MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
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Shearing Day

We have our dates for shearing day! Please visit the website for more information and our farm blog is up so you will find more in depth musings and information there. 

New Research Claims Roundup Ready Crops May Cause Animal Miscarriages

Here is an excerpt from Colleen Vanderlinden's article on Treehugger. Feb. 22, 2011 "Researchers claim Roundup Ready GE crops contain a previously unknown organism that has been shown to cause abortion in farm animals. The organism was detected only after researchers observed it using a 36,000x electron microscope. It is about the size of a virus. The scary part, IT CAN REPRODUCE! And possesses the rare ability to cause disease in both plants and animals." The research was performed by Dr Huber of Perdue University who is also a coordinator for the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System. He wrote an open letter to Secretary Vilsack outlining the dangers, how it was discovered and urged an immediate moratorium on all RR crops. He States, "In Summary, because of the high titer of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions we request the USDA's participation in a multi-agency investigation and an immediate moratorium on the deregulation of Roundup Ready crops until the causal/predisposing relationship with glyphosate and or RR plants can be ruled out as a threat to crop and animal production and human health. It is urgent to examine whether the side-effects of glyphosate use may have facilitated the growth of this pathogen or allowed it to cause greater harm to weakened plant or animal hosts. It is well documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated in the increase of more than 40 plant diseases." "An organism able to reproduce and cause disease in both plants and animals. If it's able to cause infertility and miscarriage in farm animals that are in contact with it, one can only wonder: What is it doing to us?" This is probably the scariest finding in recent years in my opinion and we as a Country need to say NO! We Don't Want GMO's. This is a big BIG issue that needs to be addressed. Please write the USDA and urge them to take action on this issue and place a moratorium on deregulating GM crops. Be sure to visit our website Meg

More on Mouse

Mouse has been going with me in the truck like a big girl since she has her shots and is quite the character! She tries to do everything her mother does and then some. She already tries to work sheep and will be going to her new home in a couple of weeks. Today she and 2 brothers went to the Market. Angela swooped them up as soon as we pulled in and they spent the day at the flower stall. That girl has a blast socializing the pups and advertising the few that are still available. Mouse is famous for her "hi! Pet me! Got a cookie?" personality and comes home at the end of the market with new friends and at least 1 new toy. Today it was Bully Sticks and a Jacket! One of the other vendors brought her a coat (I know! Cow dogs don't get coats!) But Mouse says cow GIRL dogs need bling too! It's leather and won't fit for long but with her attitude the phrase "TOO COOL FOR OBEDIENCE SCHOOL" embroidered on it just seems to work. She is happy to see everyone and got her brother Slash to come out of his shell. He found his forever home today with a couple that do agility, cattle dog trialing, and fly ball. They are hot on this new breed and had seen the same cross in Wyoming. They're coming to see the rest of the litter before they start going to their homes. When we got home the pups went back in their yard and I swear they were telling the other pups about the days adventures! Cricket starts going with us tomorrow because mouse needs a buddy and Cricket needs a job. They get to hang out with sheep in the morning and watch the big dogs work Cow Calf Pairs in the afternoon. To keep up to date on Cricket and the crew follow their antics at Until then! Meg


The sun is out and its BEAUTIFUL this morning. After feeding all the critters at the home place I loaded up Wallace, Grace, and the ATV and went out to check cows. Good thing I didn't try to drive the truck up the hill to the leases or I would have had a mess. The road washed out in one place and Tommy had to haul up some old landing ramps as a temporary fix. We can get up to the girls on ATV's or horseback but its going to be a few days before he can get a tractor in to fix the road. Good thing they're in close! 15 calves in this herd so far and everyone is doing well. They move back up to the higher pastures in late April and we are considering having a cattle drive and gathering for Farm Members to enjoy. We're still bouncing the idea around as access is difficult after you come off the paved road. The plans for sheep shearing day at the home place are lining out nicely and we'll have the date set as soon as Julie lets us know when they'll be here. It's always a fun day, john talks about shearing and sheep care, we put a lamb in the pit to roast, and after the work is done its party time! Speaking of party time. Our custom meat cutter is making Corned Beef from several of our Grassfed and finished Briskets just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Corned beef has no corn in it, the term refers to the process used to make it, usually a spiced brine. It's Delicious! And if there is any left after the Holiday, in the smoker it goes for a few hours and you have my favorite sandwich meat on the planet, PASTRAMI! Let me know if you want some as supply is limited. Easter lamb orders are being taken now as well. Whole and half lamb, or by the cut. I only kept back 30 lambs for Easter this year so order early. Grass fed and finished American Lamb is one of the healthiest meats you can eat. Naturally tender and flavorful as well as being hypoallergenic. This years breed choices are Suffolk X Dorper, Columbia x Suffolk, Khatadin, Dorper, and Ramboullet x Dorset x Dorper. Come on by and say hello, the farm flock has babies bouncing everywhere, and the pups are ready to go. For those of you following Mouse's antics, I will have an update for you all tomorrow. Back to work! Meg


I have been talking with an old friend over the last week or so about some legal stuff and learned that he is a nutritionist and a naturopath. As we were catching up it dawned on both of us that his work meshes perfectly with ours! So now in addition to grass fed and finished beef and lamb, pastured pork and poultry, u-pick fruits and veggies, farm members and friends will have access to nutritional counseling and alternative therapies. This is such a blessing ! We will have a page up on the website in a week or so with consulting information and dates for seminars/ workshops. I have known Robert for over 30 years and his father was my "Pops" who passed away in2009. Pops would be so glad that we have renewed our friendship and proud that his son has joined our Farm Family to educate people and help them get healthy, in mind, body, and Spirit.Meg

Lamb races!

