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Horn fly control, cattle drive, feeding, weighing, chopping, selling, tagging
26 September 2008
page two of three
Will Barker and Davie Pittman look on while Ralph Sexton operates the cattle scale. With the heifers out of the way, the bull calves are weighed in groups to assess how well they are growing. The bull calves are weighed in groups of four to ten depending on how easily they cooperate getting into the scale. The average of their overall weight will be compared with when they were weighed at weaning.
Like the heifers, the bull calves are doused with insecticide for relief against horn flies, then are herded out the back gate of the cattle pens into the pasture.
Good pasture management demands an active program of mechanical intervention.
Back on the tractor, Brandon tows the roller chopper, which, besides destroying unwanted weeds, opens up the soil for better aeration.
The roller chopper consists of two extremely heavy drums with blades that cut down into the earth as they roll along.
Back at the cattle pens, the rare find of a sick cow requires an injection to set things right.
Antibiotics are also administered in the form of a bolus, or very large, cow-sized pill. The bolus is placed on the end of a metal rod that is inserted down the cow's throat.
Davie Pittman holds the cow's head up while Sean inserts the metal rod containing the bolus on the end down the cow's throat. Four older cows are selected for sale at a discounted price because of their age. These cows, while still able to bear young, are sold to a buyer establishing a herd.
The sale cows are loaded onto the trailer for transport to their new home.
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Florida Cattle Ranch by Bob Montanaro
All contents copyright Lunar Cabin