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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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 http://www.mmlivestockco.com 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 http://mmlivestockco.com Until then! Meg
 
 

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 http://www.mmlivestockco.blogspot.com
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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 http://www.mmlivestockco.com
 
 

The intersting side effect of cyber-stalking.

Many of you are aware of the vicious attacks we have been enduring over the last few months, both directly and via the internet. There has been an interesting side effect from all of this. People who read the nasty posts don't believe them and come by to see what all the fuss is about. The Lord does work in mysterious ways! We have gained friends and supporters we never would have had and I have even been approached to be part of a documentary because of all this. Wild huh? We still report every incident because it is after all a crime to harass and impersonate people. Thank you so much to all of our new friends and members. We value your support more than words can say! Meg 951-259-2072 http://www.mmlivestockco.com  
 
 

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
 
 

What to do with a pack of Cub Scouts

Yesterday was MLK Day and in the spirit of service, an entire pack of Cub Scouts descended on the home farm. 30 boys under 10. We made trash sticks and lined all the boys up at the street fence, each was given a trash bag and told, "Whoever gets to the back fence with the fullest bag wins!" The race was on! Little boys were filling trash bags as fast as they could! After we fed them lunch they played with the new lambs, petted puppies, learned to throw a rope, and how to tie a half hitch to keep th goats from getting away. They had a Blast and so did we. It makes everything worthwhile to see children learning about animals and farming. They all want to come back again to "camp out". I can see it now, little tents all over the pasture and sing alongs around the fire pit. S'mores anyone? Some of the bigger boys got their horsemanship badges and 2 Eagle Projects are up for consideration. Come see what the boys got done. Call first so Gracie is put away though! 951-259-2072 Meg
 
 

Shearing Day Farm to Table Feast

As many of you know we have an Open Farm Day and Educational Fair on shearing day every spring. This year we are adding a Farm to Table supper to our line up. Several of the chefs we supply as well as local produce growers have expressed interest in showcasing their offerings to the community. This year the proceeds will benefit Truly Local a Non Profit Certifying Agency that focuses on grass based production and provides farmers and ranchers the needed link to traceability and source verification. More on them later. As soon as Julie sends me the date that they will be here to shear I will pass on the date of the event. Plan to spend the day learning about Grass Fed Production, Range Management, Cooking Classes, and what to do with all that wool! Time to take the sheep out! Meg
 
 

Old Dogs and chilly mornnings

Tweed and I inaugurated the new farm tool this morning! We got on the new quad and took the sheep out to the open pastures. Tweed was thrilled to do more than just bring the girls in! He moved them through the gates and out to graze, kept them away from the road, and moved them quietly around the field. He is a good old dog, Papa as we call him is getting up in years but still get the job done. He doesn't have the speed for trialing anymore but still loves to work. Our Grace has quite a bit of talent and just needs to learn to Take Time with her sheep. The new lambs are fine and will go back out with the flock in 3 days. Today I'm seeding pasture 1 here at the home place, Oscar is putting in onions and garlic, and then its off to cold storage to pick up half a beef and 2 lambs for the weekend markets. Busy, busy but worth every minute! Get your Holiday orders in early! Standing rib roasts, Crown roasts, Hams, an Leg of Lamb are all great for Easter! 951-259-2072. Meg
 
 

The end of an amazing day

Today started out pretty normal, feeding, watering, moving livestock around, checking puppies, etc. Two of our sustainers are visiting and have been building our new website while they are here. Bless them! We looked into getting the ATV fixed so it would be easier to feed and get the sheep out to graze in the mornings, Robbie from JRS Motorsports came to give us an estimate and its going to take about $400 to get the Polaris back in shape. Ouch! Robbie told us he had a Honda in good shape but it was out of my price range right now. Our friends stepped in an got it for us! They said they would take it out in meat. Wonderful! Thank you so much! We can get the work done more efficiently and use much less gas then Betsy requires! The commitment that our members have to "Their Farm" never ceases to amaze me! All but 2 of Gracie's pups are spoken for now with Molly going to a friend up the hill. She hid 5 from me when I wrote about them. 11 pups instead of 6! Their eyes are all opening now and their personalities are developing. They are going to be great working dogs. The boys are cooking a ham in the pit tonite and hanging out around the fire. I'm going to take Lil in to her 8 pups now and call it a nite. It's a nice quiet end to an amazing day! Come see us soon 951-259-2072 Meg
 
