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A busy spring with crazy weather

Eppich News: Last of the 2020 foals sold, and a few of the 2021 crop spoken for

One of the last foals born in 2021, 
affectionately named “Tarzan” by Joseph.

The beginning of May found us seeding and foaling. By the morning of May 14, all seven of our foals had been born and were doing well. We ended up with four fillies and three colts. That afternoon we branded our calves and vaccinated our cows. We worked at it slowly and we got it done without trouble.

The next day we hauled cows and calves out to the pastures in Landis and turned the bulls out. We held off as long as we could to put the cows out to pasture due to the cold spring and the grass being so slow to grow. We still have one group of cows at home with a bull on hay. Hopefully, we will get a little rain and some warmer weather to help the grass grow.

On May 16 our new yearling Black Angus bull was delivered and put out with our heifers. We are looking forward to the black calves out of our Hereford/Angus heifers. That same day we also sold the last of our 2020 foal crop. A few days later, we sold a couple of our 2021 fillies. They won’t go to their new homes until fall, but it’s nice to have the quality of our foals recognized and have them sold before they are even a week old.

May 24 we had a nice, slow rain. It was desperately needed. We ended up with around an inch and a half. Later in the week we butchered a young cow and a two-year-old bull. We had a cow with lump jaw that was in good shape but was never going to recover, so we stole her calf and put it on a cow who had lost hers this spring so that the lump jaw cow would not lose weight before we could butcher her. Our freezers were just about empty. Little Joseph would ask what I was making for dinner and then ask Grandma and then say, “But I want meat!” It will be a long 14 days for him while the animals hang in the cooler but then we will all be happier.

The last of the 2020 foal crop, a buckskin gelding waits in the shade for his ride to his new home. photo: Heather Eppich

By the end of May, seeding was wrapped up and Gregory and John started working on the summerfallow. Seeding was a challenge this year due to the cold temperatures and the lack of moisture, but the crops will grow and we will get what we get in the fall.

Thanks to the freezing temperatures at night, I didn’t get my garden started until June 3. A few days later we had a bit more rain here at home and Landis got hail. Our pastures were beat on pretty good, but it still counts as moisture. It doesn’t look like we will be making much, if any, hay on our hay fields this year.

The wind has been crazy this year. It seems to always be blowing and blowing hard. It wears a person out. Even Joseph and James are tired of trying to play in the wind.

On June 10 we got some more rain and then a few days later we got golf ball-sized hail. It didn’t last very long, thank God. Hopefully the weather straightens out sometime soon.

About the author

Contributor

Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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