Author Archive for Kelln

Stock Market

      Presently, the actual stock market isn’t worth looking at.  Unless you are wanting to buy.

 

      It looks to me like goat breeders need to treat the semen sales like the stock market.  You about need to buy a bunch of straws on up and coming bucks BEFORE they hit a big lick.  This is not a novel idea as I know of several breeders that have been doing this–some just for themselves to use and a few that are buying it, storing it and then selling it when it gets high.  Sure.  There is some gamble to it.  But let’s be real, this whole industry is a big roll of the dice.   

Prices

      To be honest, for the first 15 years of raising goats, I really didn’t care about sale barn prices.  If I was hauling something to the sale barn, I wanted it GONE!  I really did not care what it brought. 

     Now, as a result of having commercial hair sheep, sale barn market reports have became a deal that I check weekly.  Market prices for sheep and goats are higher than usual.  These prices also look to sustain for awhile.  So, when people are looking for show goats below say $400–no way. 

     And in the show world, good goats are selling way high.  And the common goats are not selling at all.  There is no in-between market.  A dang good wether or doe kid will easily bring $5K.  And if it has the right genetics and the right name selling it, that animal may be worth $20K+.  Should the good ones be worth this much?  Let’s discuss that topic.

      In all reality, the genetic pool for high quality show goats is very shallow.  This show goat industry is only 20 some years old.  The other 3 species are a 100+ years old.  I mean, for pete’s sake, people still advertise goats as “900” genetics.  I would like to think we have moved past a 2005 model goat.  One can find a good goat that is raised on either coast or in between.  But there are only a handful of truly progressive breeders in each state and that includes Texas.  Yes, even Texas.  A high percentage of the banner winning goats at majors are going to come from BTW, Hutto, Stork, Schrank, Mock’s groups and the Martin Mafia (and a few others).  For the rest of the states, the # of top shelf breeders is smaller.  Therefore, those elite goats from the name brands are in even more demand.  The pursuit for new genetics is a large factor in several major herds selling out.  Legendary names like Kelly, Gallagher, Helms, etc. all had a hard time finding that “next” piece.  

      AI and ET in goats is still less successful than other species.  Sure, it’s better than it used to be but still not where it needs to be.  About any vet can AI and perform Bovine ET work.  Sheep AI & ET numbers are routinely better than 75% conception.  A monkey can successfully AI a pig.  As a whole, goat AI and flush numbers are still low.  It’s like going to Vegas–the payoff can be huge but you have to push all in and then pray.  Plus the semen costs on the elite bucks are willy high. 

       Now add in the proven FACT that show goats are a hard damn animal to raise.  In an effort to make goats look like “show animals” we have bred out the productivity of them.  Things like fertility, maternal instincts and growth are lacking and those items cause losses in animal lives, time, labor and other related expenses.  

       Simply put the elite genetics cost a lot.  The low success rate of AI/ET costs a lot.  The problems that arise from raising goats cost a lot.  Plus a high demand for good ones all drives the show goat market to be Snoop Dogg high.

       There is also the simple truth that their is some publicity and political positives of purchasing a high end prospect.  If you are trying to win a big one, one better consider this aspect because it is real.  

       So, you can either bite the bullet and spend some $s.  Or spend a pile of $s and time to raise your own.  Or, you can just become a low rent rock flipper like the Shattuck ag teacher.  But even still, a lot of time is spent studying genetics and traveling to hunting grounds where rocks can be flipped.  

      On a side note, I don’t listen to many podcasts.  I listened to the Bob May uncensored.   A friend told me that I ought to listen to the Norman Kohls episode.  I did.  People, every livestock person should listen to that episode.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to NK’s place.  That dude is a true stockman.  He ain’t wrong.  And he knows it.   

     On another side note–these hair sheep are legit.  So much less labor than the goats.  Several weeks ago, we sold the weaned kids, I mean lambs.  Didn’t vaccinate or worm them.  Didn’t band tails or band nuts.  The only time we touched them is when we sorted them to sell.     No, I’m not going to own a bunch of them.  But I can see their value in the livestock industry.  

Have a good one and a better tomorrow.  

