A few storms going around me, but had about an inch of nice steady rain on Sunday morning. It continued very dry through most of the district through December and January, many missed sowing a summer crop and the ones that got a start were really tonguing it prior to this front that seems to be hanging around.
There have been some spectacular skies but that’s been about it!
As you can see, it was very dry. Luckily it doesn’t take much to green things up again.
So…. a big month for the bitches, coming on heat together again! Mina and Sass started the ball rolling, and then Sunny decided she was missing out…she’s very funny, thinks she’s ready from about day 1 and the dogs just ignore her. She’s very keen on Wills, who wasn’t impressed. After a couple of weeks she was mated to Gibson, which is a relief. I always worry something will happen to a very nice young dog before we get some pups by him. (The reasoning behind the MickxWiggle mating). Meanwhile a few hundred km south, Midnight decided to join the fun; how this happens is something that’s mystified me for years!
I knew Em and Derek had trouble mating her previously so I was super vigilant, especially as Siggy the mini Dachsie was very interested. After three progesterone tests we nailed the right day to mate her, but I won’t bother doing them again if Siggy’s around! He’s very reliable and I think we went a day early according to the Sigometer. Midnight was spot on average the way she cycled, I find most of my bitches ovulate on day 13 and are ready to mate for a few days prior. The important part is careful observation and getting Day1 right. Here’s a vid of the last pup we kept from Midnight having her first run on cattle….well, her first run on stock of any kind….
So…long story(not so) short, Midnight was mated to Eventine Comet(Blackdog Thunder x Tracker Gillette), a nice dog bred by Grant Hutchings at Tenterfield from his lovely bitch Gilly. I saw Comet here as a big pup when he was with David Hart; I remember saying then that I thought it was a bit soon to go back to such a big % of Karrawarra blood. David replied that he’d thought the same but it seemed to have worked! Comet worked with David on Riverside at Moranbah for some time, then went back to Grant. Those who saw him on Riverside were very impressed with his work and I’ve been tossing up which bitch would be most suitable, as I’d also been told a couple of times that he needed a calm one…. the reason being what I had suspected might happen….. he’s a very smart dog and could ignore his handler at times. I was very impressed with the excellent control Grant has now, and I agreed with Grant that he could win an Arena trial. Midnight’s calm but she can also be a bit arrogant so it will be interesting to see what pops. This type of dog is invaluable working out of sight in difficult country when their natural instincts are reliable. Here’s little clip of Comet with Grant’s Dorper rams.
Cody Glendinning was kind enough to lend us old Shep’s Joaker who is also by Blackdog Thunder out of Capree Reba. He’s been AI’d to Mina, so fingers Xd. He’s a tough old boy and has bred some very good pups including a nice dog from Karmala Click, Tiree Sumo.
Sass(Brock x Gossip) managed her own mating to Blye(Landy x Bimber), apparently early in her heat. The older dogs weren’t interested but Blye, being young and hopeful, got lucky. His last pups to McKenzie were nice, so all good if she’s in pup. I have K.Burns(Robbie) here from that litter, he’s a lovely pup and has been doing well on cattle since going up Nth.
This is Nesnah Sandfly who isn’t looking so happy at present. She injured a hock in the run, maybe knocked over by a bigger dog, and is on kennel rest. Luckily she’s a very calm girl and is coping incredibly well. It’s interesting that of the 100s of pups I’ve bred that have hooned around that run, not one has been injured and I wonder if the raw diet I feed might make for stronger bones/joints. People buy expensive puppy food thinking they’re doing the best for the pups, but often they become deficient in calcium because dogs and pups can only absorb it efficiently through eating bones. They usually grow faster too, not ideal for strong bones and joints.
The last two litters of pups are dispersing to their new homes. A little Remix(Mick) x Wiggle bitch flew up to Mackay yesterday. She had an early start going for a Fit to Fly certificate at 6am, then came home and helped herself to a huge feed of pup mince when I wasn’t looking. Fearing the worst, I took a washer and some soapy water when I delivered her to Mary from All Animal Transport in Gatton….only to find a very composed, perfectly clean pup on arrival! Mary sent me a text to say she arrived at hers in the same state. Wow.
Rod and Sharon have a Cap x Wiggle boy and when Rod took him to a Frank Finger school he saw Mick working and ordered a pup on the spot ( Jack turned down Frank’s offer of $20k for him). I sent Wiggle out with Greg shortly afterwards to mate to Mick; it was touch and go with rain, roads and a young inexperienced dog, but we got lucky. If all the pups are like Tango there might be some more!
Vamp and Jack are away for some training with Greg Kings who also has Cuddle. He got Vamp moving nicely, she’s a bit sticky but I think will sort herself out, I really like her. Jack is just getting a bit more sheep work before he heads north. It’s good of Greg to help me out; Arthur’s had a bad knee but it’s a bit better now and I took Bright over on Sunday. He’s a nice steady boy and I’m hoping doesn’t do any damage to Arthur.
We had a spectacular sunset this week and a sunflower crop close by. I headed off half an hour before sunset…
This one looking east with the trees I’ve planted showing up.