It is staying busy here at the Greet Ranch. The theme of this week is cow work. The haying has been put on pause even though some of the second cutting and oats are ready to go. They will have to wait just a little bit longer. We are herding most of the cattle from their spring breeding pastures to one pasture part way up the mountain. Once all the cows that we are taking are there, this larger herd will be taken up the mountain.
On the way by the corral we are revaccinating our calves. You may recall that we gave them a couple of different vaccinations at branding. We are giving a booster shot for one of them called Pyramid 5. This vaccine is used "as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by bovine rhinotracheitis virus, bovine virus diarrhea (Types I and II), bovine parainfluenza-3, bovine respiratory syncytial virus and Mannheimia haemolytica" (Livestock Concepts). Our primary purpose is the help prevent "summer pneumonia."
When cattle are on the mountain, they have the benefit of cooler weather and fewer bugs, but it does have the downfall of having less oxygen. I discussed this briefly in our first post titled "It's A Start!" We buy bulls that have good pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) scores to help with this, but calf health is an important factor in this as well.
It's a fairly quick process once they are in the corral. We sort the cows from the calves then run the calves up the shoot and have one person giving a the shot and another pour them with dewormer. Then they are let out and back to their mothers. Since they are in smaller herds for breeding this is a fairly easy process, but does add an extra morning of labor for each herd. Pneumonia can be very deadly and we have found the additional work to be worth it.
This week we are planning on vaccinating two more herds, helping a neighbor trail his cows, and the kids rodeo! That should be fun and entertaining. It's a big day for the little kids, but they have a good time. I hope you are finding some fun this week, too.
by Brandon Greet