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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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April 8, 2010

The Big Mooove

It is the time of year again where our Natural Beef cattle need to be vaccinated and are then moved up the hill to 800 acres of paradise. There are 44 pairs (44 mamas & 44 calves), this year, that are moved from the acreage down on the flat, where they have been since September, ready to make the trek up to the very top of the hill behind Stafford Lake. The calves are vaccinated for pink eye, clostridium chauvoei, CI. septicum, CI. sordillii, CI. novyi Type B, CI. haemolyticum. The mama's vaccination covers Bovine Rhinotracheitis, virus darrhea, Parainfluenza-3-Respiratory, Leptospira, Syncytial Virus Vaccine, Canicola-Grippotyphosa-Hardjo- Icterohaemorrhagiae-Pomona Bacterin. All beef cows; Organic, Natural and Conventional are vaccinated.

Vaccinations help the cattle to remain healthy and keeps disease from spreading throughout the herd. Vaccines are NOT antibiotics. In fact, vaccines are part of the preventative management practices required by the NOP (National Organic Program). Health management is critical to the success of any natural or organic program, and is one of the highest risk areas in attaining and feeding these cattle.

The mama cows are being moved into a holding pen before they are walked into the shoot to be vaccinated. Bryce is on spring break from Kindergarten this week so he was our big helper..... My father in law, George, opening the gate to let the mamas in to be vaccinated..... The cows are in the shoot and Dominic is administering the vaccination. While they are in the shoot, they are also checked to make sure their ear tags have not fallen off. Here are some of the mamas waiting to be moved after their vaccination....... Everything is documented.........
After the vaccinations, the cattle are driven up through a few gates and will eventually end up at the top of the hill you see in the photo below....... George, Bryce and I get ahead of the cattle drive to wait at one of the gates........
Here they come!.........
Chloe SO wants to be a cow dog!
They have made it through the first gate.........

This is all done with trucks, a 4 runner and on horses.
Dominic & Bryce......... Once they are secure in the designated area, it will take them about two days to walk up to the top of the hill, eating, resting and enjoying their new scenery along the way.

The cattle will stay at the top of hill until mid July. At that time, we move the cattle back down, wean their 10 month old calves and sell most of them. All of the mamas are pregnant again and will calve in mid September. The process begins all over again; the mamas calve, breed with the bulls from October - April (that have been patiently waiting for the return of the mamas), graze, nurse their new born calves, and wait to be moved again in April.

Stay tuned for future reports on the beef cattle. I'm planning on taking a drive up to the top of the hill sometime in the near future.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment, I love to hear from you!. Have a fantastic day!

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1 comment:

Sarah said...

Love this post! Great photos. I shared it on the Animal Ag Alliance's Facebook page!