And so the last two weeks of August and the first part of September have been 'gathering' time at the ranch. When our calves are weaned from their mothers in early October it is important that the calves have had their vaccination shots and titers for immunity have had time to build in their system prior to them being weaned. So we gather all the pairs, give the calves their vaccinations and kick them back out to grass until October.
In addition to gathering pairs, we also gather all of our heifer pastures during this time and Dr. Hovde of High Plains Vet Clinic in Sidney, MT comes out and ultrasounds them so we know their 'due' date and if they are having a boy or a girl (heifer or bull) calf next spring. We market bred heifers for 'replacement' purposes to other cattlemen in addition to our replacements for our own cow herd.
One of the contracts we held this year was for 20 of our bred heifers to be delivered to Missouri River Feeders north of Mandan by September 7th to begin their quarantine period before being flown to the country of Kazakhstan (KAZ).
In the process of riding the pasture where the 'KAZ' heifers were to gather them, my dad and Pete's dad, Lyle reported back that our good neighbor Perry Ecker had a bull in with the heifers that had foot rot. Foot rot is a bacteria infection that gets into the foot of cattle usually through cracks in their hoof wall. So, the big bull couldn't walk and he was in a place where pickup and stock trailer could not access him due to the rough terrain.
It was time for creativity. The next morning, Dr. Pedersen and Dr. Gullickson from the Watford City Vet Clinic came out to meet Dr. Hovde and pick his brain on the fine art of sexing and aging embryos through ultrasound technology. When I told Dr. Pedersen about the bull, he was up for the field trip with his tranquilizer gun and his portable field medicine box.
The missions crew members: Selkirk Pedersen (Dr. Pedersen's son), Dr. Pedersen, Lee Murphy (my brother-in-law who provided these photos as I did not participate), Lyle Best and Kurt Hovet (the scouts and guides)....
|After getting close with 4-wheelers and a big red, packing in the rest of the way to the sick bull.|
|Loading the tranquilizer gun and treatment syringes.|
|Selkirk lining out the 18 yard shot on Dr. Pedersen's soon to be patient.|
|Dr Dare HOPING the tranquilizer is fully effective.|
|It worked. Multiple injection sites were required due to the large dosage (this 3 year old bull weighs over a ton) for a treatment plan that provides pain and inflammation relief, long term bacterial and short term bacterial control.|
|Taking a temperature of the big bull.|
|Packing up and preparing the head back home.|
My hat's off to Dr. Dare and his side kick! Glad to have them in the community!