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. http://www.mmlivestockco.com 
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What to do with 10 puppies and the Mouse that Roared

Gracie's pups are 4 weeks old today so I set up a portable pen and took them out to meet the sheep. Their pen keeps them safe from the sheep but let's them see them and the big dogs working All of the pups were curious but after a few minutes thought that their lunch pan was more interesting. Except for Mouse. She is the runt of the litter and about half the size of her brothers and sisters. She stood at the fence watching sheep! One of the ewes came up to give her a sniff and that little Mouse started trying to move her! She stared at that ewe and then started moving side to side like she was hunting for her sweet spot! I know its too early for them to be showing real instinct but I swear Mouse was trying to work! I had to laugh at a tiny pup trying to make that big old ewe notice her! It was hysterical! You could almost see the ewe saying, "you aren't as big as my lamb who do think you are?" If Mouse is any indication of the potential these dogs have I know some Cowboys that are going to be VERY happy. Travis, thanks for talking me in to breeding Grace this way. I thought you were nuts! Glad I was wrong! Come visit and see the pups, and make sure you say hi to Mouse, she's the one with her nose at the fence watching her sheep! Meg 951-259-2072
 
 

Remodelling the Pantry

Today we are working on the Co-op Pantry. We were supposed to be finished with it a month ago but permits always take longer than they say. We had to upgrade the plumbing and electrical and put down a new floor. Today we are starting work on the new doors and handicapped access. Gotta obey those regs! Even though its for members only we want to be sure we are totally in compliance. We were blessed with all new counter tops, cupboards, shelving, and sinks so that helped a lot! It is going to be great once everything is finished. A friend sent us the information we needed to know what to plant in the u-pick garden and that is now officially under way. The chickens re laying more eggs every day and the lambs and calves are just too cute. We have a couple of months yet before all of the babies arrive but that's part of the natural breeding process. Phil says the pigs are in fine form and our custom hogs are growing like weeds. Come by and say hi, but don't be surprized if you get handed a hammer or a shovel. Farm chores never end. Meg 951-259-2072
 
 

Oscar's Hens Are Laying

After 2 weeks of mud and yuck I got one heck of a chuckle. Oscars little Game Hens laid their first eggs! He was so proud of those 2 little eggs. As everyone who knows me will tell you, I am NOT a bird person. It's worth putting up with them to see the sheer delight on that mans face when he gets those eggs. I ordered him more egg layers from McMurray Hatchery and since they were only a little more expensive I got him a selection of "Heritage" birds as well as the tried and true sex links. Thank goodness for Peggy! She is teaching us (me) how to raise chickens properly, building pasture enclosures, coops, brooders, etc. I'm still not completely sold on the chicken thing but that may be because what I know about chickens you could put in a thimble and still have room for an olympic size pool! I know beef, I know lamb, I know genetics, range management etc. Chickens are a whole new world. I think it was Jimmy Williams that said it best. "It's what you learn after you know it all that's important". On a more somber note AQHA legend First Down Dash died on Thanksgiving Day at Vessels Stallion Farm. This great horse will be missed, but we all know that he's up there with Scoop snacking on sunflower seeds! Memorials can be sent to AQHA Foundation. Time for me to head out and check cows. Meg
 
 

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas all! As everyone knows Farm chores don't stop for holidays and today is no exception. While feeding the horses and farm flocks this morning I paused for a minute to just reflect on the blessings we have been given. God has blessed us with healthy animals, a loving extended family, and friends we didn't know we had! One of our members stopped by yesterday with her son who is just back from a tour in the Peace Corps. He approved of our Solar Cube, Compost Piles, and worm bins. He laughed at our homemade methane digester and promised to come back and help us build one that is more efficient. Ours only runs D's little trailer heater and stove. He gave Oscar some ideas for the gardens and wants to get involved with some of our many projects. Like the song says "I believe there are angels among us." Ours happens to be named Sean! On a more serious note, The ewes are getting ready to lamb, 3 goats should kid any minute, and 2 of our mother cows calved this week out on the lease. Give me a call and come on by. Meg
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Rainy Days & Lambs

It never fails! At the first sign of rain the old ewes decide its time to lamb! 3 ewes got moved to the barn this morning and 2 of them have lambed so far. Lola has a set of twins and Emma tripled yet again. Everyone is snug & healthy in their jugs. A jug is a small pen that the sheep stay in for a few days after lambing so they bond. A ewe will occasionally walk off and leave a lamb behind if she has multiples, the weather is bad, or is a first timer. Lambs have the same trouble in the winter as they do in summer. they can't regulate their body temperature for the first few days & at this time of year hypothermia is a concern. I have a wall heater in the barn with a thermo cube that turns the heater on at 50o & off at 68o. A dry stall would probably be enough but with old ewes a little pampering is a good idea. We "dag" the ewes about a week before they are due and make sure the lambing kit is stocked. Gloves, rope, puller, lube, iodine for belly buttons, rags, etc. When the lambs are 3 days old they get their tails banded, ear tags & tatoos. Then a few days after that if everything is good, out they go. The farm flock is down this year to about 20 ewes & the commercial flocks have a shepherd with them at all times. We are almost completely switched over to hair sheep crosses with 1 band of Columbia X Suffolk that we keep for Club Lambs. I personally prefer the Dorper Crosses. They mature quicker & the meat is milder due to the lack of lanolin. More Later Meg
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What a blessing!

We have been truly blessed. My friend Lou Files brought a couple to my place in need of a place to park their motorhome for a few days. They have jumped in with both feet to help take some of the workload off of the rest of us. My hay is in the barn the day it gets here, all the little "fix its" are being tended to, and all my dogs got a bath! With 4 working BC's an Akbash an Aussie and assorted Farm Mutts that was a chore! I've asked them to stay the winter and they have agreed. ( I hope they decide this needs to be there base of operations for their Mission Work) So the next time you visit say Hello to William and Candy, they were brought to us when we need them the most and are fast becoming indespensable members of our Home Farm Family! A big bonus is Will is as big a Dutch Oven junkie as I am so we'll be testing lots of new recipes before the competition season starts next year! We'll pass along some of our favorites. I'll be moving cows next week and will keep you all posted as to how that goes. Take care and Happy Holidays!
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Welcome to our world

Ok you guys asked for this so here goes! Our first group of lambs are weaned and separated. Wethers to the big fields Ewe lambs at home. Our Angus cross cows are dropping calves in earnest! 15 in the last 4 weeks! Ole Marcel got his job done in record time. This is his last year as our primary sire as he is getting too old to hike the hills. Our young Aberdeen Angus Bull Chuck will be taking over his duties on the mountain. Marcel will move in with the registered gals where life is easy and the pastures are flat. We just finished our audit with Animal Welfare Approved and think the program is amazing. Gracie the youngest of our Border Collies "aka the Velociraptor" started formal training last Friday and took to it well. I think she's destined to be a cow dog, but we shall see. It's hot already here in So. Cal. so we've been busy putting up misting systems, building and repairing watering and irrigation systems, as well as trying to keep up with our Farmers Market and Farm Sales operations. We are also going to be hosting a series of seminars focusing on Natural Production and Livestock Management. I'll try to keep it interesting and the rants to a minimum. Stay tuned It could get Wild. Meg
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