First day of Bangs-vaccinating heifers

Howdy!  If my math is right, today is the 84th day of 2020.  One of my resolutions at the beginning of this year was to post a blog every day.  (Admittedly I was inspired by the Queen of England, who reportedly writes in her diary every night before retiring to bed.)  I have a few goals in mind with this resolution:  1) to chronicle our year, which we have often before wished we had done; 2) to test the realities of my writing ability (feasible content, feasible time investment, etc.) at this stage of my life; 3) to see, just out of curiosity, if it really is possible to instill a new habit in my old self at this late date; and 4) to more thoroughly explore the potential of this blog I started in 2015.

So.  Eighty-four days have gone by, and I think I’ve missed just two days of writing… but it can be hard to tell sometimes because I often write late at night, after my family is asleep, and so end up posting after midnight… and then I get confused about whether that was yesterday’s blog or tomorrow’s blog I just finished!  So far I do see one main benefit from my daily contributions:  I feel better when I write.  Writing is therapeutic for me.  That’s one of what I hope will be several conclusions I’ll be able to draw from this year-long commitment of mine.

Now, on to today’s daily dose of the weather, and ranch activity, and homeschooling kids, and more!


Today’s Weather:  High of 53.  Low of 35.

Today On The Ranch:  It was the first of four days of Bangs vaccinating heifers.  The Bangs vaccine protects cattle from brucellosis and has to be administered by a veterinarian.  Our job here at the ranch is to make sure any heifer that has reproduction in her future gets the one-time vaccine before her first breeding season, so usually right around 12 months of age.  Last year’s calves (almost to hit their first birthdays) are all still living in the feedlot here at PV headquarters, so it’s a systematic matter of bringing the heifers, one pen-full at a time, to the processing shed — where they go through the chute and are vaccinated and tagged, one at a time.  When a pen-full is finished, they’re all returned to their pen as a group.  Kinda like running school kids through the cafeteria.

(Keep scrolling for photos of the process!)

All social distancing aside, I fed lunch today to part of the vaccinating crew; it was a big enough day that they needed to stop for a lunch break.  I made green enchiladas, bean dip and chips, green salad, and what you might call scotcheroos (but we call meth bars) for dessert.  Here’s the quick recipe:

In a saucepan bring 1 c. sugar and 1 c. light corn syrup to a boil, then quickly remove from heat.  Stir in 1 c. smooth peanut butter.  Pour mixture over 6 c. Rice Krispies cereal.  Spread in a greased 9×13.  Melt together:  2 c. milk chocolate chips and 2 c. butterscotch chips (fewer chips would be a travesty).  Top the cereal with the chocolate.  Chill to set the chocolate before cutting.  Easy!  Addictive!  I want one right now!  But it’s obviously not a good idea!


Today’s Best Pictures:

The processing shed.  Cattle go in the door at left, snake through a long alleyway into the chute, and come out the door at right after they’re vaccinated.
Dr. Cunningham and his technician at left; Beau running the hydraulic chute at right.
They love to sit close to Beau when he’s working at the chute.
Cutest intern ever.
Asher helping Grandpa work the lead-up alley.
Grandpa doling out gum, which my kids shamelessly hound him for.



Horseback, Sam pushes cattle into the processing shed from the alley outside.
Emi and 25 years of splatters on the processing shed walls.  Depending on the weather, and depending on the size of the cattle and what they’ve been eating, the processing shed can be a pretty dirty place to be.


Days like today usually end with 9-year-old Asher calling to us from some impossible height.  “Hey, Mom, look at me!”

© Tami Blake

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