MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
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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

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

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

Jason Lost Emma!

Last nite Jason came running up to tell me a lamb was missing, I asked if he had counted noses and was assured that he had. So off we went on a lamb hunt. Out to the pasture, through the barn, in the sheds. No lamb. Hmmmm. Then I notice Emma wasn't with the flock. I knew just where to look! Sure enough she was in the tack room! She was snuggled up with her lamb in the horse blankets! Emma came off a show string and has a definite sense of entitlement. I ran them both over to the barn and put them back in the jugs for a couple of more days. All of the puppies are doing great! Lil gave us a scare though, eclampsia, so it was a nite of IV's and worry. Today she is much better but I'm having to feed her pups 4 times a day. They took right to eating food so that's good! Gracie's pups are going out to the pasture to "watch" sheep every couple of days and Mouse keeps everyone entertained. That's one gritty little girl. She now rides in a snuggly on the ATV and tries t help her mom work. I'm glad she is going to a home where she will have a job to do. She already thinks she's a big dog and at a pound it is funny to watch her try to be bossy! The rest of the pups are taking an interest but Mouse is definitely the one with the most instinct. Come see all the new babies there are more practically every day. Meg 951-259-2072

More Lambs!

4 more lambs in the last 2 days! We have been selectively breeding for conformation and yield on a total grass diet for several years and are getting some great lambs! Here at the home place I'm getting an interesting color variant that seems to be breeding true. It will take three more generations to be sure and then we can establish a new breed. In addition to these lambs reaching market weight at about 7 months with no grain they are averaging a 4.5 to 5 in. loin eye and a hanging weight of 55lb avg. Not bad at all! The fun thing is the F3 crosses are white faced with black ear tips, black around the eyes, and black lips. They look like they are wearing makeup. I will try to figure out how to upload pictures. Until then you'll just have to come see them. All of the puppies are doing great. Lil's litter got moved outside today. They are a week younger than Gracie's pups and twice as big! They are the Akbash cross pups. Much quieter and more laid back than the Cowboy Curs! My favorite one from this litter is iris, She is white like her mom with blue points and a black spot right in the middle of her back. She and Mouse will get to meet each other in a couple of days and it ill be interesting to see just how different the temperaments are. See you soon. Meg

Claire is a new Mom

Claire one of the Suffolk ewes lambed this morning. Huge single ewe lamb. 9lbs! She will get to stay here at the home place as a replacement ewe for our club lamb operation. She is off a Harms Johnson ram and should be really nice! Mother and daughter are in the barn doing well. I keep some purebred Suffolks for show lambs but I have to say that I much prefer the Dorper crosses. They almost never need help and you don't have to strip their udders when they lamb. The Suffolks that I have come from show lines and just don't seem as tough. They sure have pretty babies though! Mouse has decided that she is coming along everywhere I go. She is so tiny that she can squeeze through the wire on the dog yard! I have to go get some chicken wire and put it along the bottom of the fence or it will be 4 dogs in the truck instead of 3. I am looking forward to her going to her forever home in a month because I could really get attached to that little one! Oh I almost forgot! Our website is up again finally thanks to our resident computer maven. Check it out. Meg 951-805-7341

Guardian dogs

Ever been body checked by an Akbash? My female did just that! I was feeding her and getting her whelping box ready when she slammed into me and made a bee line for the back seat of the truck! She had decided that the warm back seat of "her truck" was the place she was having her pups and that was that! It was rather comical. 80lb of white dog grinning out the window as I cleaned the mud off my pants! I let her hang out figuring she had a few more days to go. Wrong! As we pulled in to Big jims for our morning infusion of coffee and killer omelets I heard a strange squeaking from the back seat. The puppies were coming! Luckily she had a horse blanket back there for just such an emergency. I checked to see that she wasn't having trouble and we went to breakfast. She had 2 more while we were inside and Jim sent her out biscuits and gravy to give her "energy". His wife just shook her head and laughed. She's used to us rolling in with bottle babies, the working dogs, Lil, or lord knows what in the pickup. When she saw the rainbow of pups she asked what kind they are. With a perfectly straight face I told her, "These are the last of the very rare Akahoula dogs. There are only 6 others on the planet!" She looked at me and then started laughing her head off. "Kinda like grass fed pigs right?" I just laughed and said "yup". Seriously though, this cross has turned out to be better than average as a stock guard. 3 of the older pups live on working ranches and do their jobs really well! The other 3 are companion dogs an their owners adore them. I have reserves on 6 from this litter so there are 3 still available. They are steady, loyal dogs that are quite content to live with a flock of sheep or on the couch. Come see them! They would make a great addition to any home with room for a bigger dog. Lil is taking great care of them although she needed some convincing that the barn was a better home than my truck! Meg

Helping babies in the heat.

