When someone in ranching mentions fall cattle work, I wonder if people understand what that entails. I got to thinking while I was sitting on my horse, (my second best place to think) about how 'natural' we try to keep our calves before they go into a feed yard. Yes, we do give them shots to prevent certain infections that have devastated herds years ago. I think it's a lot like giving your own child childhood immunizations. The calves we raise are given 'childhood' immunizations when we brand them at about 4 - 6 weeks of age. Because we don't want our kids to suffer from MMR, polio and other diseases we have vaccine to prevent those. Same thing with calves - we are giving vaccine to prevent disease from making them sick. During the fall these same calves get a booster shot. We work very hard to help these calves get thru this process with as little stress as possible. We've spent a week dragging hose and sprinklers all over our corrals and a VERY large lot to help control the dust. When we started I told my rancher hubby that the one lonely sprinkler against the size of the lot looked impossible - however with perseverance we succeeded. Dust can cause calves to get sick, mostly lung trouble which would mean we would have to give them more vaccine which we work hard not to do. As soon as we were done on Tuesday we moved them back out on our meadows so they could find their moms again.
While these calves are on the ranch - they live natural with a little help from vaccine. Not much different than what our boys grew up doing. They got to enjoy living out in the country, camping, fishing and enjoying nature. Our boys were healthy because we cared enough to give them childhood vaccinations. We also care about our livestock and give them the same advantage of vaccine so they won't be sick either.
Well - my thoughts for today - we're working more cattle tomorrow so I will probably have more thoughts since I'll be back on my horse :)
Have a GREAT day!!!