Driving and thinking

      Much like Willie Nelson, I’ve been on the road again.  I’ve sorted through numerous sets of goats in several states.  I’ve gathered lambs from the midwest.  And I’ve traveled to several learning experiences such as the spur making workshop that I went to in east Texas last week.  It was fun and I learned.  Not that I’m going to go into business making spurs.  I just thought it was a project that I could learn to teach kids how to do.  

      As I’ve been driving, I’ve been thinking.  Thinking about experiences that I’ve had.  People that I haven’t talked to in awhile.  One of those people is Fred Urban.  If you don’t know him, you should.  A true character.  Fred is the oldest brother to Kenny and Ritson Urban, two legends in the sheep barns.  Fred, however, liked dealing with pigs.  For the past decade, Fred has lived in the greater Odessa area.  I occasionally get a call from him.  Or a message via another acquaintance.  Something along the lines of “Tell Kelln that Fred Urban will be by to visit Tammy sometime when he is gone.”  Or a random item mailed in an envelope with no return address, no note or letter inside.  Just something like a piece of a menu from the Big Texan steakhouse in Amarillo.  Or a smart ass birthday card that has a pic of some piece of nasty with a signature of a person that I know would NEVER send anything that disgusting.  That’s Fred.  

      Anyways, I hadn’t heard anything out of him in months.  I’ve tried to call and text.  Radio silence.  A month or so ago, a mutual friend of ours down near Houston called me and said that he had talked to Fred.  Things weren’t good.  I stepped up my game of trying to get a hold of Fred.  Finally, he called back this weekend.  Not good.  He has been laid up in a hospital since February.  He has been fighting cancer and heart problems.  Told me that he has died three times and they have brought him back three times.  I had watery eyes as I listened to him talk.  But, in true Fred fashion, I was laughing as well as crying for the rest of the conversation.  

      I could literally write a book full of all of the experiences that I have had over the decades with Fred Urban.  Back in the mid 90s, he and I made a trip to Jimmy Strube’s farm near Garden City, TX.  Two years in a row, we made this trek to get leftover FREE barrows for show pigs.  Two years in a row we had one of these free leftovers make the premium sale at OYE.  

     When I taught at Waynoka, lots of really good hogs were farrowed and raised around there.  Fred hooked me up with numerous connections to sell school groups in Texas.  Sometimes, he delivered the groups, sometimes I did.  There were breed and reserve breed champions at Houston that came out of these school groups.  

     For years, Fred drove an early 80s black 4 door Lincoln car.  A real land cruiser of a boat.  The first time that I ever met him, he pulled into the Waynoka Ag Farm with this Lincoln pulling a single axle trailer.  He had 20+ pigs in the trailer and another 6 in the trunk.  Yes, in the trunk.  

     One time, about the year 2000, I went with Fred to deliver a set of hogs south of Houston.  It was the weekend of Thanksgiving.  We left late Friday night.  We drove that Lincoln pulling that trailer.  He dropped that set off, gathered the cash and then stopped at a couple of pig farms that he dealt with in the south Texas region. We had some furniture in the trailer that he bought at a yard sale.  Next stop, we put pigs in the trunk.  He had a special cut board that had air holes in it and it could be attached to the car with the aid of some wire to keep things closed.  Real piece of engineering.  It was now late Saturday evening when we headed back north.  I was driving and Fred was sleeping.  I was getting really tired and Fred wouldn’t wake up.  I made it across the Red River on I35 about 1 am.  I pulled into the  large truck parking area that was there at that time.  Now, they have a big damn casino.  

     I pulled into the nearly empty parking lot and put that car in park.  I left the car running.  I cracked the windows to get some fresh air.  It was cold outside.  A mini van pulled up and parked right next to us.  Of all the available parking spots and they chose that one.  Right on our passenger side and close to us.  Why?  

     The past 5 or 6 hours those pigs hadn’t made a sound while that boat of a car was floating down the interstate at 90 mph.  But now, the boat was docked.  The pigs started moving.  And now, the standard pig fights were beginning.  The couple in the mini van next to us were now looking to see what in the hell was in that trunk?  Imagine, if you will, the sound of 4 forty # pigs in a car trunk, fighting.  This poor couple was looking back at the trunk, I’m sure trying to decide whether to leave, call 911 or see if assistance was needed.  They had their window rolled down, looking.  And that is when Fred, who was only a mere few feet away from them, began barking like a Rottweiler.  It scared the crap out of those people.  As I didn’t know that he was even awake, it scared me as well.  That mini van left in a hurry.  