We're still lambing and the weather has been fierce! we have misters up for the animals but babies can't regulate their body temperature for the first few days of life. Over 80 can be tough on newborns but when it hits 100+ its really dangerous. No laughing but here's what we did. We took a portable swamp cooler and put it in the barn, moved the jug panels inside and voila no stressed lambs! This is working well! The family moves outside after about 5 days and with the misters, trees and shade covers adjust to the heat pretty quickly. Mom teaches the youngsters how to beat the heat. If you go out in the heat of the day you'll find the whole crew napping under the pepper trees or with their faces in front of the misters. I have 1 ewe that thinks she's a hippo and the water tank is a bath tub. It's funny to see but we've had to add 2 more tanks in the field and don't dare leave a float in any of them or we have floods. It means checking tanks more frequently but hey I want to go for a swim in the heat of the day myself. Our girls lamb year round and some of the challenges of out of season lambing are pretty funny, and they definitely keep our visitors entertained. On a more serious note, Gracie the Land shark is really getting the idea of how BC's are supposed to work sheep. She is starting to hold a good pace and not rush her sheep. She is finally getting a solid recall and lie down. She still doesn't get why she has to stay on the sidelines when Tweed moves them through the pens though. It's back to formal training in the next few weeks and we'll see if we have a trial dog in the makin'.

more youngsters, dutch oven fun

This has been a BUSY week! More lambs and goat kids have been born, 20 lambs and 3 kids. Everyone is doing well. This weeks dutch oven class was based around beef. We did some large roasts over the coals and grilled up some steaks just for fun. Everyone was shocked when I brought the steaks out still frozen. I explained that starting steaks frozen on the grill actually protects the tenderness of the meat. You don't lose any of the good juices that collect in the bag during during defrosting and it only adds about 10 minutes to the total cooking time. I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to steaks and don't use anything but salt pepper and garlic on mine. If you want to marinade that's fine. I just usually don't. They all thought I was nuts until they sat down to eat. 10 converts! If it was only always that easy! This week we did Matimbres, classic roast beef, and dutch oven Wellingtons. As soon as the website is finished we'll start posting recipes, until then you can e-mail me and I'll send em to you. Next week I am at the Green Feast In San Juan Capistrano so class will be Monday nite. Some of the cooking students are getting more interested in other aspects of ranching and livestock care so we're going to allow the general public to attend some of our seminars and are developing a couple of classes for newcomers to country life. As soon as we have the schedule set I'll post it. If there are specific things you all are intereste in let me know and we'll do our best to get someone out here to talk about it. All the slots are filled for Branding Day. I had no idea people wanted to watch calves get branded, doctored and castrated. I'm glad they do though. If more people took the time to learn the how and why of where the meat they are eating comes from they would have a deeper appreciation for their food and the land that produces it. If I can show one person the difference between living with the land instead of just on it, I've done my job. Time to bring the sheep in. talk to you all soon. Meg


We have 3 new Belted Galloway calves since my last post. A bull calf and 2 heifers. My "friend" calls them cookie cows because they are black on both ends and white in the middle. So in honor of him we named the bull calf Billy. The kids are having fun with the lambs. A ewe lamb this morning marks the beginning of our second lambing season of the year. We let our sheep breed naturally and thanks to our climate get lambs year round with the majority of the ewes lambing in September and June. Our cattle calve from March though July. The production herd is just about done and the Belties seem to have just as easy a time of it. This is our second season with them so we are still getting familiar with their habits. We will be butchering the first Beltie steer in a couple of months and that will be the real test. On the cooperative front. We are researching having a USDA mobile plant built for us so we can have even better control of our processing and be able to help other small holders bring their products to market. We will be limiting our services to beef, lamb, goats, and birds. Whew ! I need a nap!
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