|Gathering the mamas and the babies from the pasture south of our house. I was taking the photo into the sun, so it's not the best quality.|
Our baby calves undergo a similar process each spring. For this appointment, Randy fulfills the role of "physician's assistant." He certainly doesn't have the education of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. We do use a veterinarian for many of our cattle herd's health needs. But this is a task that Randy does, with help from Jake and me.
The process starts by gathering the mama cows and the calves. The method varies, depending on the location. To work the calves at Peace Creek, we use 4-wheelers to drive the cows and calves a half mile to the corrals and working chute. But, for the other three locations, we gather the cows and calves into a corral.
"Oh wait! I think I hear them around the corner."
We use the trailer to transport the babies to the corrals where Jake lives.
I keep things lined up and ready to use, including the ear tagger. We used numbers beginning with "4" this year to indicate the babies were born in 2014.
The babies go, one at at time, down a lane and into a calf cradle - a miniature squeeze chute. Jake gets the unenviable job of pushing the calves down the lane and is sometimes rewarded with a swift kick for his efforts.
This year, for the first time, Randy had his name and phone number engraved on the back of the ear tag.
Randy makes an incision in the sac.
He pulls the testicles through the incision.
And then he cuts the cords, adding a squirt of iodine for germ control.
With all the steps done, No. 445 rejoins his fellow "class"mates - none the worse for wear. (He's along the fence at the back - easy to see with his white face!)
After we got the process completed, we load the babies back in the trailer for the short ride back to their mothers.