Another Day In The Life at Grieb Ranch – Doctoring calves on the hills.
Stan and Connie went out to check the cow water up in the hills. As they were driving, they observed an older calf curled up by a tree with a runny nose and labored breathing. They turned back home to get vaccine, rope and syringes.
They returned to the calf and Connie tried to rope it but it moved just a little too quickly, The rope hit the thistles. That was not successful. Back at the vehicle, she realized that in the process the syringe had been lost and she was really glad she had not caught the calf.
The next day they went out together again and they did not find the calf in the hills, but they did see the mother cow. So they turned Pilgrim (their useful ranch dog) out to help them get the nervous mom to go to her calf and that worked. Since the cattle were disturbed the cattle started to take off toward the back of the ranch so they sent Pilgrim “way around” to stop them. That worked too; Pilgrim saved the day! Once the mother cow and calf were settled with Pilgrim holding the herd together, Stan and Connie were able to follow the cattle up through a tower of thistles – ouch! – where they came upon the stressed calf. They stopped and grabbed the cap-chur gun. (Say cap-chur several times fast – you will understand what the gun is). First they calculated the size of vaccine tube needed for the right dosage of vaccine. Second they calculated the right gun charge for the size of vaccine to be shot. Third they lubed the rubber plunger and put in the charge. Fourth they filled the vaccine tube. Fifth they added the drop off needle. Sixth they loaded the cap-chur gun with the vaccine tube and drop-off needle. Seventh they selected the correct power load for the distance to be shot. Meanwhile the calf was standing and panting, Pilgrim was holding the herd, and time was running out.
Ready, aim, Stan shot and missed. Ergh
Connie tried to find the tube of vaccine, but the thistle fluff was too thick and deep and no tube was to be found. Ergh again.
So they started all over with the seven steps of loading the cap-chur gun.
Second try . . . Ready, aim, Stan shot – the dart hit the calf, injected the vaccine and bounced off empty to the ground. Whoo Hoo! The now-empty dart was found. Back home to dinner they went.
Why do we use a Cap-chur gun?
If an animal is ill and out in the hills the stress of moving it to a secure and safe (for both of us) location to doctor them can often make the animal worse or kill it. Roping the animal is stressful for both animal and man (especially at our age) especially in an uncontrolled situation. So, by using the cap-chur gun the stressed calf can be doctored right were it is with LITTLE stress.
A few weeks have gone by and Grieb Ranch is happy to report that the vaccinated calf is doing very well and recovered from his stressed condition.