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— I love these September calves. They hit the ground growing by leaps and bounds, don't have cold weather to deal with and the fall rain makes for nice green grass for their Mammies. Milk just pours into the little beef machines and I grin all over! This September is real nice, not too hot and dry, and I appreciate it. But I am watching real close for blow flies.

I raised a steer one year that had a scar on his back from his withers (do cattle have withers?) to his tailbone where the flies had done their job before I found him. We scrubbed him down, doctored him and kept the pair up for a month as I was afraid we would lose the calf. Makes me aware of the possibilities of fly losses. As a Keeper of the Land, there aren't many things better than looking at a herd of good cows with good calves and knowing you are the man.

And then, when the snow flies, the summer droughts hit, below zero temps are upon the same herd, you are still the man! The jerk back to reality is unmerciful In this quarter of my lifetime I do have the male offspring to help out and I take some advantages. I went to town this morning and drank a pot or two of coffee with the members of the board at the coffee emporium.

Jake Scholenbarger was crying about the cost of vet supplies. He is so tight that he makes poor ole Abe squeal. We all agreed with him and then the older ones started talking about some of the remedies thatdidn't cost much, just a dead animal most of the time. We laughed and everyone of us told story about the old days of using things for cures that we know today just added to the misery of the bovine. But the good tales are remembered and that makes the cost of medical supplies a little easier to swallow.

Most of you fellers have seen the herds of Hollow Tail cattle, the ones that were supposed to get fat and produce calves on nothing but acorns and oak leaves. I've seen them eat Osage apples and more acorns than they could handle, ending up bloated and dead. The old timers thought you could split their tail, fill it with salt and that would cure the disease.

I have watched my Pappy replace a prolapse with a quart fruit jar. It worked long enough for him to apply a few stitches in the precise position. That saved the cow for the trip to town and I hope she went to the Golden Arches before the next calf.

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, we are gonna always have some things to rub saddle sores, but there are balms that make life just pretty darn good, too! Herds of good, healthy cattle with pretty calves, herds of Grands learning how to make it in life and healthy physically an spiritually, good beans, beef, biscuits and pies! How much nicer could it get for us who choose to live like we do?

Opinion, Pages 4 on 09/16/2009

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