November 28, 2010

Tagging and banding

Milk-feeding update: five of the six calves drank from a trough this morning!  Only the smallest calf, Baby (#11 with the ear tags), is still on the bottle.  He still has scours so he's also getting electrolytes in his bottle. Tonight, I'll be trying some of the scours/pneumonia medicated milk replacement for him and adding some of it into the regular milk replacement for the rest of the calves.

With eleven calves on the farm, it's becoming more and more difficult to keep track of which calf is which. When you are trying to keep them all healthy, it's especially important to be able to recognize which calf needs medication and which already received it.

So I bought an ear tag set.

My daughter, Sammy helped prepare the tag gun and sprayed the ears with iodine after I put the tags in.  I showed her how to tag the ears, then helped her tag one calf.  Most of the calves are still small enough that there wasn't much of a struggle to hold them for the piercing.

When tagging an ear, look at the inside of the ear for three lines of cartilage. I pierce between the 2nd and 3rd lines. After checking to be sure the backing is securely attached to the pin, Sammy gave the ear a squirt of iodine to help protect the wound.

After tagging all the calves, I decided to band the largest bull.  He was already on the ground for the ear tag so we grabbed the bander and now he's walking a little funny.

My daughter understands that in a few days, he'll no longer be a bull but will be a steer although she isn't exactly sure about all the specifics.  Even so, I'm proud to be raising a her on a farm and teaching her about animal care and hard work.

1 comment:

  1. My first visit to your blog, but I enjoyed the post. They is so much to learn from farm like and it is good your daughter has a fine, hardworking teacher. Cute calf too. Sorry, steer.