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Palpating Cows
5 September 2008
Tropical Storm Hanna dumps a lot of water on the ranch. At right, the area around the barn is deep with water and mud. Below, the Brahman herd sinks deep into the mud in the pens.
Work goes on, whether it's storming or not. Left and below, the day riders, protected by yellow slickers, take the rain and mud into stride as they move the cows around the pens.
Above, Doctor Harvey, the veterinarian from Okeechobee, helps move the cattle down the chute.
Doctor Harvey applies lubricant prior to the internal examination of the cow to check for pregnancy. Learn more about pregnancy detection in cattle and just what the doctor is doing. The work being done today is to finish checking the herd for pregnancies started on 3 September.
The doctor makes the call if the cow is pregnant or not pregnant. A non-pregnant cow is called "open". The cow gets serviced from both ends. In the front, the cow gets a dose of dewormer shot down its throat.
A cow comes out of the chute and heads into a pen to join the rest of the herd. The horses stand patiently while the cattle are worked.
The last of the cows are checked, all the while detailed records are kept on each cow by Clyde Scent seated at the table. Below, cows marked by the spray painted orange dots are culled cows destined for the cattle auction. Here they are being rounded up to go down the chute again to be reexamined to see if any of them will get a second chance to stay on the ranch.
The first of the Brahman herd leave the pens and cross the road back to their pasture.
Florida Cattle Ranch by Bob Montanaro
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