I have to share some of my black and white photos from the other day…
Daniel runs the vet’s hydraulic squeeze chute. The cow walks in and is held still while the vet examines her to see if she’s pregnant.
The Good Doctor, dressed with white protective coveralls, lubricates and inserts his hand to feel for a fetal head. By its size he can tell its age and predict its birth date.
Using hair bleach, the Good Doctor gives her a “G” on her side to indicate she is pregnant and its location is her relative due date. Closer to her shoulder means early, middle is the middle(!), and a mark by her hip means late. Most people simply get a vertical line… we get the G! Two dots on her hips would mean she’s “open” and not pregnant.
Megan runs the paperwork. A spreadsheet with each cow’s number is there, after reading the cow’s eartag number, the doctor will yell out “April 5” or “11 March” or whatever for that cow. Megan will write it next to the cow’s ID number. You have to be on top of your game, since you’ll write 4-5 or 3-11 next to another 3 digit ID number! After doing it for a while, I go bonkers!
Older cows must have their teeth checked. Cows only have 8 teeth on their bottom front jaw. They have no upper front teeth, simply a hard palate. They use their tongue and lower teeth to rip the grass. They do have molars, and can regurgitate and re-chew the grass many times to get all the nutrients they can. That’s called chewing their cud. Ten year old cows will start losing their front teeth. We will sell them as they become “broken mouthed” as they lose condition getting skinnier.
Pregnant cows are wormed with Ivermectin (gasp!) (just kidding- we’ve used it for years) and given a shot of vaccine. Brandon is giving her a shot, Daniel does the pour on wormer.
There’s not much for Bravo to do… just sit in the shade of the vet’s pickup and look pitiful.Find me here!