This past week we have been diligently working our fall born calves. When work our calves we do a few things. We run the mommas through and give them some vaccinations, we worm them and we make sure that you can read their tag numbers. Then we run the calves through and they all get their first set of vaccinations, wormed, their tags if anyone lost one and the bull calves get castrated (or as we call it cut.)
Most of my readers probably know why we do each of these things but I thought that I would share just incase you don’t know.
I’ll start with the easiest. We either retag or rewrite on tags that are hard to read on the cows and calves. Each cow is assigned a number and we keep detailed records on each cow, things such as their age, who their parents are, who they have been bred to in the past, how their calves turned out, if they had any trouble calving and any illness. The calves then wear a tag that has their mommas number on it and the name of their sire. The tags are like earrings and go in about the same way.
We worm all of our cattle so that we can kill any of the internal worms that they may have picked up when they were grazing. The worms rob the cows of a lot of valuable nutrients expecially heading into winter, they also can cause other problems like blocking intestines. Worming is just another way that we make sure that we are able to keep our cattle as healthy and as efficient as possible.
We vaccinate all of our cattle and our calves to make sure that our calves are protected from different viruses. When we vaccinate our cows as well we are able to keep our doctoring down which means that we have healthier and happier stock and we use much less antibiotics in their life. Some of the cattle that go through our program with good health care can make it their whole life without having any antibiotics. I think that it is also important to note that all of the American meat that makes it to the market has a withdrawal time from when the cows get vaccines as well as antibiotics so if your eating American beef they will have worked all of that out of their system before they are sent to the processing plants..
We work really hard to make it as stress free as possible. Most of the time they might be a little sore the next day just like we are after we get some shots and then they are back to playing full force.
We do all of this to make sure that we keep our herd happy and healthy. This makes us produce a healthier, safer and more sustainable product.