Friday, October 26, 2018

Can you really have too much "Nick" genetics?

It all started with Sunboy Stanton 149, better known as Nick.

Can you really have too much of a good thing? I didn’t think so until one day I realized my Kiko herd’s family tree was pretty much one big limb from the Sunboy Stanton 149 “Nick” bloodline. I first used Nick, a Moneymaker son, in 2005. Thirteen years later, his bloodline still runs deep in the Egypt Creek gene pool.

It wasn’t an intentional strategy. I was just keeping the best bucks as replacement sires and I ended up with all Nick grandsons. But it all started with a couple of exceptional Nick daughters.

In 2005 we flushed my JTV Klondike daughter, JTV Queen, to Nick. We implanted some embryos and froze others. From the first crop of kids, we got ECR Hanky Panky in 2006. That fall we implanted some of the frozen embryos and got ECR Princess Nicki in 2007 — a full sister to Hanky Panky but a year younger.

ECR Rusty's Rambo
In 2008, in partnership with Bill and Brenda Moore, we flushed Hanky Panky to TAY Onyx semen. From that kid crop came BBM Hanky Panky’s Y266, born in 2009. HP, as we called him, served us well for many years and we have a supply of semen that we are using.

In 2010, Hanky Panky delivered a pair of buck kids sired by ECR Rusty. We kept one of those — ECR Rusty’s Rambo, who is still our senior herdsire at 8 years old. 

ECR Powerstroke
In the meantime, little sister Nicki was busy having boys, too, and these have been too good to sell. At the moment, we have these Nicki sons in the buck pen:

• ECR Powerstroke, born 2015, sired by BBM Hanky Panky’s Y266 (his mom’s nephew).

• ECR Rustnick, born 2017, sired by ECR Rusty’s Rambo (another nephew — Rambo and HP have the same mother).

• ECR Bunker and ECR Fort Knox, born 2018, sired by RDH Out of the Blue (an outcross that we nicknamed “Handsome”).

So, yes, we have four Nicki sons — for a total of six Nick grandsons in the lineup — two of them, Powerstroke and Rustnick, are double-bred Nick! We probably would have had another Nicki son, ECR Slash, born in 2016, but he disappeared and was presumed killed by coyotes.

This year I decided it was time to bring in some new blood to help Handsome bring some diversity to our genetics. 

ECR Rustnick
Earlier this summer I stumbled upon a buck that was owned and raised by Shane Hesterman of Deep South Kikos in Brooklyn, Miss. DSK Yukon is a 2016 buck that has a lot of old genetics close up in his pedigree — and nearly all are an outcross to everything on my ranch. Names like CPK Rooster Cogburn, ELH Blue Boy, WMB Sasquatch, AAS Goldmine I and Tasman Zorro. Plus he’s meaty and tough as nails. Shane has been culling hard ever since he started raising Kikos and Yukon is proof he’s doing it right.

ECR Bunker
We also acquired one of the 2018 flush bucks from  Kendell and Dana Barnes’ Chey-View Kikos in Winchester, Ky. He’s out of CVK June II and semen from performance-proven MGR Titan’s Hammer. We named him Hammerhead.

In this year’s West Virginia buck performance test, Hammerhead finished 9thoverall and one of his flushmates finished 12th. Their dam, June II, is out of  LRF Pango Hua and AVG June. This cross produced a Top 10 buck on the 2013 Maryland test. 

We think these two new bucks, in combination with our Nick grandsons, will give us the genetics we need to move into the future.

ECR Fort Knox

Our first outcross buck, RDH Out of the Blue

CVK Hammerhead

DSK Yukon

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Here's a slick trick for unsticking a pup's head

Usually it's a goat's head that I have to get unstuck out of a fence. This time it was a guardian dog puppy. Somehow he managed to get his big head through a 4 x 4 gate panel. Nothing seemed to work and I didn't want to cut the panel, so I poured vegetable oil on his head to get it all greased up. Then I grabbed his back legs and worked his body and head back and forth. It didn't take much effort for the head to slide out. And the pup's littermate enjoyed cleaning his head off. That vegetable oil was a real treat!

This puppy's head is firmly stuck in the gate.
First, grease it up with vegetable oil.
Once the head was greased up, a little backward pressure finally freed his head.