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Tips From A Country Vet
Veterinarian Roy Lewis sees a lot of cattle operations in his travels. Here's a collection of simple, yet effective ideas that save farmers time and money.
  Hang a 100 to 250 watt light bulb in an old refrigerator to keep vaccines from freezing. A variety of shelves provides plenty of storage room and the option of positioning a vaccine closer or farther away from the light.
  Paint ball guns can be used to mark animals to be pulled for treatment or they can even be used to spur on stragglers. They can also be used as a source of protection with a charging cow, or to break up fighting bulls. Shots can be fired in close succession, colors can be varied, and the final dye is all water-soluble. They can leave welts on people but the effect is minimal on cattle.
  A cap with a miner's light attached makes night checking easier and frees up your hands for other things.
  To hold the tail out of the way while examining a calving cow, you can use an old booster cable clamp attached to a tarp strap that's tied to the maternity pen. This is especially critical if you're by yourself, and helps keep the cow cleaner. If you inadvertently release the cow before untying the tail, only a few tail hairs are left behind in the booster cable clamp.
  If your chute isn't close to a running water supply, a portable hand-pumped garden sprayer is great for cleaning wounds and providing hydrotherapy to swollen areas such as swollen sheaths on bulls. The wand can be directed right onto the problem area.

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5