Tag Archives: veterinarian

Working Cows and Calves Friday

The weather looks like it’s going to be perfect for pregnancy checking my cows and vaccinating late April through May born calves.  With daughter Jessica off teaching 1st grade this year in Hanoi, Vietnam, i’m short someone to do the tagging.  So that job gets shuffled between me and whoever is head catching the animals.  Not as efficient, but there is no one to pick up that job.  I do have most of the calf tags ready and most of the replacement tags for cows.


This peaceful video was taken Wednesday afternoon at my farm while i was up there working.  Happy cows and calves.

Pregnancy Check – 2018

Pregnancy check and calf vaccinations for fall 2018 are recorded history.  October 25, 2018 held on to become a pretty nice day.  Veterinarian was hour and half late, but with the changes i’d made in the corral which made it more user friendly, we still managed to finish before dark.  The changes shaved at least an hour off working time.

Results of preg check were far more favorable than i could have ever expected given the very hot, dry, droughty, short grass conditions.

135 cows and heifers were checked.

  • Open/Bred
  • 2/39 of the 2 year olds – 95% bred
  • 3/19 of the 3 years olds – 84% bred
  • 2/15 of the 4 year olds – 87% bred *
  • 0/1 of the 5 year olds – 100% bred
  • 0/6 of the 6 year olds – 100% bred
  • 0/20 of the 7 year olds – 100% bred
  • 1/21 of the 8 year olds – 95% bred
  • 2/8 of the 9 year olds – 75% bred
  • 0/1 of the 10 year olds – 100% bred
  • 0/1 of the 11 year olds – 100% bred
  • 0/1 of the 12 year olds – 100% bred
  • 0/3 of the 13 year olds – 100% bred

Totals – 10/135  = 7.4% open or 92.8% bred

THRILLED with this result even had there not been a drought and i hadn’t changed the breeding season.

Since i was going to Kenya this summer and because i cannot be out past the 15th of August to move the bulls away from the cows (because of severe ragweed allergy), i changed the breeding season from 17 July to 7 July and lopped off 12 days on the end.  In other words, last year breeding season was 17 july – 20 September, but this year is 6 July – 19 August.  Breeding season went from 65 days to 45 days.

According to gestation tables, this puts the first calves arriving April 14th and the last ones on May 28.  I do not like to start calving so early, but since the Corriente cows give such rich milk and combine with heat, humidity, and toxic endophyte fescue of late spring, it was a disaster the two years i calved them out in the mid-May to end of June time frame. (30% calf death loss due to scours despite major treatment).  Add in my allergies, i made the decision for my present season.  We can get some super nasty weather, however, in April, so time will tell.

Measuring for improvement



*(these two young cows raised the biggest calves – not sustainable for my operation)




The Bull is in the Freezer

On the 20th of July, as Allen was bringing round the last of 22 bulls for semen checking, it turned on him, knocked him into a board fence, then commenced to roll him around and punch down with its head.  The veterinarian and his man were in the pen lightning fast, beating the bull back and, son, Dallas, grabbed him under the arms and dragged him to safety.  I called 911 to no avail, so after being transferred  to another line and explaining the situation and state of emergency a second time – we gave up and Allen wanted to get in the back seat of my pickup for the 15 minute ride to local hospital.  Despite incredibly slow traffic through Laclede (that NEVER happens), I made a fast 95 mph drive once on the highway with lights flashing and honking my horn so no one would change lanes in front of me.  Met not a single copper!

Long story, but 7 broken ribs (badly broken), but no punctured internal organs and no bleeding was enough to send him on by ambulance to University hospital at Columbia, MO, where he was stabilized, scanned, and x-rayed then waited in ER for five hours before moving to a room.  He had surgery to insert drainage tubes out each lung which drained for several days, then spent about 5 days in ICU.  Still had one lung partially collapse, but on 29 July he was released.  Moving mighty slow and on pain meds, this will be a very long recovery, but it could have been so much worse.  If it had to happen, could not have been better timing since all three children are home until the 17th of August.  (almost a month long visit) with Jessica not leaving until the 24th.

John, who worked for Allen and his dad for 44 years and officially retired now nearly 2 years has jumped right back in to help tremendously with the work load.  I will be making major management changes to allow Dallas and me to manage until Allen is fully recovered which will be a minimum of 10 weeks, but perhaps even longer.  He needed to make changes before but wasn’t wanting to – this may make him accept that he’s no longer 25.

Be safe out there!


Huge thank you to Purdin Processing for coming out on short notice. My latent anger finds joy in killing this bull. Thanks to Jessica for taking extra fat to their shop so the ground beef won’t be too lean. Stay to the right! (recently returned from Ireland/Wales)
Explanation: As some of you know, Allen was beat up by this bull Thursday morning last. He is in ICU at University. Earlier he didn’t want me to tell anyone, but the news is out now. It’s been really rough week. Seven broken ribs and beat up lungs but chest tubes are out now. Deep breathing has improved a lot, but pain is not under control.
Jessica sorting steers from heifers as we prepare for selling calves on Monday at North Missouri Livestock Auction, Milan, MO.