Heifers, bulls and fear

Today, we drenched and vaccinated the most dangerous animals on the farm: heifers and bulls.

At two years old and weighing about 500kg each, the heifers are as skittish as teenagers and have no concept of their own might. They’re not used to being yarded and react quickly and unpredictably in the unfamiliar environment.

Bulls, on the other hand, are well aware of their power and are quite prepared to use it. As we rounded them up, one neatly threw a competitor over (or through) a five-foot fence with a toss of his head. A timely reminder to treat them with respect.

We used an oral rather than a pour-on drench because it’s been so much more effective for our animals this year. The warm, wet season has been ideal for worms. The 7 in 1 vaccine we used protects us from a debilitating disease called leptospirosis and the animals from a suite of nasties.

Drenching and vaccinating the lot of them in one day was really the only way to do it, even though it amounted to a rather daunting task that quite literally took two hours of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish. Still, it was worth it. They might be the most dangerous animals on the farm but they are its future.

2 Comments

Filed under Animal Health and Welfare, People

2 responses to “Heifers, bulls and fear

  1. Bridget Peachey

    Hi Marian
    Another great post. I always found the Jersey bulls were the ones I had to watch out for the most…there was something sneaky about them while Friesians were a little more predictable (well as predictable as bulls can be). Jersey breeders may disagree though!

  2. milkmaidmarian

    I agree with you totally, Bridget. They’re certainly more aggressive. I’ve often wondered about that – Jersey cows are quieter than Friesians cows. Why are the bulls different? Maybe opposites attract!

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