     Once I got my wits back, I decided that we too should leave.  Before the law showed up.  Fred laughed for a few miles and then went back to sleep.  I had such an adrenaline rush that I drove all the way to Waynoka.  

     Years ago, I sold him a goat.  I priced the wether at $800.  He said that he would pay me “$500 cash and 5 dozen tamales from Manuel’s Tamales in Midland, TX.  Delivered, fresh and warm.”  Those are good tamales.  

      Sure nuff.  He rolled into the Deere dealership at Woodward about noon on a Saturday.  Manuel’s mad the tamales early, packed them for him and then he drove to deliver them.  He had Styrofoam ice chests full of warm, fresh tamales.  I ate fresh tamales for lunch that day.  He got his goat.  Good trade.

     I’m praying for my friend.  I hope to see him again.  I’ll be driving and thinking and laughing about lots of stories that involve Fred Urban.  

      

Pizza Problems

     Growing up in Shattuck, OK, there was only one pizza option–Pizza Hut.  As a result, Pizza Hut pizza has always been one of my favorites.  The spring of 2020 brought lots of changes to the world.  Although it was a busy Pizza Hut, corporate decided that the Shattuck Pizza Hut would become a casualty of COVID and we no longer have one.  

     Recently, I needed some chemical from Tractor Supply in Woodward.  Tammy rode with me.  On the way there, she said, “I’m not cooking tonight.  Let’s get a pizza.”  Great.  She wanted to go to Pizza Hut in Woodward.  I hadn’t been in there for awhile.  And now I know why.

     The first sign of issues was that it was 7:30 pm and we were the ONLY customers.  A young lady seated us and took our order.  They brought us our drinks.  Oh no!  The beers were luke-warm.  This is an issue.  About 30 minutes went by and finally another customer.  It was a lady that I knew.  She had called in her pizza order.  We talked to her for a few minutes until her husband and son came in from little league ball games.  They brought her their pizzas.  Her son went to eating a slice or three.  They gathered their pizzas up and headed out the door.

      About this time, a different waitress came to our table and asked if we would take 2 supreme pizzas.  I said, “No.”  She said, “We screwed up and have these pizzas instead of what you ordered.”  

I said, “No.  I would rather be kicked in the crotch than have to eat a pizza with bell peppers on it.”

She said, “We could throw in a desert pizza as well.”

Tammy was like, “Just bring us the pizza that we ordered.”  The waitress walked into the back and yelled, “Go ahead and start making that thin crust with Canadian bacon and pepperoni.  They don’t want those Supremes.”  Oh lordy!! Here goes another 30 minutes of my life.  And let me remind you, we were the only customers.  

      Finally, they brought us our pizza.  For starters, it was cut irregular.  My OCD kicked into hyperdrive as I looked at the way some non-geometic sack of monkey crap had sliced the pizza.  One slice that took up a 1/4 of the pizza.  A couple of very small slices.  And it just didn’t look like a proper pizza.  Tammy took a small slice and tried it.  She said that it didn’t taste right.  I fiddled around with a piece trying to figure out what was wrong.  Ahaa!!  It only had cheese on parts of the pizza and it didn’t have any sauce on it.  How do you make a pizza without sauce?  Tammy gathered up her things and said, “I’m going to the pickup.  Do what you gotta do?”

     I took the pizza to the front counter.  A different lady that I had not previously seen schlubbed her way to the counter.  “Can I help you?”  

“Let’s cut to the chase and go ahead and get the manager.”  

“Unfortunately that’s me”, she replied as she rolled her eyes.  

“Nice attitude.  We have a problem with our pizza.  First, they tried to shove some Supremes at us.  Second, it took almost an hour to get this pizza.  And then, it isn’t sliced right and it doesn’t have sauce nor the right amount of cheese on it.  There is just enough cheese to kind of hold a pepperoni in place.”  I never cursed or yelled at anybody.  I just pointed out the problems.  

