Welcome to Moosters Meadows - home of Irish Dexter Cattle! We strive to breed a truly dual purpose Dexter, providing both excellent beef and milk. All of our Dexters are purebred and registered with the American Dexter Cattle Association (ADCA). We'll be blogging about what goes on here on our little ranch in Wyoming and life with Dexters. Feel free to visit our website as well.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

We started our calving this year with a calf in the house.......Acqua di - in the bathtub, in the calf warmer and in our hearts.......

And we ended the year with another calf in the house......
Miss Frostbite

In between (and including these two little beauties), here are the statistics:

11 Bulls                  
10 Heifers
13 Red                   
8  Black                  
11 Horned              
10 Polled  
We almost made it to the 50% of everything statistics.  It makes sense that we are a little heavy on the reds.  Dance is red and most of our cows carry red.  If we counted the little stillborn female (which I didn't), we'd be at exactly 50% male vs. female this year.  

All in all, no complaints, other than most of them didn't get to stay here!  

Wishing everyone a very Happy 2014!  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

 Lola was not impressed with the antlers........
It's so much easier to dress our dogs than the heifers!  They will even sit and stay with a little coaxing.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A few more pictures

We've been working with a web designer to update our website a bit.  One of the tasks has been to get pictures of all of the Dexters.  Sounds easy and it's something that I should have been doing all along.  It's that time of year when the sun is mostly not shining and everything looks to be a shade of gray (except the red girls, who merely look washed out).  If I get a good picture of the cow, there's usually something else that I didn't notice (like a big pile of steaming poop or hay sticking out of an ear or another cow intruding into the picture).  Ugh.

Anyway, I did get some fun shots even with poop piles and hay and other cow parts sticking out.  Here are a few:

This is White Rock Scarlet (known as Bitty around here) and her buddy Moosters River Dance.  They are the same age - born a day apart.  Bitty is a chondro carrier and River is not.  We love them both.  Bitty has learned to be a very assertive young heifer.  Her shorter stature means she has to work harder for many things.  When she first arrived here, we had to put a shorter water tank out for her because she couldn't reach water in the "regular" one unless it was completely filled.  She loves treats and literally bulldozes her way to me through the rest of the heifers to get one.  She makes me laugh.  She's the most serious heifer ever.
Bess, the mother of our next herd sire.  Notice Xinger in the background (I didn't) and the wonderful poop piles.  It looks like Xinger is levitating.  And the gray look of everything.....Some day I'll get a suitable photo.
When the sun is out, I have to remember where it is so I'm not part of the picture.
Sometimes one is just good enough.  Here's Twizzler with her milk face going on.  She always has a milk face - always!
And shadows - funny how you don't notice them when you are taking the picture!  Here's our very very pregnant Tracy.  She's due in early January.  I predict another calf in the living room before it's over.
This is the face that most often appears in my camera....  He just can't help himself.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Out of the Deep Freeze

We hope to see something north of freezing by Thursday.  This has felt like the longest stretch of bitter cold - ever!  The Moosters are surviving despite the cold.  It has been hard on livestock, equipment and us caretakers as well.  Global warming - bah humbug!

Our creek froze over solid for the first time since we've lived here.  Choices:  chop ice in two separate pastures or heat water tanks.  The water tank method won this round.  We are finally seeing open spaces in the creek again!  Yay!

Chris got actual gates installed across the drive so we aren't having to McGyver things with a blizzard nipping at our heels.  This means we can open up the machine shed to the larger herd in dire emergencies....

While we got the hay we wanted this year (for the most part) at a lower price than last year - hallelujah - some of the bales came in well over the weight rating for our little tractor.  This is as high as it goes.  These bales get slowly hauled to the feeding area, then the bale feeder is place over the bale.  It works.  Grateful for the hay......

Apparently some of the girls think that the hay is greener on the other side.  We don't get it, but Wild Child had her head pretty well stuck between the boards....  We were able to get her out, but odds are that we'll be seeing this scene again.

Love this picture - and my husband - and this little heifer!  Frostbite is doing well and she still comes right over for her scratches.  We've had her and her momma in the corral with access to the stalls for warmth since she's still very young.  She burrows down into the straw and seems quite content.  Like her momma, she'll always prefer the "good life" in the corral to the feed yourself life in the pasture!

Today is vet day.  Four dogs, four heifers, a cow and a soon to be steer will be riding along today.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Frosty the Snow Calf

Last week, we hit the lowest night temperatures of the season.  Unfortunately, our "baby" Yanni was due to deliver her first baby any time.  We wisely moved her into the corral, filled her stall with a few feet of straw and worred non-stop on Thursday night.  We were up very early Friday morning checking on her.  No baby to be found.  Opened the gate to her stall so she could come out to eat and drink and mingle, then checked on her throughout the day.

