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Friday, May 29, 2015

Moisture = Foot Rot

The entire month of May all of our blog posts have been about rain, flooding and mud.
Today's blog post will be no different, although it will have a bit of a twist.

May rainfall totals, for the state of Oklahoma, should hit 20" or more.
That is more than half of the states normal yearly average precipitation combined!
Our average yearly precipitation is around 35 inches.

The past 4 years, Oklahoma has experienced severe drought.
So much drought that the 2014 Federal Farm Bill provided a forage disaster program for ranchers.

With all this rain, it is safe to say Oklahoma is no longer in drought conditions.
Farmers wheat and canola fields should be ripening for harvest.
Which they are, but many are also flooded with water.

The cattle have been walking in water soaked fields for up to three weeks now.
They go to higher ground, but the pastures are still water logged.

This brings us to today's main subject.

Foot Rot is a hoof infection.
As the name suggests, it rots away the hoof of the animal.
Most commonly, the infection starts between the toes.
It can be extremely painful and contagious.

The main cause of Foot Rot is moisture, humidity and high temperatures.
This causes the hoof to soften, giving the possibility to damage the area and allow bacteria to infect the foot.

Foot Rot is easy to identify.
The rancher will see a limp in the animal, a swollen foot, and in severe cases, a foul smell.
The swelling will be within 24 hours of the infection.

We see our cattle daily, therefore we are able to detect Foot Rot early and start treatment.
See this girl...
She has Foot Rot!
As do two others in this pasture

Treatment of Foot Rot is with an antibiotic.

Here is where it gets a bit tricky...
There is so much water in the pastures, a truck and trailer would get stuck.
Remember this post?

In these conditions, the best way to treat our cattle is with a dart gun.
We could call in all of Flower Boy's cowboy friends, have the wives and kids seated on tailgates, and have our own form of a ranch rodeo!
Although it might be the best entertainment any of us have had in a while, there is no need in it when one has a dart gun.

The dart gun looks like a normal gun.
   It shoots the antibiotic filled dart with a blank .22 bullet.

Drewman pulls the antibiotic into a syringe.

Flower Boy loads the dart with the antibiotic.

It is a team effort.
Each dart only holds 10cc of antibiotic.
A 1000 pound cow will require more than one dart shot of antibiotic.

The darts have a small barb, on them, to stick into the muscle of the animal.
When the dart hits the animal, a CO2 cartridge in the dart compresses the antibiotic into the animal, thus administering the shot.

Flower Boy takes aim.
He fires the shot.
If you look closely, just above the calf with the orange ear tag, you can see the dart moving through the air.
(I just love my big girl camera!)

It is a direct hit!
With Flower Boy's military and police background, there was no doubt.

A total of three dart shots went to this cow.
By the third shot, she was not a happy momma!

Another momma cow received two dart shots and a smaller bull calf received one.
 We will keep close watch on those that were given antibiotics, as well as others that may show signs of Foot Rot.
There may have to be more antibiotics given.

Are you dealing with moisture in your area?
Do you have other health problems within your herd?

We would love to hear from you!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Something About That Arc

Rancher Girl

Monday, May 18, 2015

Moo Cow Monday ~ Dealing With The Mud

If you follow us on social media, you have read our catch phrase "If you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud!"

The past two weeks we have received over 12 inches of rain, we are dealing with the mud.
I have written before, "You will never hear us complain about rain."
The ponds are full and the grass is growing lush green!

Shall we discuss this photo?
Royal, Oh Royal, Oh Royal!
How I do love her!
Let's just say she provided a break, in the creation of Phase 2 of the working pens, for our enjoyment.

Let's not discuss the pen holding the bulls!
As you can see the bulls are up to their knees in mud.
Thankfully this is the lower end of the pen.
They do have a dry spot at the high end.

After the rain stopped, work continued on the working pens.
 Note the spool, between the weld trailer and the sweep tub.
It is keeping the welding leads out of the mud.

June 1st is fast approaching.
That is the magic date to work the Rockin' B cattle.
Phase 2 of the pens must be done to work the cattle properly.

This photo is the end of the alley.
The cattle will go down the alley and into the sweep pen.

The guys have placed braces over each gate entry.
This makes for a more stable entrance, therefore the gate won't sag or drag. 
The sign on the ladder only says "no standing on the top step"...

Flower Boy is checking to see that Drewman blew a hole large enough for the gate pin.
Although it may not look difficult, the proper size hole is very important when it comes to gate pins.
If the hole is to large the gate pin has room to "play" or wiggle, allowing it to bend and bow when the gate is hung.

Lots of work left to completion, but we are getting there.

 I should say, the guys are getting there...
As I got the mower stuck!
Hey, I provided them with another break as they had to come pull it out of the mud.

You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Spring Rains

Rancher Girl