Pregging & Preconditioning.
The ranch is and has been pregging all of the spring cows this past week, and will wrap up next week. Cows are preg checked so see if they are pregnant and how far along they are. A cow earns her keep by having a calf each year, so if she isn't pregnant she gets sold. So it's important to know which cows are pregnant and which ones aren't.
A lot of ranches might preg as a cow is closer to calving, but Double M likes to preg early so that cows can be grouped by how far along they are. Double M runs their cows in various groups, and usually pregs a group or two each day. Most of the groups are grouped by age, but some are grouped by whether or not they have an AI calf, or were AI'ed themselves, or their color. So as each group is pregged, the cows that are open (not pregnant) and short bred (bred 45 days or less) are sorted out of their main group and put in a separate group that only contains opens and short breds. The ranch does this, so that when it comes time to make culling decisions, you don't have to go back and sort out individual cows out of multiple groups. They're all in one spot and in one field. It's a lot easier to sort a cow off in the working facilities, and find & sort her calf off in the pens then to sort and pair a group off out of an open field.
Last Saturday we pregged the R3's (I have no clue what R3 means....but the crew at the ranch does, and that's all that matters, lol) at the white corrals. Hermiston Vet Clinic is the vet Double M uses, but since there are so many cows Clint wasn't able to schedule them for all of the days he needed a vet there. Dr. Don Peters helps fill in at the ranch, so he was there in Saturday to help us preg.
Thanks for taking a Saturday morning to help us Don!
Before the cows were pregged though, all of their calves got preconditioned. The calves will be weaned in the middle of September, so now is a great time to be giving them their first round of vaccines (8-way and 5-way), oral wormer, pour on for fly control and a dose of Ralgro growth promotant for the steers and non-replacement heifers. Each calf's individual weight is also recorded.
I was in charge of writing down the weights of each calf as they came through the chute and dosing the steers with Ralgro. Clint ran the chute, gave the vaccines and handled the wormer and pour on. Jesse and Jack brought the calves up the alley and to the chute.
Teagan was the official entertainer and photographer.
I think she's going to give me a run for my money in the photography department! :)
We just did about 60 pairs last Saturday, so we were done by lunch. The crew has been and will continue to preg and precondition every day this week, and will continue through most of next week until all of the spring pairs are processed. Then the cycle will start all over again in mid-September as the spring calves are weaned.
Ranching is a cycle - and while this cycle means a lot of work and early mornings for the guys, the time spent pregging cows and preconditioning calves should pay off in the end.
Success is reason enough!