Newsletter Vol 5: #7

July 2018

A huge Hi! To all of our clients and friends as well as to those of you who are reading one of our News Letters for the very first time. We hope that you not only enjoy reading this our latest News Letter but enjoy visiting our website. Should you have any questions, suggestions or ideas regarding our website or our operation RH Ranching as a whole we would love to hear from you?

Once again Caleb, Fana and myself along with six hounds, the terrier “Spring” and Caleb’s young AfriCanis pup “Bhubesi” headed up to the Drakensberg mountains where the three provinces of the Freestate, Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal meet in order to conduct a Caracal and Serval hunt for one of my good friends Kotie Herholdt of Shikra Safari’s Polish clients. We had a lovely five days together with lots of leg numbing steep climbs as we pursued our quarry. The client and his wife left a very happy couple and have re-booked another safari in October 2018; way to go Kotie.

These hunts where I am accompanied by our special son Caleb are excellent times and opportunities of growth for Caleb’s leadership abilities and he is proving to be an absolute blessing in camp as well as in the hunting Field.





Caleb and Bhubesi in camp and in the veld with the guys!


The hounds and Bhubesi chow down


This month has been characterised by very cold frosty mornings with lots of nice frosts and many lovely sunny and warm days, just until the sun dips down behind the horizon that is. We have had an un-usually dry July when we look back over the long-term average for precipitation; we had a mere three millimetres of rain as against the long-term average of twenty six millimetres. However the Lord teaches us to be grateful for both the big and small things in life and therefore we thank Jesus for the 3mm that we did get.

Our rainfall for the raining season 01/09/2017 to 31/08/2018 is as follows:

September 2017 --                   21.0 mm

October 2017 --                        88.0 mm

November 2017 --                  101.0 mm

December 2017 --                     89.0 mm

January 2018 --                         32.0 mm  

February 2018 --                     111.0 mm

March 2018 --                            92.0 mm

April 2018 --                             105.0 mm

May 2018 --                                 6.0 mm

June 2018 --                                    Nil

July 2018 --                                   3.0mm

Total for 2017/18 to date     648.0 mm


Quote Worth Re-Quoting – 

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

~ Roger Caras


RH Ranching’s Canis Africanis news:

As we have come to expect these wonderful dogs native to the African continent never cease to amaze us with their intelligence and tenacity to survive in this climatically, environmentally and often at times politically hostile landscape.

Here are two stories; one that portrays intelligence and in the second one both intelligence as well as tenacity.

Caleb’s dog Bhubesi goes every with him and then with us when we travel as a family. Well Bhubesi arrived to live with us in the school holidays, so on the first day of the third term we all left home very early in order to get Ashleigh back to Hostel in time to get her belongings stowed away and then head up to School for classes.

This was a new and exciting trip for little Bhubesi that turned into one of anxiety as he saw us say good bye to Ashleigh and for us then to drive off for home leaving her there. Well he has now gotten used to this Monday morning routine but makes a point of lying on the back seat of our SUV with his head on Ashleigh’s lap all the way from home to the Hostel! On Friday when we go to fetch Ashleigh again he sits up on the back seat watching intently for Ashleigh and once he spots her his tail waves from side to side uncontrollably.

Now for the second story, this one I have taken the liberty of taking from one of John Deppe’s posts off of The AfriCanis society of South Africa’s Face Book page.




Now for more exciting news we have had our two working bitches come on heat and we have had them both covered. Sparky we have covered with Semane II and Scorpion we have sent up to Donna Lay and had her covered by Donna’s superb dog Blue. We are really looking forward to seeing the results of these two mating’s as this will be a combining of several strong unrelated Stock Guardian lines from the greater Thukela Valley blood lines as well as lines from Mpholweni and Nongoma.

The litters are expected at the end of September and in the first week of October. We are taking limited bookings for pups from these two litters; therefore if you are interested please could you give me a call on 072-3729065.



Scorpion and Blue


RH Ranching Live Stock Trading:

Once again we had the privilege of marketing a second parcel of 40 (forty) Makatini maiden ewes that have been running with the rams; as well as a second young ram to Mr Charles Caldwell. This takes the Caldwell flock up to 55 breeding ewes which makes for a very nice start in the goat business.

One of the ewes that Charles received in his first batch has already kidded and produced two beautiful kids. This makes for good beginnings!

We also did business with repeat clients of ours – Mr Mzo Makhanya and Mr Veon Kuhn. This deal involved a group of Pedi/Nguni Sheep in Lamb ewes and a young Pedi Ram. Veon was very excited about his ewes and one lambed a day or so after getting to their new home.




