12 November 17 – Sunny and highs in the upper 40’s
We seemed to have made it through the cloudy days and the sun is shining again on the Holler.
The snow has mostly melted and while we are still breaking ice off of the water tanks in the mornings, the chores have become a muddy, poopy mess.
All the animals seem to be enjoying the warm-up, though. The cows are back to grazing and we have cut back on the supplemental hay as there is plenty of grass left for them to get. The calfies are still eating creep and should be reunited with the rest of the herd in the next 10 days or so. Since they are getting old enough, Dave and I decided to take them out for shots, I mean their six month vaccinations!
First we hooked up the truck to the trailer. Then we corralled the calves and put a little gentle pressure on them to load up. They were so sweet and easy going, and they got in the trailer in no time.
We wanted to be sure the mother cows would not chase us up the road and across the cattle guard, so Cowboy Dave and Linda lured the rest of the herd away from the road with cow cake. Those cows are definitely in love with cow cake and one shake of the bucket brought them all stampeding across the pasture and down over a hill where they couldn’t see or hear the trailer loaded up with their babies.
Then, when the moms were not looking, we drove up the road with their babies and snuck out for the trip to the vet. The babies barely even mooed in the trailer; I think they were scared.
Dave and I made it to Edgemont without incident. We unloaded the calves in the vet’s corral and we had to push them one by one into the shoot where they received their vaccines. Most of the girls were easy to move around, but the last two heifers refused to go through the shoot. The vet had to get out the “hot stick” and give them a little electric buzz to get them moving.
The state of South Dakota and most states require cattle to be inoculated with a “BANGS” vaccine. This is to prevent brucellosis which is a super contagious and deadly disease. They administer it to young calves not less than 2 months because their immune system is not ready for it until that time.
We were quite amazed that everyone was vaccinated and reloaded onto the trailer in about 45 minutes. Even more amazing is that it only cost $34 for five heifers. Cows are definitely cheaper than dogs when it comes to vet visits!
We drove back home and unloaded the calves back into the corral. Then we grabbed the hose and spent more time hosing out all the poo from the trailer than it took to even go to the vet. The calves were exhausted from their big adventure and one even decided to lay down to eat.
The rest were rewarded with some creep and they were hungry!
And that was an exciting Friday here in the Southern Black Hills.
On Saturday, after morning chores, our friend Matt came out to do some welding work on the tractor implements. These rings were added to the snow plow and grapple to keep the hydraulic hoses from getting squished during operation.
While the guys were working on the tractor, the nosey bovines decided they would have to come hang out and see what was going on.
Pilot Dave and I then took the rest of the afternoon off and went to Hill City to celebrate Veterans’ Day. We had a flight of beer at the Miner Brewing Company, and we brought home a growler of their seasonal spiced ale called “Light Weight Sweater.” Personally, I don’t think the name is too compelling, but the beer is really good!
Then we went to the Hill City Diner for a late lunch. Due to the time change, it is getting dark around 4:30 so late lunch turned into early dinner. Dang daylight standard time! It has me falling asleep around 8PM and this morning I am writing this at 4:30 AM!
Anyway, we are really grateful that our trip to the vet with a trailer load of heifers was successful. We are also really grateful to live in the United States……God Bless all the veterans and their families.