Right about dinner time we headed back outside to put her in the stall for the night.  Lo and behold, there were heifers in her stall and she was calving out on the hay pile!  Our best laid plans went by the wayside....

The temperature was already at zero so we went for Plan C - giving mom a few licks at baby, then rushing her into the calf warmer.  We did not want a calf frozen to the ground or missing ear tips from frostbite.
Meet Moosters Frostbite - in all her soaking wet glory!
She spent the night in the calf warmer in the living room.  She got a few warm bottles of colostrum to help keep her warm and full.  Here's the view on Saturday morning!
She bonded well with her momma and was strong and nursing quickly enough.  Saturday was another frigid night, so she got a coat to help keep her warm.  And yes, while the poor dogs get clothed regularly, this was a one time ordeal for poor Frostly (insert sounds of dogs laughing here!).
Playing in the calf feeder
Her other momma explaining that it's time to go out and meet the rest of the herd
Mom moved on out to the pasture and Frosty is trying to decide if she really wants to go or not....
Even though mom headed out to pasture, Frosty was a bit reluctant to go.  Her straw filled stall was apparently more inviting.  Chris had to encourage her just a bit. 
She wasn't too happy about meeting Twizzler and momma wasn't too excited about it either.  
She eventually met most of the herd and has learned to lead mom on a Merry Chase!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Yup, that's us.  Headed home with a few new heifers in tow.  It's so much easier when we are pulling the smaller trailer.  Love our big Wyoming sky!

A very unhappy Angela after getting her tag replaced with a new one.  We've started her socialization and halter training - our vey pregnant Yanni is a great teacher.  Inviting her into the teaching corral is working well - we get to keep an eye on our first time momma to be and she gets to convince the new kids that we aren't evil ogres!

Twizzler is growing fast!  Momma Wrencesky is still fairly protective, but we've been able to get ahold of Twizzler a few times so we know that she's polled!  The Wrencesky/'Dance combo has given us two red heifers in the past - one polled and one horned.  We were actually surprised when Twizzler turned up black!  She is just gorgeous.

Using the ATV to check on the girls in the south pasture (they can come up closer to the house whenever they want, but the grass is still pretty good eating on the south end).  It draws them in like a magnet!  We have to be careful that the "littles" don't climb right in with Chris --  they have no fear.

Still waiting for the fog to clear today.  Still waiting on two truck loads of hay to get here.  Time to go visit Angela and friends for another dose of "let's be friends."

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sliding into winter

We returned home from N.I.L.E., rested up a day, then left for the Missouri Dexter Breeders Show and Sale.  Waaaay too much time in the truck.  Not being entirely crazy, we were not showing or selling in Missouri this year.  It was a great place to pick up our 2nd herd sire for next year - seems like we've been waiting forever for him to be old enough to come home with us!

Meet Hondo Lane.  He's red and homozygous polled.  We are thrilled with him!  Thank you Dennis!  Machine wasn't so certain that he was thrilled with another herd bull arriving:

They actually get along quite well, are nearly the same age and should grow up to be excellent bulls for our herd.  There are high hopes for these two guys.  Both have that great temperament that we require.  Both are easy going and walk well on the halter for me.  Can't wait to see how they look this spring.

The folks in Missouri always do a superior job putting on their show and sale.  We enjoyed our entire trip.  Some family time with The Daugher, who is only 5 hours away from Missouri (!) and some time catching up with old friends and making some new ones.  And did I mention that there was a sale?  Oh yes, I was even allowed to hold the bidders card (long story)!  I was reasonably well behaved and only two outstanding heifers followed us home....  it was difficult to not waive that card in the air often!

Kristi Ann has one of the most beautiful Dexter faces we've ever seen (my picture does not do her any justice).  Her personality matches as well.  She's halter trained and will be ready to breed to one of those handsome boys early next summer.
And this is Rosaleen - a wonderfully built young heifer who is going to make the best Mooster ever!  We will breed her to 'Dance next month for a fall calf.  Thanks Norm and Mary - we really love her.
We've been home for two weeks now - happily.  Still working on all those things that need to be done before the "real" winter arrives.  More snow in our forecast for tonight and tomorrow - makes us glad to have another one of these drive up our lane:
We were actually able to get a local load - a sign that we had a bit more rain than last year.  We hope that trend continues! 
Nothing says Yay! like a semi loaded with hay!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Not much trick or treating goes on out where we live, so I guess I'll have to eat all those Tootsie Roll Pops all by myself!  What a shame!