She looked at me and sighed, “What do you want me to do about it?”

“Well, I’m not paying for it.”   

“Okay.  I wouldn’t either.  Will you pay for your beers?”

I said, “That’s another thing.  They are warm.”

She said, “That’s because it is hot here in the lobby.”  I said, “Put them in the cooler.” 

She then said, “The cooler doesn’t work well.”

I said, “Get it fixed.” 

She replied, “Owner won’t let me.”

I then said, “Here’s the money for the beers and I will not be coming back.  Have a good evening.”   

     Guess what?  The lady that got her pizzas to go was supposed to have 2 Supreme pizzas.  Instead they made her 2 pepperoni & Canadian bacon.  Her son was already eating a couple of slices, so she just decided to keep them.  It isn’t her fault.  Two customers and two orders screwed up.  I don’t care what business you are in, going Ofer is never a good batting average.  

     For decades, Pizza Hut was the #1 pizza supplier in the world.  Now, they have fallen to #2 behind Domino’s.  By closing Shattuck and letting a crew of mouth-breathers run the one at Woodward, I would say that they will continue to lose ground.  

     Now, I was pissed and hungry.  Screwed over by a bunch of lazy sacks of crap who couldn’t even make a pizza.  So, we went home.  While leaving Woodward, an alert on my phone went off.  What?  I checked the alert.  It was a reminder of a Dr. appointment for the next day.  I had set the alert a year ago.  Unbelievable timing!  After getting screwed right in the donkey by pizza hut, I now had a reminder that I was going to get a finger up my rear to check the ol prostate.  

That was a nice evening.  

People have a good day today and a better one tomorrow.  And I suggest getting a Papa John’s or Hunt Brothers pizza.

 

Dumber

        I don’t think that you can find anybody that markets their goats online that will argue with me with the following statement–Today’s online buyer is getting dumber!

 

        For starters, as a whole, prospective buyers do not call the breeders and discuss the individual animals.  It used to be that people would call, cuss & discuss.  I have always advised to go look at the stock or talk to somebody that you trust and that has seen them.  As a seller, I’ve been accused of being too honest.  No animal is perfect and I will gladly tell you the good and the bad.  

        Next comes the dependence on pictures and video.  There used to be a thing called Glamour Shots.  You could tell who the person was in the picture but that wasn’t exactly how you thought that they looked in everyday life.  Livestock photos can be the same.  And this doesn’t mean photoshopped.  It simply means that good lighting and proper angles can make an animal look as good as possible.  We all have a good side, animals are the same.  

      The next part is a combination of the first two.  The buyers don’t call and talk.  And they have a dependence on pictures.  So for the past couple of years they TEXT and ask for more pics.  I have always wanted to respond with “No, you dumbass nameless sack of monkey crap.  If I had more pics then I would have posted them.”  But I have refrained.  

      But now, just to prove that I am right, several bidders tried to buy a dead goat online.  Yes, dead.  The wether had died after the sale was posted.  Lot 1–DECEASED      The first word of the description was DECEASED.  Yet, several people still bid AND then realized that the goat was dead.  What the hell?  Did they think it’s name was DECEASED?  

      The modern online goat buyer mentality–Name Brand seller, Good pic & in the budget—click that mouse!  Now, they will deal with delivery, payment (some struggle with this) and then if the goat is good enough.  

 

      It’s raining here in paradise.  We’ll take it.  

Memorial Day

     Really hot and REALLY windy on Sunday.  So far, just hot on Memorial Day.  I finished plowing some fields Sunday afternoon.  The worst part is that the AC is out on my tractor.  I’m ready for them to get it fixed.  

      We all need to remember the real reason for Memorial Day.  Prayers and thanks to those that have served and for those that are serving.  Thank you.  

      Have a good one and a better tomorrow. 

FRIDAY YEAH!!

     I cringe when people ask me “Are you glad to be done with school for a couple of months?”  Hunh?

     Sunday found me sorting a good set of goats and identifying show prospects for students.  

