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■ > , % Some of the farm flock of 50 blackfaced ewes at the R. J. Conn beef cattle ranch. Granite county. Conn says this farm flock means $1.500 to $2.000 additional income that he really doesn't have to work for . . . plus their value in keeping down weeds around the farmstead. (Montana Farmer-Stockman photo) Velvet From Woolies Farm Flock Nets $2,000 a Year And It's Almost All Pure Velvet By JERRY LESTER, Roving Reporter , "THERE'S A PLACE for a farm flock of sheep on every farm or ranch in the state," said Robert J. Conn, Granite county, as we walked through his 50 head of blackfaced ewes. "If nothing else they are worth the premium on a good fire insurance policy for the way they keep down the weeds around the farmstead." But from a strictly economic standpoint, the sheep always do their share. He figures his 50 head bring in from $1,500 to $2,000 each year and wishes everything on the ranch paid off as* well with as little work. The farm flock of sheep was start ed on the ranch about 28 years ago with a few b5m lambs. Registered Hampshire bucks have been used on the ewes and Conn now has a good demand for his buck lambs for breeding stock. Require Little Labor One of the main things about the farm flock is the little work re quired. Actually he says it amounts to building a little woven wire fence and working with them at lambing and shearing times. Otherwise, he says, it's an extra $1,500 to $2,000 income that he doesn't have to work for. The lambing comes the last of January or first part of February. The ewe lambs are sold by the first of July and usually average 100 pounds. They are sold to a local live stock sales yard for slaughter. But besides the income from the lamb crop and wool, the farm flock of sheep has been found to be a very efficient weed control method, Conn believes that the premium on a fire insurance policy could be add ed to the amount of profit from lambs and wool received from the farm flock. He has found these live weed mowers do an excellent job, particularly where the fire hazard is worst—around the farmstead, close to buildings and fences or cor rals. The only feeding is done after December when they start getting choice second cutting alfalfa that is chopped and fed with grain in self feeders. The beef operation at the ranch involves running about 150 head of whitefaced cattle. Calving is done along with lambing in January and February and the calves are sold the next October. From 15 to 20 head of heifers are kept for replacement each year and the same number of old cows are sold. Conn thinks he may hold over his calf crop and feed through the winter so that a better selection of heifers could be made before selling in February or March. The steer calves sold in October have aver land - ° f this » 220 acres is in irrigated aged about 500 pounds and the heif ers 484 pounds. No breeding cows have been purchased or brought onto the ranch for 45 years, making it one of the oldest continuous herdis in the state. The ranch includes 2,000 acres of Study Range Management , | I 1 | | ii | I | I | & r a sp :■ ■ ^ : : . Ä < ' ■ V:' ; > + ill |B i B ii y ■ • i I M : 4 t ' fy J. ; To add to the technical training they have been receiving in college. 14 senior and graduate range management students at Montana State college made a 1400 mile trip by bus to see different kinds of range and range practices. Gene F. Payne and F. A. Branson of the range management department were in charge. Members of the group are shown here inspecting range work on the Dominion Range Experiment station, Manyberries. Alta. W. A. Hubbard, left of center in plaid shirt without hat. is explaining plains range problems of Canada. grain and alfalfa. A forest service permit allows grazing for 120 head of cows during a 3%-month summer period on adjoining forest lands. Conn used his sprinkler irrigation system to irrigate a small plot of creek bottom land last summer with so much success that he may make irrigated pasture out of much of tiie 300 acres available in this bot tom. The sprinkler system has been used for the past three years on about 2£0 acres of grain and alfalfa with very good crops resulting. m „P ■ . ■ a:-:; ' . ♦ *> : # : : : ■ Î AÄ ■K ♦ m ■■ ■■■■ : X ; 1 ~ r '— juif I • ■ 2É& ■ïil; : . r/ y : V 5 r : : T >•: IM ; î ■ in m î ■ ''''< • /> m U?#" W ' 1 y - ■i Some of Albert Beck's 62 pigs on pasture near the farmstead. Beck has a small litter in the fall and larger litter in the spring. Out of last spring's litters from eight Duroc sows. 62 pigs were raised. (Montana Farmer-Stockman photo) ; : >V Hoe-Cattle Combination Makes o # Sound Livestock Operation when fattening hogs was just a mat ter of selling your grain through of Hereford beef cattle and 60 head of Duroc hogs. - Beck remembers back in the late THERE HAVE BEEN a few years them, admits Albert Beck, Powell county. But when considered along with a beef cattle operation, the combination makes dependable live stock income. He has about 150 head ? 3Q S when the top price for hogs was 5% cents and sows were selling for 3 cents a pound. But other farm and livestock products were low then, too. Since then, he has always had a few hogs. Eight sows gave him a total litter of 62 pigs raised last Speaking of Signs Here's a Classic NOTIS Tresspasser will be persecuted to the full extent of 2 mungrel dogs whch nevr was over suchible to strangers & 1 dubble brl shot gun whch an't loaded with sufa piliers. Dam if I aint git ten tired of his hell raisin on my plase. pasture gives plenty of water and wallowing. spring. In the fall farrowing, Beck cuts down to just 3 sows. This saves on extra feed requirements during the winter. / - The hogs are pastured all summer on a 9-acre field along the highway. Self-feeders in the corral are always available and filled with grain and concentrate. An irrigation ditch run ning through one comer of the hog The ration up to 100 pounds weight for the pigs is made up of equal parts of wheat, oats and bar ley plus 10 percent concentrate. Aft er 100 pounds have been put on the hogs they are fed half wheat and half barley plus 5 percent concen trate. The concentrate being used this year is a regular 40 percent pro tein supplement. Beck has also used a 43 percent protein supplement known as a meat meal with very good results. This meal is made from a concentrated tankage. The use of recently developed heat lamps for farrowing has saved more pigs than anything he has ever tried, says Beck. The lamps are hung from 16 to 18 inches above the floor and the little pigs will always find their way under them. Pig rails 8 inches high and 6 inches from the sides of each pen in the farrowing shed do a good job of keeping the little pigs safe from a rolling sow. Dipped for-Mange The pigs are dipped with lindane when just" 2 months old to get rid of mange. There has been very little disease of any kind in the hogs. The cattle are also sprayed with lindane each fall and Beck reports better lice control in this one application than ever obtained with several sprayings of older creosote-type sprays. The Beck ranch includes 400 acres of irrigated land plus 1,500 acres of range land of which he owns 1 % sections and leases the balance.