There is almost nothing more comical than watching the twice daily lamb races! When the ewes settle in to graze in the morning and again when they come in at dusk the lambs start playing. They race around the flock and then one will get brave! It says to the other lambs "let's play king of the hill!" And off they go! Racing to the top of the big dirt pile! They bounce around and jump over each other until one notices that mom is out of sight! Yikes! The race is on again! Back to the flock as fast as they can go! This gets repeated 5 or 6 times and then everyone gets a drink and flakes out for a nap! The play is really good for the lambs. It builds muscle, lung capacity,and stamina. All grass. based livestock needs plenty of space to move around and do what comes naturally. They need to eat a species appropriate living diet. Hay isn't enough. The animals won't gain weight nearly as well and hay is lacking in vital nutrients needed for growth and muscle development. Penned animals are also prone to parasite infestations and respiratory ailments. That's why even the farm flock goes out on pasture everyday. We irrigate for them and make sure that at least 75 percent of their feed intake is live grasses. Come by and visit the lambs they are sure to make you smile. Meg

Market Day

It's a beautiful day and the market is bustling. Last nite we were afraid that it was going to be raining so we loaded everything into the horse trailer just in case. tables, chairs, freezers etc. We figured we could stay warm and dry in there and our customers would have a place to warm up! Our regulars brave the elements and we couldn't disappoint them. People want their grass fed beef, lamb, and their pastured pork, and poultry no matter the weather. The market in Murrieta has only been open a few months and more people find it every week. In addition to our meat, eggs and citrus, there are wonderful veggie stalls, flowers, bread, cheese, herbs, candy, killer BBQ, mexican foods, sauces, honey, salsa, and the list goes on! Come see us on Sundays at Village Walk. Its a fun way to spend a morning and take home local products for eating during the week. Starting in March Pauley will be back cooking delicious dishes from items exclusively available at the market. Yum! I can't wait for Lamb pita pockets! Meg

Emergency sheep shelters

We're lambing in the rain here and all of the jugs are full. Since babies can't regulate their body temperature it is important to keep them relatively warm and dry. So we built lambing "huts" using straw bales and tarps! We took 8 bales and stacked them 2 bales high on the narrow sides 4 to a side and for the front another two bales end to end. The back of the "hut" is the existing jug fence. We attached a 12x 24 tarp over the top and voila! Instant lambing hut. The 2ft thick straw is excellent insulation from the cold. The "open" side is under an overhang with more sheep right across the fence. It's nice and warm in the "hut" and easy to feed the ewes by lifting the tarp. Not perfect but it does great in a pinch! Everyone will go out when the rains stop and the straw can get composted or used as litter in the chicken coop. Nothing wasted and no sick lambs! Now if I could just figure out how to keep myself dry we would all be happy. Meg


First let me say Thank You to everyone that has supported us through the crazy attacks we have been enduring for the last few months. The outpouring of love has kept us fighting and justice has partially been served! The person that killed my colt has been CONVICTED! He will serve a minimum of 6 years. He got a reduced sentence in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the acts of terrorism against our farm and me personally. This craziness started last year and at that time cyber crimes were a federal offense and very difficult to prosecute. As of Jan 1, 2011 the act is now a state crime as well and prosecutors take the offenses very seriously. Since the attacks continued into the current year ALL prior evidence is admissible. I'm told that an arrest is imminent and that I am not the only victim. GO GET EM! I feel so much better knowing that people that stoop to Lying and impersonating others to cause harm are finally going to have to PAY for hurting others. I will keep you posted! Thanks again for all the love and support. See you at the farm! Meg 951-259-2072

Button Goes Bowling

Good soggy morning! Button my mini horse stallion got to go out and play in the rain with the geldings this morning and as usual went straight for his favorite toy. A 55 gallon plastic barrel. He rolls it around the turn out slamming it off the fence. After everyone finished breakfast he wanted the rest of the boys to play but they weren't interested. Soooo Button went back to rolling his barrel, I watched him line that thing up and roll it right into the big boys! He was Bowling For Big Horses! Button did this about 4 times until the boys gave up and started a game of tag. It was hysterical to watch! 30" of Button getting 15 hand geldings to move when he wanted them to. Talk about a Napoleon Complex! Button has been known to stop traffic with his antics so they next time you're in the area stop by and watch the show! There are 11 new lambs and plenty of puppies to pet and cuddle too. Meg 951-259-2072

Rain is coming

With rain coming this week and new babies EVERYWHERE the next couple of days are going to get a bit hectic. All the puppies have to get moved into the barn, huts put out for the lambs in the pasture, jugs secured for any lambs that come during the rains. The cattle will be fine as they have plenty of trees and high ground. Runoff is our biggest problem here and if the storm is close to what they are predicting we'll have rivers! So trenches are being dug to send the water out on the field instead of into the barnyard. Temporary fence is coming back out of the shop and Railroad Ties are going back across the drive to act as riffle dams and prevent erosion. The garden has to be covered and the hoops staked in. I'm tired just thinking about it! But that's farm life and I love it! Meg

There is a Chimera in the Pasture!

