Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do Cows Bite?

I have spent my entire life thinking cows can't bite.  In fact what gave me the idea for this blog was Emily who also blogs from a Dairy Farm in Minnesota.  I met Emily in Chicago at the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance gathering. She said her number one hit on her blog was Do Cows Bite?  I had to check this out.  This is what I believed up until last summer.

Last summer it was hot in Nebraska, this is from a girl that does not get hot.  The drought in Texas was causing unusual cattle movement in the United States.  People were selling off their calves earlier than ever before.  As a new feed yard we took the opportunity to fill some pens.  When cattle are shipped to the feed yard you only get the notice from the time the Auctioneer says sold in Whereeverville, USA until the cattle are loaded and shipped.  This time is usually less than 24 hours.  Jake and I thought it best to work cattle late in the evening, because of the heat.  However, on this particular evening we needed to round up some help.  One of my teacher friends and her husband offered and we told them we would start at 8:30PM.  I got busy, made dinner and gave the girls a bath.  They spent the evening in the SUV watching their favorite movies and eating snacks outside the vet shack.  They thought it was a Drive In, we thought it was a cheap babysitter.  They were asleep before we finished.

Safe-Guard Drench GunAs the third calf was loaded in the shoot.  Jake was explaining how to put the dewormer gun into the  calf's mouth.  Barb was asking exactly where the gun went, just to make sure she was doing it correctly.  Jake thought it would be a teachable moment and put his finger in the calf's mouth to show her.  The calf shut it's mouth and Jake yelled.  I was back in the tub loading cattle and immediately thought he had given himself a shot of Micotil.  The Micotil shot we were giving these particular cattle is lethal to humans and if you shoot yourself you could die.  I really don't like handling this drug and worry about Jake and our help, when we do.  Fortunately it wasn't that, but Jake was bleeding really badly and we went to the house to check out the severity.  Although we only lived minutes from the hospital, Jake was thinking he was going to try to make it through the next 90 head.  I told him - NO.  I said, if you get something in that, it could really get infected.  He left for the ER - where they had to call in the doctor.  For my non rural readers - yes I said call in a doctor to the ER.  I was stunned.  At any rate Jake was still back within an hour with 5 stitches.

My conclusion and rebuttal for Emily is cows don't bite you.  BUT I wouldn't recommend putting my fingers in their mouth.

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