A day in the life of Sackmann Cattle Company.

The pictures, stories, and crazy times in our world.

May 30, 2015

Weigh & Measure

When we had our first child I was a little surprised how often the Dr. wanted to see our little bundle of joy (she's not little any more by the way - she's going to be looking me in the eye WAY to soon!).

I shouldn't have been surprised.  We have "well calf checks" pretty often as well!

The last couple of weeks we've had all the fall pairs through the corral and chute for their pre-weaning vaccinations.  Yes, we vaccinate cattle (& pigs) just like we vaccinate our kids.  Vaccinations are for specific diseases that we hope they aren't exposed to, but if they are the results can be deadly.  Besides vaccinations, all the calves also get weighed, measured for hip height and given a disposition score.  Just like kids & for basically the same reasons.  We want to make sure the calves are growing as expected and have an idea of how tall they will be when mature.  Think of disposition as the Autism checklist I've filled out at the last two visits for our youngest.  We are looking for signs of cattle that may be hard to manage.  At our place if a calf (or cow) has multiple incidents of bad behavior/disposition they will not be asked to remain in our pastures.  Disposition is passed from parent to calf at a very predictable rate. 

As for the cows they also get weighed, measured, disposition noted and a body condition score given (think BMI) in addition to vaccinations (boosters).  After everyone has their time across the scale we "kick" (no boots or feet involved, just a little farm lingo) the pairs (cow & calf) back out on pasture.  This allows the vaccinations to be more effective since the calves are under very minimal stress when they are still nursing mom.  At weaning the calves will get vaccination boosters and whenever possible we fenceline wean - meaning the cows and calves share a common fence.  This procedure minimizes the stress for both cow and calf.  With fenceline weaning we rarely see a decrease in eating and minimal bawling - both signs of distress in calves. 

Nothing like taking cattle to a new, green pasture and watching them all get to eating.  This is one of our non-irrigated pastures.

With some very unpredictable weather in Eastern WA & OR the last couple weeks we've had some pretty awesome colors/clouds in our sky's at night.  Our view while finishing up chores last night. 

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