Britt Whitt: Tale of two appointments
Let me tell you the tale of two preg checking appointments. Within two days of each other, beautiful fall weather, a simple enough chore. Both took six hours to complete, but that’s about where the similarities stop. Story one goes like this, roughly 300 head of mother cows, June 1st bull in date, check for broken mouths and ship anything past calving in June. First 180 head work through the chute like a dream, only a few heifers that turned back and not a single cow missed in the head catch. Everyone is in good and happy spirits, we break for a leisurely lunch that’s one of those want to eat until gluttony sets in treats. Not just ham, but steamed vegetables, scalloped potatoes (the real kind), rolls, and finished out with chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. After coffee is done and lunch a little settled we head back out. The next bunch of cows, maybe a little more wily, but still nothing missed. The sorting to the cull pen works flawlessly 99 percent of the time with only a few minor snafus. Everything works like a well oiled machine, the head catch operator has the sense of humor of a good standup comedian, the chute help is on top of it, my husband is doing great as my vet tech, the dogs are well behaved, and the weather is wonderful. We finish up, shut the gates, pick up trash and head to the ranch house to drink a leisurely beer and visit.
Story two goes like this…Fifty head of cows and heifers to preg check, July 15th, wait maybe the 20th, honestly what does it matter you know nothing is getting shipped. First five head take two hours to get into the chute, finally after a sorting stick is flung like a lawn dart, help does get called. Wife may have at one point screamed across the corral “are you “expletive” kidding me” at husband prior to throwing lawn dart. One more person shows up, wife now has to be slightly more polite because she doesn’t want the neighbors thinking she abuses her husband. Cows work about 10 percent better until the pen gets some pressure taken off of it. Next twenty head fly through in great form, not a cow missed! There is no cull pen, everything is carefully notated by husband who is also head catching. Chute help is the wife who is tailing every cow individually up the chute, well, their idea of a chute. There is no lunch, maybe a year old granola bar that’s rattled around through calving shmoo and empty vaccine bottles on the floor boards. Head catch operator is trying to have a sense of humor, the chute help is over it, no vet tech, and the dogs are certainly not well behaved, but hey the weather is wonderful. We finally finish up and I drag myself and my trash back to the shop.
I drag myself and my trash back to MY shop. That’s right those are our cows after all. Trust me, no vet’s husband, kids, dogs, or cows were hurt in the making of this little production. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Yeah, but you’ll cuss some. Keep doing what you love folks, it’s worth it, the next day.
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