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Eppich: Seeding and foaling begin

A new fence was built across summer pasture, to better manage cattle with rest/rotational grazing.

Early April found us cleaning seed. Gregory had the cleaning plant running all day and was able to work on projects around the yard but always had to be close by to make sure everything was working properly and doing a good job.

On April 24 we put tin on the roof of Gregory’s grandmother’s old house. It was the original house that was here when Gregory’s grandfather bought the farm. It is in good shape thanks to all the work that John and Gregory have done over the years to maintain it.

The next day our first foal was born, a beautiful sorrel filly with a blaze and four white stockings. She is quite the looker. She quickly got nicknamed Pippi Longstocking. This is the first foal for that mare, who turned out to be an amazing mother.

Joseph turned four Apr. 29. It's hard to believe that the time has gone so fast. It was a bit cool and windy in the morning, but by afternoon the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. He had a blast playing with the lariat that we gave him and playing in the sand pile with his brother and a few new toys. On April 30 we were able to put tin on the north side of the old hip roof barn. Like the old house, it was here when Gregory’s grandfather bought the farm.

Starting with a dry spring

The spring has been very cold and dry this year. We’ve had no rain and it freezes every night and is slow to warm up during the day. On May 1 Gregory had to fix a tire on the seeding tractor and started getting everything ready for seeding. A few days later we had our second foal for the season, a sorrel colt with a blaze. He’s quite the big boy with a gentle personality.

We got started seeding May 5 as John put in some wheat on the home quarter. It was good to get going but we didn’t get in a hurry to do the rest of the farm as the ground is still quite cold. That evening, Gregory and I took the post-pounder truck over to Landis. We planned out where we were going to put in our new cross fence on the native pasture and then pounded a post and rolled out one wire for a line.

The next day we did chores and loaded up the truck with posts and wire and went back over to Landis to build the cross fence. We managed to put up over a quarter mile of new fence, build two gates, and fix some existing fence by evening. With the cold spring and the grass being so slow to come, the cross fence will help us better manage the pasture. We can let one side get a good start while the other side is grazed. Later, when we move the cows over, the first side will have time to recover.

May 7 our third foal was born early in the morning. The wind was cold. The little filly was shivering when I found her. I quickly went and got the foal blanket and put it on her. After a few hours the temperature came up and I was able to take the blanket off of her and she was just fine.

We have four more mares due to foal soon. Between picking rocks, seeding, and foaling we are always on the run. 

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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