Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall at Double M

There are a few ways we know fall has arrived.....

Mornings are chilly with a tinge of frost on the ground.
Fog slowly lifts off of the meadows as sun breaks through the horizon.
Afternoons are warm - sometimes really warm - and your vest and sweatshirt gives way to the layering t-shirt you have on underneath.
Calves fill the feedlot as truck after truck deliver weaned, sometimes bawling, calves.
And Clint's medicine bucket gets a lot of use as he doctors freshly weaned heifers and baby calves who don't exactly love the 40 degree swings in temperature.

Let's face it - there aren't many calves that do well in 40 degree temp swings.

I've had a lot more time to take pictures this past week at the ranch (the gov't is still shutdown) and I've had a lot of time to get the house ready for fall.  I was joking that my house is probably the cleanest it's ever been....but it's the truth.  I even dusted.  I know - amazing huh?  It's also been nice to be home because I've been able to help Clint thru the day do some other things at the ranch that he can do by himself, but are easier when two people are there.





Clint rides pens at the heifer feedlot each day, and watches for signs of sickness. 
Cattle that are off by themselves, have a down ear, a hanging head, coughing or fast breathing are some signs he'll look for, among others.  He pulls or sorts off the cattle he thinks are sick, and brings them to pens in the corral.  Once he's done pulling, cattle are brought to the chute were he uses a thermometer to temp each heifer.  He does this to make sure that they are sick (so he's not medicating something that doesn't need it) and to determine which medication to use (the higher the temperature, the stronger the medication he'll use).  Once they're treated, and the treatment is recorded, they're chalked somewhere on their body (a stripe on the head means they were treated Sunday, a stripe on the left rib means Tuesday, etc.) so that the next day when he rides pens if a calf looks sick again, he'll know what day they were pulled and decide if they need to be re-pulled, or if they need another day to let the medication work.  He tries to catch sick calves early, for a lot of reasons.  Number one, it's the humane thing to do.  Also, cattle that feel well eat better and grow better, and if you catch sickness early it's usually easier and less expensive medication-wise to help a calf feel better.







This is what we like to see - healthy cattle up at the bunk!


Hopefully we get to enjoy this fall weather for a while before winter settles in!

1 comment:

  1. We had winter weather this weekend and now tonight we had football that we could wear no coats to. Crazy weather.

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