As I sit here using my husband's teeny tiny little netbook to add a blog entrry to my page, I sip my coffee and reflect on our past cattle working experiences here at Hollman Farms.
. Just 2 weeks ago we vaccinated the calves and gave the cows injectable wormer. My husband is always so eager to get the show on the road ASAP and there were a few things not quite in order when we began. I was completely flustered and annoyed with vaccinating and couldnt figure out why. 4 shots for each calf and 1 for each cow. Logical, simple and I had it all laid out on my vaccinating table. We got everything vaccinated and wormed and the next evening my husband asked me the most frightening question I ever was asked. "Did you vaccinate the calves with the Bovishield?" ... Silence on my end followed by a lot of french and "Yes." To which he added, "I thought you had to wait until they were off the cow?!" I felt so ill I wanted to throw up. Cows aborting their unborn calves ALL MY FAULT. Our 2012 calf crop wiped out. I could hardly stomach 2011s calf crop with the bad weather and scours. I called our vet, Dr Matt, and he had told me, "It will be all respiratory infection. Expect the cows to abort in 7-10 days. You could get lucky and lose none all of the way up to 40%. I suggest you call Pfizer and see what they say about it. Maybe its not as bad as you think." All I could think was I let my husband down and crushed our dreams into a million little pieces. Dr Matt, knowing how much we care about the health of our cattle called Pfizer for me and talked to their head vet on call. He told Dr Matt that the label is printed as it is (which was in a nutshell: do not administer to calves still on cows that havent been previously vaccinated with Bovishield. May cause aborted calves.) for legal reasons. Pfizer didnt want to pay for the research to back the product and its labeled as such for legalities. He continued to inform Dr Matt that thousands of cows which were not vaccinated previously and still nursing calves that were vaccinated in their testing of Bovishield had NEVER aborted. I could've kissed Dr Matt when he relayed the good news.
Apparently, I need a notebook for my vaccinating table. Lesson learned...
A few other things to remember when working cattle:
Just because YOU know a 500 lb calf will not fit through the little side door you open to give vaccinations doesn't mean HE knows it.
Never put the kick bar directly behind the cow right off... they back up fast! It will definitely leave you counting your fingers!