Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sage Rats & Alfalfa~Not a Perfect Match

Well, my Wordless Wednesday photo from yesterday happens to be the prelude to this post. Lil' Miss Cindy Sue really can catch the varmints, but I honestly don't know if she caught that particular one or if it had been shot by My Man...yes, we shoot the dang things. I must say though, she was mighty proud of herself and didn't want to share it...

...As she proceeded to bury it while I was trying to
get a better pic of her!

Ok, the slang name "Sage Rat" is what everyone around here calls them. They're some sort of ground squirrel. But, they can do tremendous damage to alfalfa crops...

See all those mounds?

They look like this...

And this...

And, they are EVERYWHERE!!!!

I've been told that every lil' sage rat causes damage to 60 pounds worth of alfalfa in a season. I don't know if that figure is accurate, but I do know that they really do a lot of damage, as well as adding extra expenses for correcting the field damage they've done.

So, every farmer has to do this...

In one form or another...large operations use
a field drag...

To make it look like this...

And when My Man has the West Field done, it looks like this...

Which will last for a few days...until the dang varmints start digging up piles again. But after this point, it's too late to drag them down, it will damage too much of the crop. We do our best to keep our hay man happy, by kicking in the piles as we start irrigating. The swather can easily break blades as it hits mounds of dirt and rocks.

So, that's my "sad saga of the sage rat." It's a cruel, vicious world...but, we need to provide feed for animals that produce food for people...it's just that simple.

But as Cowboy and I ride back to the house on the 4-wheeler...he hasn't a care in the world~~

Ah!! PS...I'm leaving today for a Mike Bridges cow working clinic with Colt and won't be home until late on Sunday, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!



  1. You get sage rats, we get badgers wreaking havoc in the fields. Nice fields, by the way. Hope you have a great time at the clinic- take photos!

  2. Wow, those little suckers are really destructive! We fight the groundhogs here. They did deep burrows with usually more than one exit hole in pastures and fields. Filling them in doesn't work as they dig new ones in the next few days.

    Good luck at the clinic! Post lots of pics!!

  3. We have so many wild hogs here in Florida and they really do a lot of damage. My kids are farmers and the hogs tear up the fence and the roots of all the crops.

  4. In Kansas the mounds are from gophers and prairie dogs. And we don't consider them nice little lovable critters either.

  5. I'm laughing now because I honestly thought that was a stuffed toy yesterday. It looks like a toy that my dogs have. I'm sure you wish it were a toy!

  6. Oh my, I am glad we don't have those around here! Have a great time at your cow horse clinic! Can't wait to hear about it!

  7. Thanks for the lesson on "sage rats." Those are some mighty hills they make...and I thought moles were bad! Is there any other way to trap them and prevent them from homing there, other than just shooting them (seems like you wouldn't be able to put as big a dent in the population by shooting them.) Have fun at the clinic, hope we get to hear all about it when you return!

  8. Wow, that's a lot of damage! No wonder you should the things! I guess no matter where you live there is some type of varmint to wreak havoc.

  9. Ok, I must be out of it today. That was supposed to say no wonder you SHOOT the things.


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