 

My story of a Hill Shepherd

This is a short story about my friend Seamus, who taught me more than I will ever fully realize. I was working Tweed one morning several years ago and was really getting frustrated with him because he wouldn't come in and hold a single. An old truck had pulled off to the side of the road to watch my repeated failed attempts and I didn't give it much though until the old man stepped out and with a strong Scottish Burr said, "Girl you're gonna sour that dog and its YOU that's wrong, Not Him!" He walked across to where I was, patted Tweed on the head and with the quietest voice said, "Come Son, let's show her how to help you." He got Tweed back on his sheep and had him holding for a perfect stranger in just a matter of moments. I was shocked! Tweed would never work for anyone else until that moment. Then the lecturing began! Do this stand there, be quiet woman! He taught me to trust my dog, to think of him as a partner rather than just a pet, and how to get the most out of us as a team. I learned to "feel" my stock rather than work them. My Tweed is an old dog now but can still work the farm flock and Seamus said of our Grace. "Don't let anyone but Anna start that dog! She's too good to foul up! He went home a few years ago for a visit and at 95 decided to stay and work the hills of his youth. I talked to him almost every day until today. When his daughter called to tell me "Whisp came in without Da." She and her husband went up the hill and found him, at 97 sitting by his dogs tending his flock with his pipe still warm in his hand. That's the way he would have wanted it. He's helping the Lord tend the flocks now, with quiet grace and firm yet gentle understanding. 3 young dogs will be coming here in a few months, Whisp and Lass will stay to work the hills. I will take good care of them my friend and trial them as you would have wanted with honor, dignity and respect. You too will. Be able to learn from Seamus, Many of our sessions are recorded as well as several hours of rememberings of a Scottish Hill Shepherd. Meg

Sheepin the Shop, OH sh....!

As I was pouring my coffee I looked out the window and saw woolie behinds at the door of the workshop. UH OH! That's where Oscars veggie starts are and someone left the door unlatched! Emma (as usual) had pushed the door open and gone shopping with her friends! They only got into the chicken feed (rolled oats, alfalfa, molasses, sea weed, barley, and sunflower seeds.) and one tray of lettuce. It must have been a sight, 1 round woman and a border collie convincing big old ewes to leave the buffet and GET BACK OUT to the pasture! Tweed convinced them though and disaster was averted. Emma has a knack for opening barn doors an if you don't put a snap or lock through the hasp she's in. We take her to schools and nursing homes to visit so she has a misguided sense of entitlement. It is so fun to walk in to a nursing home with a sheep instead of a dog. Many of those people just light up! We have started video taping when these folks tell us their stories of growing up on the farm or what it was like before WWII. This is living history and needs to be preserved for future generations. Get your parents and grandparents to tell you how it really was back then. Tape it! We need to keep this knowledge available. And to think, my journey as a historian started with a sheep! Once our new site is up you will be able to watch these interviews and stories on line. Until then give us a buzz and come say hello. 951-259-2072. Meg
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Sustaining Member Visit

Two of our Sustaining Members are here for a few days and it has been great fun having them! Despite mud and cold they've been able to spend time getting to know all of the farm critters and today we are going out to the grazing grounds to take pictures of the cattle for the new website. They spent yesterday watching the old dog work sheep, the young dog try to help, Wallace get in everyone's way, and the chickens argue over who gets the biggest grubs! They met. DJ, Oscar, and Jason, hopefully got a taste of a day on the farm, and then we went to Big jims for supper. I'm going to sponsor Jim's Bar-B-Q team this season to get people more familiar with Grass Fed and Pastured meats. That Man Can Cook! Bill E Goat is getting his feet trimmed this morning and is none too happy about it! We put the sheep and goats through a sorting race and each one goes into the squeeze for their wellness check. Its vaccination time and time to get all the testing done for various agencies. Oscar is getting the garden plots and raised beds all prepped for veggies, and inspection time is just around the corner. The work never ends but its great to know that I am making a difference in my own way. I LOVE Farm life and even with the challenges, wouldn't change a thing! Meg
 
 

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
 
 
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