I went with Joe yesterday to help him tag some fall babies. And really, I didn’t actually help. I just rode along to take some pictures.
I love these cute little guys!
But I thought I would show you how we process our baby calves…
First, Joe ropes the baby. Can you see it hiding? The mama sure knows where it is.
Now, I would like to show you a picture of Joe roping it from his horse which is how we did it for years, but Joe has decided it’s easier to take the Kubota, so he takes all the fun out of it. Lol.
Anyway, after he ropes the calf, he walks back to the Kubota and gets what he needs to process the baby.
First he tags it. See its nice, new, yellow tag? That tag will be that calf’s number for the rest of its life. It will be the number we tattoo it with as well as freeze brand it with when it gets older. You can see his mama’s tag and brand and one day, he will have his own number branded on his side.
I think the cows like their brands. I often see them out in the pasture commenting on how nice they look.
Next they get a vaccine. This shot is to prevent them from getting Blackleg…which can be lethal.
After they get vaccinated, they get weighed. As we’re a registered operation, we collect all sorts of data on our cattle. And a birth weight is one of the first data points we record. As well as the birth date, the sex of the calf, and the sire and dam.
And once all that data is recorded, the baby is turned loose and runs happily along with its mama. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes and is far less stressful on the cow and calf than it is on this mama when she has to take her kiddos in for vaccinations. I wish my doctor would come to my house, vaccinate my kids while they’re watching TV and then go merrily on his way. It would sure save those embarrassing doctor visit’s when my sweet babies cry and wail and occasionally grab hold of the door frame to keep from entering the doctor’s office in the hopes of avoiding a shot…whew. Let’s not revisit that, shall we?
So anyway, Joe goes from pasture to pasture, processing the new babies. He does this every day during the calving seasons and does a pretty darn good job.
It helps that he has his lovely assistant who keeps him on the straight and narrow.
Oh, and I thought I would show you this picture. I’m pretty sure Joe was not impressed when I said, “Oops. I didn’t get that picture of you weighing the calf. Can you do it again?”
And it’s kind of funny to note that Joe’s look and the mama cow’s look are quite similar…
Have a great weekend!