down and move your mouse all over the page. Have fun!

Click Here

Harless

Just Kidding

by admin Email

Well here it is January 2011 and we spent today working with our Heritage Spanish goats as they brought four new lives into existence. The Spanish goat requires almost no birthing help but my wife and I spent much of today arranging some holding pens where the does could have their babies out of the cold wind.

We have gone through a week with high temps in the lower thirties and night time temps in the teens and lower twenties.This afternoon the wind shifted and even though the sun was out and bright the wind chill factor was more than we wanted the brand new babies to endure. We reorganized a couple of pens in our barn and used a rather long tarp doubled in half  as a wind break around the sides of one of the pens. The other pen was well protected.

We have several more does that will kid in the next few days and then we can rest until the end of February when we will go through this again. Hopefully, the weather will be milder. Last year our babies were all born in spring and the does just dropped their kids where ever they were at the time and all survived healthy and happy.

These are Heritage Spanish goats because their blood line can be traced back to the first goats brought to this country by Spanish explorers in the 1500's. They had almost become extinct because they were cross bred with so many other goat breeds.

They are so few in numbers that The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has placed them on a watch list. It really pleases my wife and I to know that in our own small way we are helping to conserve a breed of animal that could otherwise go extinct. The blood coursing through the veins of these great animals is the same blood that coursed through the veins of those first goats as they stepped onto the soil of a new world.  What a thought.

Until next time, find something to laugh about. It's good for the spirit, soul and body.

Harless

 

Looking Back At 2010

by admin Email

Well, it's been another busy year here at Cozine Springs Ranch. The year has come and gone all too quickly. We started the year with our cattle and goats birthing in the early spring. All live, healthy and easy births that we didn't have to assist with. That is a big plus!

I managed to finish building a new larger chicken house. That made my wife smile. I hired a young man that worked iwth me all summer. We finished building my perimeter fences. That took two summers and 22,000 feet of fencing but we are now finished. That was a heck of a job!

We had a new machine shed built to house equipment that otherwise would have had to stand in the rain all winter. That has been nice. We managed to get a new road built from our house up to the livestock barn. While we were building the road we had some trenching done that is really helping to control water run off this winter. We are actually seeing the water go where we want it to go.

I got some gates installed where they needed to be. That makes moving animals from pasture to pasture much easier. I built South Gulch Pond. We built  a small dam that forms the  pond in the upper end of a small canyon where a natural spring runs year round. We now have a great little pond for the livestock to drink from that will be there throughout the hot dry summers.

I bought fifty head of cattle and got them settled in on graze for the winter. We sold all of the livestock that we had for sale this year and although the market wasn't what we had hoped for,(it usually isn't) we have managed to stay afloat without borrowing money and that is a huge plus in this business.

We got about thirty acres of pasture land mowed and over seeded with rye grass and clover. With the help of a great friend we got a huge old downed oak tree cut, split and stacked for future fire wood. We worked intently this spring to kill as much brush, poison oak and other noxious weeds as we could safely do.

During the summer we took time to have some great cook outs for friends and relatives and my wife and I took the first ten day vacation that we have had in more than twenty years. Our kids took care of the ranch for us and did a super job. We traveled from McMinnville, Oregon to Chandler, Arizona and then over to Amarillo, Texas and from there back home. We took our time and really enjoyed the trip. WE got to visit with relatives that I have not seen since childhood. It was Great!

Of course I am leaving out the mundane, day to day chores that we do every day of the year. As my wife and I see the end of our 46th year of marriage coming to a close we can walk down the lane hand in hand and look at all the differences we made this year. Some really nice accomplishments. We are already planning  and looking forward to next year.

If you would like to know more about us and what we do please visit us on the web at: http://www.cozinespringsranch.com

Until next time, find something to laugh about. It's good for the spirit, soul and body.

Harless

 

 

 

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