Some new happenings have occurred over the passed week here at Singing Bull Ranch. EmmaLee had a litter of three male pups last Sunday, our goose hatched out 5 of the 9 eggs she was laying on, and irrigation season has started.
I had bred Em to our vet’s little Rat Terrier in February, as he has a waiting list of people asking for pups from him, and I’m thinking of spaying Em as she turned 4 years old last fall. Last Sunday morning the poor girl looked miserable, so I stayed home and hung out with her so I could keep an eye on her. Around 3:00 pm, she started labor and about 20 minutes later she delivered the first little guy, butt first. I got a bit worried for a minute when I realized that the head hadn’t come out yet, but she got him out just fine and quickly started taking care of him. The second guy, a robust puppy, followed quickly on his brother’s heels and was born about 20 minutes later. The last little guy was born around 5:00 pm. The first and the last pups are solid chocolate with white and tan markings, kinda hard to tell them apart except for a white spot on top of their head. The big boy looks like his momma. He weighed in at 8 oz., his two siblings about an ounce less. Funny how just an ounce can make a puppy look huge compared to his siblings.
It amazes me how the mom’s instincts quickly tells her what to do when she delivers a baby. EmmaLee knew what to expect with the second and third pup, and settled right in. Nursing was a bit strange to her, and she still accidentally steps on a pup every now and than, but they are growing steadily, and appear very healthy. We don’t hear much from them, as they’re either sleeping or eating, so they must be getting plenty of nourishment, and are warm. The rest of the critters were kinda curious at first, but Em disapproved of them getting too close to her new kids, so they ignore them now. Tucker really wanted to check them out, and Em let him close to the box, but she had a funny look in her eye, so I told Tucker he’d have to wait and play big brother to them when they’re a bit older.
Also this week, I noticed one gosling hanging out by the goose’s nest, then a few days later, she had 5 little goslings chirping at her feet. Mom and Dad are quite attentive. Yesterday they just took them out in the courtyard where the water comes in, but today they had them out in the field. Unfortunately, they also are teaching them to be unfriendly to people, so I need to separate them and raise them by hand, as we need to sell them. I hated doing it, but I don’t know if they will be meat birds or someone’s pet/weed eater/decorative lawn bird, so I’d prefer them not to think attacking people is the right thing to do.
Chris and I started irrigating for our neighboring rancher this week too. Chris does the ranch property, which is around 1,000 acres, at a guess. I know it’s roughly a mile long from one boundary to the other, so 1,000 is a good guess. I’m irrigating the pasture he’s leasing from the elderly lady to the south, which is around 400 acres. This year might be a short irrigation season, as there is very little snow in the mountains, and we’re already up in the 80’s. While it’s nice not to be freezing, wet and muddy, it is way too hot for April and looks and feels more like late summer. The pastures should be green and the grass tall, but not even the weeds are growing like they normally do. We’re hoping that we will get some moisture within the next month or two, otherwise, it is going to be a long, hot summer.