Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Day we BANGs Vaccinated the Calves

The temperatures have been pretty low lately.  Like one day it was -18 at 10:00 am.  Yuck!  Of course that would be the day that The Rancher had to bring in a few stragglers from Black Pine.  And move the cows to new pasture.  And bring the heifers to the ranch to be vaccinated.  I would say that he came in with cold cheeks but for once that silly beard of his might be worth having (can you tell I'm not a fan?).

And of course the next coldest day was when we BANGs vaccinated the calves.  I'll admit that on those cold days I'm a lot more willing to stay home to do the dishes and laundry, but sometimes I just gotta pull on my big girl boots and get to work.

You might be wondering why we just didn't wait to do it until a warmer day.  Ya that's what I thought too.  The Rancher told me that besides the fact that we would have to wait until spring if we used that logic, we had already scheduled the vet to be out here.

Most vaccines we just do ourselves, but the BANGs vaccination is state  regulated and can only be administered by a vet.  Brucellosis, the disease this vaccinations prevents, causes abortions in cows.  The bacteria remains in the after birth, which can infect other animals or even humans if they come in contact with it.  The bacteria also remains in the reproductive tract and can spread through a herd easily if a bull contracts and the breeds other cows.  Its pretty serious stuff, hence all the regulations.  As part of those regulations all heifers are required to get the vaccine from a vet.

 



 
 To mark that these heifers have been BANGs vaccinated, they are given a special ear clip and a tattoo by the vet.  Remember when I was saying it was cold?  It was so cold that the tattoo ink was freezing on the brush.  It took a little spit to keep it spreadable..


 
Look at the steam coming off the calves!  Its stinking cold!

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