     Monday through Wednesday found us traveling to a judging clinic in Waynoka.  This was an excellent clinic for beginners and experience evaluators.  Outstanding livestock, awesome mentors that were coaching kids and the food was way good!!  

      Thursday found me traveling to Enid for a meeting and to drop some leftover critters at the Perkins sale barn.  I might have stopped and sorted through a really good set of goats on the way to that meeting.  

      I was supposed to be out of state on Friday but due to some family deals, that trip was postponed.  So, that leaves me looking at an empty shop here at the ag building on this Friday.  The last trailer of the year was picked up on Thursday.  The kids and I learned a lot from this trailer.  It was supposed to built in time to be shown at Woodward and OYE.  But due to supply chain difficulties, we didn’t get the axles until the shop was full of other products.  So we opted to start on it right after OYE.  I will not do that again.  Between speech contests, interscholastics, judging contests and conventions combined with baseball, softball, music, testing and other school activities, we hardly ever had a complete hour to work on it.   Basically, the real world combined with scheduling kicked our proverbial donkeys!  We learned and we will build another trailer like it.  

      Now I have an empty shop.  It is a feeling much like emptying a pen of goats..I like it.  It’s going to stay that way for a month or so.  Some cleaning and reorganizing will take place. 

      So now, I have an unscheduled day off. YEAH!!    Have a good one.  You know that I’m going to take advantage of this day.  

G.O.A.T.

      May 25, 1977 was the debut of arguably the greatest of all time–movie.  This was the debut of Star Wars.  Without argument, it is the most profitable film series of all time.  Almost a dozen movies, tv specials, streaming series, cartoon series, action figures & toys have all raked in massive amounts of cash over the last 45 years–with no sign of it slowing down.  Any day now, the new Kenobi series will start streaming.  

      I was 6 years old when Pa, my step-grandpa, took me to the Shattuck Drive In movie theater to watch Star Wars.  I do not remember what month that this occurred.  I am guessing late summer since it was 1977 and in Shattuck, OK.  I can’t imagine this being primary release target.  No matter, I was hooked.  

      Speaking of goats, we’ve had a few goats in the area recently kid.  I am easily reminded of my hatred for female goats.  They definitely deal in powers from the dark side.  

May the force be with you.

Finally

     It has been months since we have had a good rain.  So far, we are past 1″ and it is still raining.  Those in Eastern Oklahoma don’t need nor want the rain.  Those in central Oklahoma have been griping about it being dry and people, they don’t know what dry is.  Western Oklahoma and the panhandles of OK & TX are DRY.  Now, we’ve got a chance.  

      Off to judge some bulls and heifers, while in the rain.  

30

      May 15, 2022 is 30 years that the Dragon Lady and I have been married.  There wasn’t a conventional wedding.  We went to the courthouse in Lipscomb, TX and got hitched.  We told our parents afterwards.  Some said that it was about time, since we already had a two year old daughter.  Might not have been the proper start but I know a lot of people that started out under better conditions and they didn’t make it to 30.

       Last week, I went to the flower store.  I told them that I wanted an arrangement that had 30 roses in it.  One lady was like, “That’s going to cost a lot!”  So.  I picked out some red roses, some white roses and some white roses that had red tips.  The owner took care of the floral arrangement.  When I went to pick them up, she was like, “Kelln, you know that you don’t have to buy her anything.  Just the fact that you remembered will be present enough.”  You are right.  Then I headed to the jewelry store.  

       Sunday, May 15 found us at O’Brate Field watching Okie State baseball versus Texas Tech.  This was supposed to be a wicked cool day as we have a former student that plays for OSU and another one that pitches for Tech.  Well, the Techster is on the injured list for another week.  And the Cowboy didn’t get to start but he hit well once they put him in the game.  That is a phenomenal venue to watch baseball.  

       And we ALMOST didn’t make it to 30.  Friday, May 13 found me needing some help sorting cows & calves.  I knew not to ask her for help but there was nobody else available.  For the most part it went fine.  But then at the end, she just couldn’t follow directions.  Whew!!   We made it through it.  

       Congrats to all of you that make it to milestone wedding anniversaries.  It’s  probably a good thing that I don’t have many goats around.  We might make it for a few more.