This morning I found a set of twin calves in the pasture (growl). As I went in to check they got up and hurried over to mom. As they moved away from me I noticed that one was a bull calf and the other a heifer. That means there is a better than 90 percent chance that the heifer is a Freemarten which is the sterile co-twin of male female twinning in cattle. The male hormones from the male calf share the common circulation and inhibit normal development of the reproductive organs of the female. The female is also what is called an erythrocytic Chimera, meaning she has both XY and XX chromosomes. A simple blood test will confirm this. We Never keep twin calves as breeders so both calves will be tagged for production and if the mother cow produces a second set of twins she will be culled. Twin calves don't seem to be as hardy in my experience and put an excessive amount of stress on the mother cow. Cattle usually have single births and this is only the 3rd Freemarten I've had in the last 15 years. It isn't that common but does happen and folks new to raising cattle need to be aware of the phenomenon. A Freemarten will finish out much the same as a steer and the male twin should be castrated as well as some studies have shown that Co-twin bull calves have a reduced sperm count and should not be kept for breeding. Twins usually stay smaller than single calves and tend to finish at lighter weights so at least from this grass based producers standpoint, I don't want twins in my herd. Meg

Getting things ready

Today when I got in the fellas were hard at work on the pantry. Upgrades to the electrical are under way, flooring, wallboard, a new sink and counter are ready to go in starting tomorrow. I put up a creep for the lambs because even though they are on grass hay right now they need to eat all they want to and the ewes get pushy. Grace's pups went out with her to work sheep again today and Mouse took the lead as usual. That little dog is hysterical to watch! She thinks she's a big dog and gets flat angry when the sheep ignore her. Cricket(the next up in size) is a smooth coated black tri and is starting to look at her sheep. I know that its too soon to tell but it sure is fun to watch these little guys "tune in" most of them will be off to their new homes in a few weeks so I'm having fun with them while they are here. They aren't even 2 months old yet and their personalities are really starting to come through. I love having pups around and love even more seeing them a year or so later doing their jobs and being loved. Grace won't be bred again for another year and with Lil having eclampsia she will get spayed in a couple of months. Her pups are so different from Grace's go getters, just calm, gentle, easy going kids. Iris is the most inquisitive. She walks right up to the fence and says hi to anyone that comes down to see the pups. The rest hang back until the gate is opened. They are great dogs too. Just ask the people that have them from her first litter. Ah well, time to put them up and go feed horses. Come by and see them they definitely will make you smile. Meg 951-259-2072

Making a difference

One of our sustaining families has done a wonderful thing! They purchased a beef share for a local food bank. This is a great way to get great food to the people that need it the most. USDA inspected and graded source verified grass fed and finished beef is helping needy families! We have been helping military families for a while now but this is the first time our beef has been used as a gift to do "Gods Work". I was so touched when Joe came to pick up the beef and told me that it would be helping nearly 100 local families, amazing! To know that our cattle are helping feed the local community through the generosity of our members shows just what community is supposed to be!

Testing Time

It's that time of year again. The state vet will be out in a few days to Bangs test the herd and Tric thest the bulls that are for sale, all the cattle that are breeders must be bangs tested annually. The testing is to make sure that they are free from brucellosis, tuberculosis, and johnes disease. We also do an Eliza test on the sheep to make sure the flock is free of CL and a variety of other potential problems. It's not a fun day but necessary. We have good handling systems so stress on the animals is minimal. I utilize the time that the animals are in close to check condition and body score, preg check any animals that I'm not sure of. We see our stock every day but don't put "hands" on them unless there is a need. They aren't pets and need to keep their instincts sharp in case of predators. The cows move willingly for horses and stock dogs as do the sheep. The critters at the home place are a little different, they need to be used to human interaction because they serve as a teaching tool. The only way people are truly going to learn about the importance of grass based livestock production is to get "close up" with some of the animals. I don't keep cattle at the home place for 2 reasons. 1 not enough pasture, and 2 they are big enough to REALLY hurt someone if they get spooked. A friend suggested a couple of miniature cows would be nice but I can't justify feeding something that for me, has no function other than being cute. Other people love the small breeds but I just can't see the logic. Our Belties are as small as I want to go. It's a personal preference and there is a niche for the smaller cattle. Banker, Gracie and I had better get busy, we have a long day ahead of us. Meg
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