Heifer is the term for young female bovines… though generally, those about to have their first calves. The girls we worked with today are just itty bitty heifers, about ten months old. They received their bangs vaccination today. I’ve gone into that in more detail other times, just type in bangs in my search bar, and it will pull up many posts on it.
These heifers are a year away from their first calf, and bangs vaccination helps deter the brucellosis bacteria. Brucellosis can cause a cow to abort her calf, which is bad news for cattle ranchers. Brucellosis can also be found in elk, sheep, pigs, dogs, goats, and buffalo (bison). No one wants to mess with it. The bacteria is zoonotic as well, meaning humans can catch it.
The Good Doctor is bent over, tattooing this heifer’s ear, while the boys run the chute, the special eartags, and wormer, and Johnny keeps track of numbers on his clipboard.
Thanks for all your questions! I’ll get to them soon!
Heifers go in.
Steers go by.
The calves were gathered from one place and trailed home to the corrals where we sorted them. This is the beginning of their separate lives… They both need to grow and gain weight, but for, obviously, different reasons.
We weighed the steers in groups, averaging their weight. This helps us track their nutrition and need for feed. I operated the scale in the remodeled scale house. I even brought down a little heater to make it more enjoyable! The little window helped tremendously with reading the numbers… before it was kind of a squint and get the right angle to read the engraved numbers. Now I can see out of the clean bigger window and gain light from the small window behind. It was fantastic!
Time for more questions… post them here… send a friend who’s never read this blog… ask that question you’ve meant to ask, but were too shy to! C’mon, folks!
We prepped the heifers for calving season…
Daniel, Brandon, and Tessia had it all well in hand.
I was charged with making a replacement ear tag… and by the time I got back, there were only a few left to do…
I’m not too worried… the next couple of weeks will be full of cow work!
Any questions for the next Q&A? Post them in the comment section!
You may think that every day on the ranch is … what? full of work, romantic, meaningful, fulfilling? Well, sometimes we’re just like everyone else, running to the store and going to doctor’s appointments! The boys, of course, handled that fulfilling job of checking the water in the badlands, while Vernon and I blasted to Cody for groceries and his first ever eye doctor appointment. That’s kind of hard to believe since I’ve worn glasses since high school, but, he hasn’t ever had his eyes checked!
But back to my first question… It’s been a long time since my last Q&A session… So, you faithful readers, get to ask me a question or two! There were only two times last year I held Q&A’s… horrid! I used to try to do that every month! Slacker.
Here’s your chance… got a question? Any question? Real ranch life? Antibiotic use? Sustainability? Photography? Wyoming? Country living? History?
Some of my all time popular posts have been my “Ten Things You May Not Know About…” insert subject here! Surely, you can give me an idea or two.
C’mon, I’ve been around for ten years, trying to answer that good ol’ question of “What do Ranchers Really Do?”… but that doesn’t mean you have been here for ten years… so ask away!
Sideline: Happy birthday to my Big Brother. I don’t think I’ve ever publicly done that before… but I just want him to know how extra-special he is to me… and I’m sending him a big virtual <<HUG>>, even if he isn’t fond of them in real life!