11450 353rd AvenueLeola, SD 57456Office: (605) 439-3628
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July 24th - Beginning the breed the summer calving cow group.
Breeding Season 2013

Its been another warm July week here in South Dakota! The end of last week was quite hot but cooled down to the mid 70s this past weekend and it looks like it will stay mild through the upcoming weekend.

Last week we drove the summer calving cows to a fresh pasture over at our the west ranch. We will be synchronizing and breeding the cows with portable facilities at the west ranch. This past Tuesday we inserted CIDRs in all of the cows. On July 31st we will pull the CIDRs and breed the cows on Friday, August 2nd.


    



Last Monday we ultrasounded all of the replacement heifers that were AI bred for spring calving, and were also with a natural service sire for 30 days. We sorted off the open group of heifers and synchronized them to be re-AI bred for our summer calving program. This past Tuesday evening we AI bred that group of heifers and sorted them out of the chute into their natural service sire groups. Jordan Rhodes came up to help breed a few. Jordan and Craig Howard both helped Caleb, Mike and I continue to improve our AI technique. Here are some pictures from our evening AIing. 


    


          

Craig Howard pulled semen straws, loaded AI guns and kept the paperwork straight.

     

Caleb and Mike got to gain some AI experince today with Jordan and Craig Howard there to help if needed.


Each heifer was given a shot of GnRH after they were AI bred.

     

We had some great help making sure the heifers worked through the alley and into the chute. Caleb helped out back there when he was not AIing and Jordan brought his son Kameron along to help also.


Kameron also wanted to help dad out while he was AIing.



Next week we will talk about which sires we used AI and will be using for natural service on both the summer heifers and the summer cows!



July 17th - Moving and Ultrasounding the Bred Replacement Heifers
Ranch Updates

The weather has been hot and humid but we were still able to accomplish quite a bit this past week. On our blog last week we highlighted a water tank replacement project at our Phiefle unit. Last Thursday we put the new tank to work, when we moved our bred replacement heifers from our West Ranch to the Phiefle.  The walk was around 5 miles for the heifers and we started early in the morning to try to get the majority of the move before the hottest part of the day. Here are some pictures from the drive:

     


     

We stopped the heifers at a slough to cool off midway through the drive.


Our canine helpers really appreciated the cooling off as well!


     

The heifers all moved into the new pasture.


The dogs enjoyed one last cool off before the Ranger ride home.



This past Friday we pulled the bulls out of the spring calving cows. To do this we set up two centrally located portable working facilities. We drove each of the small breeding groups to the closest working facility to their particular pasture. Then we drove the whole bunch into the portable corrals. Once there we poured all of the cows with fly control and split the bull away from the cows. The bull was then loaded up and the cows were let out into a nearby pasture. When we were done we had all of the bulls back at headquarters and two large bunches of freshly poured pairs! 


On Monday we had Dr. Dean Christanson and his team from the Ashley Vet Clinic out to ultrasound the bred replacement heifers. We built a working facility at the Phiefle unit with our portable chute/alley and our OK Corral. Caleb and Skylar helped push heifers through the chute/alley and into the portable hydraulic chute that the vets bring for ultrasounding. Here are the pictures:


Dr. Christianson ultrasounds while vet tech Amanda analyzes the ultrasound images. Amanda also ran the hydrualic chute and poured the heifers with fly control.


     

Skylar and Caleb working the chute and alley.

     

We were happy with the ultrasounding results. The guys did a great job getting the heifers synchronized and bred, and the bulls also did a great job with only a 30 day natural service breeding period. The open heifers will be re-bred to join the summer calving cowherd.


Response 1
Tuesday 30th of July 2013
Submitted by: Vonnie
WOW! What a great job you are doing. I am learning a lot from your blog. Thanks, Lindley
 
Response 2
Tuesday 30th of July 2013
Submitted by: Vonnie
WOW! Your message is clear & great to read. I really enjoyed all of it. G Vonnie

July 10th - Working on some Summer Projects
Ranch Updates

The Fourth of July holiday weekend was sunny, warm and dry here.  We were able to take it a little easy so everyone could spend a little extra time with their family and friends on this great holiday weekend, and remember all of the great people who sacrificed for our country!


A graphic from our local country stations facebook page


We have been in need of a good rain and on Monday night we were blessed with a little! The rain gauge at ranch headquarters said that we got around 1.3 inches. It was sure welcomed! The forecast is calling for a
chance of rain this upcoming Friday and Saturday so hopefully we will receive a little bit more, all in all though our hay crop is looking great so far. Tomorrow we will be raking and baling the last 40 acres of our first cutting. The guys are still working on getting the baled hay out of the fields and all rowed and stacked. The first few alfalfa fields that we cut are already starting to take off again and in a couple weeks we should be able to start our second cutting.


One of the summer projects that we were able to finish this week was to replace an old water tank that we had over at our Pheifle unit. The Pheifle unit is a full section that sits approximately 5 miles south and a mile east of ranch headquarters. Mike Chapman, one of our ranch hands, lives there with his wife Sandy. The section is split into four pastures. Typically we summer our coming 2 year old bulls and our bred replacement heifers over there each year. All four pastures have access to water tanks, and one of those tanks was getting worn out. We are planning to move the bred
replacement heifers from our west ranch over to the Pheifle tomorrow, so we wanted to make sure we got that tank replaced this last week.


To replace the old tank the guys first drained the tank and removed the tank float. Then with the payloader they dug around the old tank and lifted it out of the way. The payloader was then used to level the dirt, and lift the new tank in place.  Once the new tank is in place it needs to be leveled by adding dirt underneath the tank.  The float was re-used and plumbed into the new tank. The guys did a little bit of dirt work around the tank then that part of the project was complete. That particular water tank sits on the fenceline between one of the pastures and the yard/outbuildings at the Pheifle. The four wire fence that split the tank was not strong enough, so the guys removed the section of barbed wire by the tank and replaced it with some wooden fence posts and steel panels. It looks like it will work great and is ready for the heifers tomorrow.


    


This coming Friday the guys will be pulling the natural
service sires out of the groups of cows. While we pull bulls we will also be
combining the cows into two groups. Stop back next week to read more!


July 3rd - Hay, Hay, Hay
Ranch Updates

The temperatures this week have been warm and full of sunshine with low humidity. Weather like this is perfect for haying, the guys are almost done with the first cutting. This week we also welcomed Caleb Acciacca to Bieber Red Angus as a full-time ranchhand. Caleb interned with us for about a month last spring, and we are glad to have him back!  


So far we have been really happy with this years hay crop. After the dry conditions last summer and fall, there was concern about what kind of a hay crop would be awaiting us this summer. With this years late spring and early summer moisture, we are happy to see average or above average hay crop!


Kenny is cutting hay today and has two more fields to go before we are done with our first cutting. 


   


After the hay is raked and baled, Mike uses the bale carrier to pick up all of the round bales and put them in rows. Later on in the summer we will stack the rowed bales and move them closer to ranch headquarters to be used this fall and winter.


    



A few weeks ago the guys move the bred replacement heifers over to our west ranch. Today Caleb and Skylar moved them to a new pasture, and made sure that the water tank in that pasture was on and working correctly.


   


We hope that all of our readers have a chance to celebrate our great nations Independence day tomorrow with their family, friends and of course cattle.


 
         
         
       
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