Monday, November 18, 2013
I'll Take the Works!
"You go first."
"No, you go first. I insist."
While this post about the veterinarian's visits to the County Line may have started out with tongue planted firmly in cheek, this appointment is important to our operation. It's one way to keep our cattle herd healthy and profitable.
Dr. Dayul Dick from Prairie Vista Veterinary Clinic in South Hutchinson has been at the County Line for three separate visits this fall as we've put different groups of cattle through the working chute. Last Thursday, he preg-checked 25 heifers and found one open one. In other words, one of these first-time mamas did not get pregnant. We will keep the open heifer and will feed her until she's about 1,200 pounds. Then, we'll take her to Ellinwood Packing, where she will become meat for our freezer.
One other heifer thought she was at a rodeo instead of a doctor's appointment and jumped several gates and fences. So, she made a one-way trip to the sale barn. We try to cull females with a "less-than-pleasant disposition. (It's a good thing the same doesn't apply to farm wives on an occasional bad day, but I guarantee you I won't be jumping fences.)
Thursday's visit was Dr. Dick's third and final trip to the County Line for working cattle this fall. He came a couple of weeks ago, and we "worked" the calves born this past January and February. We gathered them off of the Ninnescah pasture on October 19. They now weigh an average of 613 pounds each, and we will keep them as feeder calves through the winter, before selling them at the sale barn in the spring. The past two years, due to drought, we've sold the calves in the fall. This year, with more plentiful rains, we have the feedstuffs to nourish the calves and the mamas all winter, so we'll help the calves "pack on the pounds" before their trip to the sale barn next spring.
On November 4, we brought their mothers back to the farm, and they had their own appointment with the vet later that week.
Remember that dose of "perfume" from the photos above? It's actually a pour-on solution to control internal and external parasites, like lice, worms and liver flukes.
If the cow doesn't have its original ear tag, Randy tries to determine her age by checking her teeth.
Now that the doctor appointments are over, our "girls" are now ladies in waiting, eating and drinking to maintain their body condition so they are ready to deliver their little 80-pound bundles of joy this winter.