October has flown by.  It felt like most of it was spent in the truck while towing Dexters around the country side.  Winter has shown it's face a few times.  We had about 4 inches of snow yesterday but it was gone by early afternoon. 

We made the drive to Billings, Montana to show at the N.I.L.E.  A few heifers were delivered to new homes along the way.  No new ones came home with us!

The weather wasn't too cooperative.  The outside pens for overnight were pretty wet.  Fortunately, these weren't our pens, but we definitely didn't want our "kids" spending the night on wet shavings. 
Several bales of straw took care of that problem.  I wish I'd taken a picture the next morning of Dexters all snuggled down in the straw looking pretty happy with the accomodations. 
The Moosters crew was happy to move indoors despite the straw bed.  Fortunately, the wash racks are inside at this facility so we were able to wash and keep them out of the wind and very cold rain during the day.  Amazing animals at the show.  We were thrilled that our Embrace took home Reserve Champion Heifer. 

We cruised on home grateful that we were east of the Big Horns!  While we were gone, Wrencesky finally decided to give birth:
We know from past experience that Wrencesky does not gladly allow us near her calves.  She's one of our meek and mild cows most of the year, but she's an overprotective momma for the first few weeks after delivery.  Ms. Meek and Mild lets us know, in no uncertain terms, that we are not to approach.  Two and a half weeks later, we can now visit her little heifer at will. 
Meet Moosters Twizzler! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

His 'Dancin Shoe

Dance just before meeting his "girls" this summer
 Our herd sire, 'Dance, had been a little limpy on and off since the end of summer.  It didn't seem to affect him much, but we worried every time we saw that that he was walking with a hitch in his gitalong.  We'd put him in the chute and pulled up his leg to examine the bottom of his foot for something embedded.  All looked fine on both claws and in between. 

Since it is supposed to be his last year with us, we had him sold as a herd sire to another ranch, but had to cancel his sale because we felt that he wasn't sound enough to guarantee him to someone else.  So what do we do with this big guy?  Our vet suggested an xray to determine the nature of things....

The xrays show a hairline fracture in his coffin bone (oh, how I despise that name!).  In order to heal at all , his weight needed to be off the outside of his leg bone.  He's been such a good boy and a great herd sire, so wedecided he deserved a chance at healing rather than going immediately to freezer camp. 

What follows are pictures of his "walking cast" - bovine style:

He got to have a little sleeping medication although he did the whole xray and examination without it and without protest -- like the good boy that he is....

Clean feet are a must so his claws got washed  --

and dried  ---

a piece of wood was cut to the size of his inside claw, then glued on and fiberglassed in place ---

It took a little while for him to fully wake up - and as always, he was just easy going
It took a little while, but he zips around now with very little limp.  Taking the pressure off of the broken bone seems to have taken the ouch factor away as well.

There aren't any guarantees that this will work, but we figured we owed him this....  Did I mention that he's such a good boy?! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

An Early Snowfall

Or make that an early blizzard.  The National Weather Service warned of the storm early - Yay! - then continued to upgrade it right up through Friday.  It was official when the Winter Storm Warning was cancelled at 7:30 on Friday morning and replaced with the Blizzard Warning until midnight. 

This was our view by mid-morning on Friday.  Nothing much unusual for Wyoming except that it wsa so early.  The trees are still in full (mostly) green leaf. 

Those are were beautiful wave petunias.  Now they are soggy messes that need to be cleaned out of the beds....

The worst thing about this storm, though, was that it was preceeded by rain.  Lots of rain.  So the livestock - at least around here - were totally soaked to the skin before the temperature dropped and the snow and wind started.  And this time the winds were brutal.  Just brutal.

We moved as many of the crew as we could into run ins and stalls to protect them from the winds.  Some of the bigger cows had to tough it out in windbreaks.  We felt so sorry for them.  Rarely do we ever see our cows shivering, but the wet coats and high winds meant really chilly cows. 

The black cow in the photo above is Wrencesky.  She's due this week, so we brought her up with the show girls until things settled down a bit.  We joke that she's holding out on us now because she's dry, has a roof over her head and is eating the best of the hay.  Little Scarlet behind her thinks she makes a pretty warm windbreak!

Fortunately, we, like most other rural Wyoming folk, are most always prepared.  The interstates throughout our state were closed - I25, I80 and I90.  All the local county highways were closed... and finally most were opened last evening.  As our neighbor Jenny said on Facebook:  "Very pretty if you don't own livestock and have no where to go!"  And that pretty well sums it up.

We're looking forward to a new calf and warmer days.