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Friday, May 2, 2014

A Sick Momma

We have a momma cow that is sick.
Her ear tag number is 41.

How do we know she is sick?
Ranchers can just tell.
We see our cattle daily and pay very close attention to their body condition, temperament and actions.
We know the way they walk, moo, beller and interact with the herd.
When something isn't right it's like the sun hitting a mirror.
It sticks out and we notice.

The key is early detection and treatment.
You can lose a cow in a few days if you aren't paying attention to them.
This is why Flower Boy spends the time he does with our cattle.

It was Tuesday evening.
We pulled into one of the pastures.
Babies were running everywhere.
(Those little suckers are hard to count!)

One of the cows was lagging behind and slow coming to the truck.
She walked with her head down and her ears were drooped down.
 (A clear sign, this girl is not feeling well.)

Cattle can get sick.
It is rare to have a sick momma this time of year.
Normally it is the baby calves that have to be roped and caught in the spring.
They get too much protein from momma's rich milk, with all the green grass coming on in the pastures.

The cows tend to thrive in the spring.
 Putting on weight.
 Getting fat and sassy.
Preparing for the bulls to be turned in for breeding season.

We don't really know why number 41 isn't feeling well.
Her baby is running, jumping and frolicking with the other babies.
She has a nice full bag to feed her baby.
 Maybe she is just feeling a bit stressed or overworked.

Flower Boy and I agreed we needed to pen her and give her a shot.

The shot isn't just a little booster shot like we would get for seasonal allergies.
This shot is 20cc!
She got 2 of them!

Rub in the medicine to lessen the risk of a knot.

  This set of pens doesn't have a cattle chute.
In a few weeks, we will work the cattle in this pasture.
We will bring over the chute then.
For now, we just ran 41 down the alley, placed a post behind her (so she couldn't back up) and tended to her.
Our cattle aren't wild and crazy, so this was quick and easy to do.

On a side note...
I am thankful Flower Boy doesn't allow wild and crazy in our herd.
He knows I am always going to be in the pen with them.
He does what he can to keep the cattle calm and easy going.
We don't push, prod or poke our cattle.
Slow and steady is always better when working cattle.

While we had 41 in the alley, we gave her a boost of wormer too.
The other momma's will get wormer when we work them soon.
41 will get wormed again, with them.

There is always an audience when we pen just one cow.
I'm guessing they are wondering what we are doing.
Or maybe, they are thinking
"Girls, I glad I'm not sick!
Did you SEE the size of those shots?!?!"

Momma number 41 was turned out with the herd and her baby.
We will pen her again this evening or tomorrow for another shot, if needed.

Here is to praying her head and ears are up, when we pull into the pasture, this evening.

Rancher Girl


  1. This is wonderful! I will definitely enjoy reading about ranch life! A lifelong goal to perhaps find my way in that direction and owning my own land!

    1. massrie,

      Thanks for stopping by!
      We are glad to have you join us!