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.

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.