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Farmin’ Friday: Red Angus heifers, scarecrows & barn quilts

FarmingFridayWe decided to ‘take the leap’ and purchase the Red Angus heifers. They arrived at 10:30 pm on Monday. DSCN7271Waiting for a load of cattle to come in is nerve-wracking. Will they be gentle? Will they be hungry? Did they all get loaded? What will they weigh? Did we get a good price? 

Growing up, I went to town in the middle of the night with my Dad to unload cattle. The cattle pots seemed huge to me as a kid. I was excited to see the cows come off the truck, but my Dad was always a bit nervous. Now, I know why.

All of our nerves faded away quickly. The count was right. The heifers aren’t wild. They are at a healthy weight. They look just the way they did on the videos.  DSCN7282

All summer they have been grazing on big, open pasture. Most likely they were checked by a person on a horse. Seeing a walking human is odd for them. As you see in the video, they like to walk away from me. I’m training them to come to me when I call them and bring feed or hay.

South Dakota rancher and writer, Linda Hasselstrom writes, “Whenever you see a “cowboy” thundering along behind a herd of cattle, yelling and swinging his rope, he’s either in a movie or he doesn’t own the cows. Anyone who does that with real cows is losing money–they can run off hundreds of pounds of salable fat on a hot day.”

Now, sometimes I have chased a get-a-away steer across a pasture, but that’s usually because he is wild. In an ideal setting, cattle handling is a calm, quiet process. (That being said, I do love a good cowboyin’ story.)

The calves we weaned last week are doing well. They recognize the feed wagon now and crowd around the bunk waiting for their next meal.IMG_2310As for the stress and sickness, we only had to doctor one calf, tag number AJ-11. He had a droopy ear which is a sign of sickness. John gave him a shot of Nuflor, which is an antibiotic medicine for cattle. Cattle medicine is quite expensive, a 100 mL bottle of Nuflor costs about $73.00. In this case, the recommended dosage was 6 ml per 100 pounds of bodyweight. This means, we should give the calf (500 pounds) about 30 ml of the medicine.IMG_2312

The mama cows are happily grazing on the pastures. The process of weaning is pretty short for them, too. They “forget” about their babies within a few days. DSCN7288

I have a heck of a time convincing these farmers that landscaping and flower beds are good idea. However, I somehow convinced them to hang two barn quilts on our little gardening shed. I made these as decorations for our wedding dance.IMG_2355In honor of harvest, I also set up a fall display. My mom set hers up this week, too. Blame it on genetics, I just love fall decorations. IMG_2309

Happy fall ya’ll —



  1. Mamie

    I love the quilt blocks on your shed. They bring a smile to my face. However, my little boys liked the pictures of the calves and heifers. Your red heifers look good. Our “fancy” red heifers are doing good too. Thank you for looking at them for us. It helped ease our nerves knowing someone we knew had seen them first. Happy fall!

    • Sierra Shea

      Good! I enjoyed going to look. It is always fun to take a trip to view cattle – especially red ones!

  2. Lisa Blachford

    Red angus heifers!? What’s going on over there ! Haha. Love your fall decorations too! Ahhh…what would I do without “farmin’ Fridays” Sierra!


    • Sierra Shea

      Haha! Hope you and your mom are having a great time!!!

  3. jan

    Get ready for winter…..we are having a blizzard out in the black hills…….take care….nice pics.

    • Sierra Shea

      Hope everything is going okay with the aftermath of the blizzard — did you get much rain last night?

  4. Laurel Wilson

    You barn quilts are great and so are your October decorations–I wonder how they will look under snow!


    • Sierra Shea

      Thanks! I love pulling into our driveway to seem them off behind the house! 🙂

  5. Lori

    I love, love your barn quilts, they look marvelous!

  6. Ady

    Hi Sierra. I’m from Indonesia. Where i can get more information about red angus heifers?


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!