Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cattle Working Day

Now that we only have 9 mama cows, the bull, two yearling steers and three younger calves, (15 all together) our cattle working days are not so difficult.  It used to be a really big deal to get over 30 animals through the chute, vaccinated, de-wormed, and other wise health checked in one day.  Today, it only took Ted, ClaireAnna and I a couple of hours and all went smoothly.  Well... except for a particular red bull calf that went nuts and thrashed himself silly in the squeeze chute.  I should have taken a video.  (He was completely unharmed.)  He's going straight to the sale barn at our earliest convenience!   Calving 2014 will start in late February and go through March or April.  We hope to have 9 healthy calves this year.  Our plan for the next two years is to keep all the heifers out of our current bull and raise them as our replacement heifers.  Our mama cows are all over age 6 and some are already 10 years old.  It's time to get some young blood in the herd and since we LOVE our bull and the heartiness and worm resistance he passes to his calves, his heifers should be perfect for us.

All ready to start. Two vaccinations and a de-wormer, 
three injections for each animal.
Claire did the vaccination, I did the Ivermectin Dewormer.

Ted is the cow whisperer.
 He goes into the catch pen and does his thing all by himself.
Magically, cows start walking into the chute one by one.
  If he encounters a stubborn cow,
sometimes Claire or I will go in with him,
 but today, he managed all by himself. 

Once we've got two or three in the chute,
Ted climbs out and helps us get them into the head gate, one at at time. 

Lacy, about to get squoze.  

Claire's an expert by now.  We couldn't do it without her! 
Samantha did not want to move down the chute so
 Claire took advantage of the situation to steal a ride.  

All done.  That wasn't so bad!  

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