On The Ranch

Bangs Vaccinating Heifers

Here are some pictures from when we Bangs vaccinated our yearling heifers yesterday! I know, super exciting. This is an important vaccine, though, and must be administered by a vet, so this day is a little more of an “event” than our standard vaccinations. Each animal is given a shot and a tattoo in their ear (the green stuff) to verify that they have received the vaccine, as well as a unique ID (if they don’t already have one) in the form of a metal clip in their ear. Our cattle all have EIDs so we don’t have to use clips.


Scientific quickie: The bangs vaccine is not an immunization against bad bang cuts (although I wish this were a thing, except our cows don’t have bangs, some of them have tufts, or toupee-looking appendages though. Okay I’m done). Rather, it’s an immunization against Brucellosis, which causes, among other things, abortions in cattle. However, it infects more than just cattle–most domesticated livestock and some wildlife can become infected, and once infected, animals cannot be cured. It can be passed to humans, too, so it’s kind of a big deal. The disease was pretty much eradicated in cattle after strict test-and-slaughter practices some years ago, but some bison and elk herds in the Rocky Mountains are still Brucellosis positive, and there’s always a chance of an outbreak. Some states also still require cattle being moved across state lines to be vaccinated. Thus, we vaccinate our yearling heifers each January. See? That really was a quickie.

(If you want to know more about Bangs vaccinations, click here.)



Bangs morning we woke up to a very foggy fog (“WHOA!” says Wacey), but it actually turned out to be a really nice day. The guys didn’t run into any problems gathering the girls, and our vet is speedy quick so we were done by lunch-less than four hours is pretty darn quick for getting 425 heifers done!


On big cow working days, I try to bring a breakfast-y item (that can be held in one hand, haha), to ease the sting of the early wakeup and the sort of monotonous nature of working cattle. Plus I’m hungry. Like, right now. It’s pretty much my permanent state of being. This time, I tried Alton Brown’s Overnight Cinnamon Rolls (cause ain’t nobody got time for waking up at four to wait for dough to rise), and they were…okay. I didn’t love them, but the guys did, so I’ll give them another go and tweak some things. But Wacey helped me make them, so really, they were perfect–toddlers are seriously the funnest. Not even the most fun. The funnest.


Usually, there’s a lot going on when we’re working cattle: multiple vaccines, maybe a parasiticide, we might be getting weights or other measurements, or re-tagging, sorting, etc., but today it’s just two vaccines and inventory (my job). We’ll see these girls again (well, someone will, I probably won’t since I’m having a baby right in the middle of all our spring work #excellenttiming) in not too long for ultrasound, PAP testing, and AI, so there’s no real reason to do allthethings.


Cow working days always leave me drained (yes, even when the majority of my time is spent sitting at a table) so we come home, Wacey takes a late nap, I sit down and work for a bit, and them muster up something resembling energy to make a simple dinner (like potstickers and the Pioneer Woman’s simple sesame noodles).

So there you have it, folks! And wouldn’t you believe it, I didn’t get a single picture of my trusty sidekick or my hilarious coverall situation (hint: they don’t zip anymore), but I’ll do better next time! I hope your Wednesday is wonderful and may heartburn give us all a break today 😉