It was an easy gather this morning. Bob’s presence on this part of the ranch while irrigating and feeding with his Kubota has made these gentle heifer calves even more trusting and curious. I arrived by Kubota headlights with a couple of bales of hay ahead of the cowboys, Robbin, Terri, Allie and Bob, and had the bunch mostly gathered when the horses arrived to escort them to the corrals.
Currently, female cattle can not leave California unless they have been vaccinated for Brucellosis, also known as Bang’s Disease. As a matter of course, we vaccinate our heifer calves to enhance the health of our cattle and the herds of our community and State. Hence, vaccinated cattle are more salable and presumably more valuable.
The presence of brucellosis in free-ranging bison and elk in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA), Yellowstone National Parkland, Grand Teton National Park and the area around those parks, threatens the brucellosis status of the surrounding States and the health of their cattle and domestic bison herds, which are free of the disease. (Brucellosis link above)
The calves must be vaccinated by an accredited veterinarian who also places a tattoo inside the calf’s right ear and an individual metal ID tag in the same ear. Because we want to limit the stress of cattle-handling on the calves, we use this procedure to revaccinate, a booster to help protect against respiratory and clostridial problems. And while in the squeeze chute they also get a dewormer and a shot of minerals.
Robbin and I are placing a patch over an eye to keep the sunlight out to reduce the pain and to help it heal with a little Neosporin.
And in this instance, the calf got a shot of antibiotics to speed the eye’s recovery.
Dr. Ken Fiser applying the individual metal ID tag.
Lots of hands and lots of syringes and applicators with less than a minute in the Silencer hydraulic chute.
All went smoothly, the processed heifer calves on hay and no worse for wear. What a crew–what a day!