A reasonable amount of time and energy has also been expended on the setting up of deals for both Mbuzi ewes with kids at foot as well as maiden ewes that have been running with the ram. These transactions should all transpire early in August.

A busy month in the regards of consulting to fellow breeders on both ewe and ram selection as well as in the consultation of breeding programs and the construction of goat keeping and handling facilities.

I spent a very fruitful day at Little Spring Farm advising Pieter on which of his ewes should be put to his Boer goat ram and which ewes would do well to be put to his Xhosa Lob Ear ram. Pieter is in the process of swinging over from a 12 month kidding cycle to an 8 month kidding cycle which will then give him 3 kidding’s in a two year period. This will mean a 50% increase in production all things being equal and if the nutritional plane of the flock is maintained at a high level.

Pieter is aiming at breeding top quality Composite goats that will allow him to capitalise on the Hybrid vigour and to put more cash in his pocket at the end of the day.



The selected ewes


I have also conducted two visits to the properties of Paul Kalil to advise on the expansion program that he wants to do, as well as on the design of his new kraals, ram camps and handling facilities. This is going to be a very nice project to be involved in; watch this space for more details.

Then Pieter Du Plessis and I have started a feedlot trial on two Nguni/Pedi type un-cut hamels (hence they are still lambs). They entered the feedlot on the 17th of July 2018 at a weight of 29,1kg as 30,7kg this will give them an average live weight of 29.9kg.

We have put them on hay with Ram, Ewe and Lamb pellets ad-lib over-night and they are on dry winter veld during the day. After the first 14 days adaptation period the A.D.G. was 112.5 grams per day per lamb on average. One showed a far better A.D.G. than the other but I feel that this is just due to adaptation stress where the one lamb dropped in weigh over the first seven days and then had to regain lost weight before showing an increase in weight over the initial body weight. 

We expect to see an increase in the A.D.G over the next two weeks as the lambs are now settled in the system and their new environment. Two young Boer Goat kapaters will be joining the lambs in the feed lot in mid-August. 



The lambs on day one (17/07/2018)


RH Ranching Mbuzi Stud and IVG News:

On the IVG side of things we have been busy on pursuing the possibility of sponsorships for the planned KZN IVG Clubs Elite Breeding Goat auction to be held at the Royal Show Grounds on the 22nd of October 2018.

We then also had the Pongola Farmers day which was so kindly hosted by Mr Hennie Terreblanche of Llangwane Estates. The day was well attended with members coming from Hillcrest, Heatonville, Empangeni, as well as Wartburg and in and around Pongola. Dr Heinz Kohrs gave a very informative talk on “Blooding” as a way of vaccinating against Heart Water is susceptible animals. This turned into a very lively and well participated in discussion by all present.

Dr Kohrs’ talk was followed by Oom Hennie’s manager Anton’s presentation on the management practices on Oom Hennie’s Boer Goat Stud and in Anton’s superb flock of Composite ewes. He also touched on the Dorper and Meat Master flocks as well. We then drove to the other side of the property and visited the flocks at the kraals. The timing was perfect as it coincided with the ewes all coming back from the veld for water and to feed the young kids.

The days presentations were concluded with a very tasty goat chop, pap and sous braai in the farms pack house. It was really great to be in the pack out of the blustering winds of the approaching cold front and the nippy bite in the air. Every one really enjoyed the braai and as with the goat chop braai that IVG SA and the KZN IVG Club hosted at this year’s Royal Agricultural Show in Pietermaritzburg not a single chop was left over at the end!





Well that is all the news that we have for you our readers for July 2018. I hope that you enjoyed your reading. The very worst thing that one can do is to procrastinate in doing the things that one knows that one must do. I therefore would like to encourage you to be bold and step out and face todays sunset or if it has already set - tomorrows sunrise with the knowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ loves you very much, so much in fact that He laid His tortured, battered and pierced body and life down for your sins and then rose again to give you eternal life through Him with the Father in Heaven.


Quote Worth Re-Quoting –

“You may delay but time will not – lost time is never found again.”

~Benjamin Franklin


Please do remember that you can contact us directly via email from this website by going to the “Contacts Page” and following the prompts or on these numbers- Hilton 072-372 9065 and Robyn 082-428 6641 we would love to hear from you!

Now my prayer for all of you is that the Lord Jesus Christ will become a reality in your lives and that He will become the Lord of your lives.

Best regards,

Hilton and Robyn Sanders.