No Pinkeye that is. Yesterday we had a very successful day vaccinating the cattle with Piliguard. This is a broad spectrum vaccine which covers 103 different strains of bacteria that can cause pinkeye. Each animal was yarded and vaccinated in the crush and we also took the opportunity to give a further fly and lice treatment using Arrest. The combination of Arrest, reapplied every 6 weeks during the fly season and the vaccination administered yearly, should help us prevent another outbreak of Pinkeye.
There are also further preventative measures which can be taken, such as fly repellant ear tags, other lice and fly treatments and keeping cattle out of long grass. We won’t investigate additional fly treatment until we have to, but a good level of rotation should reduce any long, stalky grass.
It was good to see that our cattle are getting easier to handle every time we run them through the yards. The older cows do take a bit longer though as they work their horns through the race and the crush. We had our race specially constructed with offset posts to allow the highlands to move up to the crush more easily and crucially, more calmly.
Whilst we had the cattle gathered, we determined it was about the right time to wean our Galloway-cross heifer calf. She is over 6 months old, but we cannot put her in the steer and bull paddock for obvious reasons! We have weaned her using a nose ring weaner. This, as you will see from the photos below, attaches to the nose and pokes the mothers udder when the calf tries to suckle. This becomes an irritant and the mother will usually move away or kick the calf, teaching them both that the milk is no longer needed. Looks a bit punky hey?!