Monday, May 30, 2011


Memorial Day and I’m still feeding cattle!  The rain has stopped, and now the new snow is visible at 6000’.

While I was putting out hay I noticed a calf off by himself with droopy ears.  After two days of rain and near-freezing weather it is surprising that he is the only one.  I hope I can save him.
Max is a cowdog, and he doesn’t like tractors any better than I do.  He’ll go along if I tell him to, but most days he stays in the house when I’m feeding big round bales.  When I returned for medicine however, he came to see what was next on my agenda.
“Do you want to help?” I asked.  His stump of a tail began to spin at 300 RPM and he started to bark.  He knows what comes next when I put on riding boots and chaps.
Most barn-raised horses are afraid of water, but it took only 50¢ worth of oats to sucker the remuda across the flooding Elges Creek.  I picked the buckskin mare, saddled her, and tucked some antibiotic in the saddle bags.
We found the calf a few hundred yards from where he had been lying earlier.  He didn’t move as we came up behind him and dropped a loop over his head.
I tied off the rope to the saddle horn, hitched the reins to the rope, and drew up 12cc of medication – 6 to give in the muscle, and 6 to give under the skin.  The calf had enough strength to jump up and bawl, but it was easy to throw him again for doctoring.
We made a big circle of the field to check for any more sick cattle, and everyone else seemed fine.  Then we made a pass through the handful of late calvers near the shed.

This latest storm seems to be passing, having dropped only an inch and a half of rain.  The colder temperatures higher up will slow the run-off.  The creek in front of the house is still running over the dam, but the volume is dropping.  The West Boulder River is not running as high as it will when the temperature rises and the snow in the mountains begins to melt.  The forecast is for warmer weather, and it looks like SUMMER IS AROUND THE CORNER.

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