Life on the X-Bar Ranch...

I am an ordinary woman, with an amazing family, serving an awesome God.

Friday, February 4, 2011


No, I am not talking about Dr's, in the traditional sense. I'm not even talking about vets, although these guys come pretty close to that description. I'm talking about cowboys. The guys who doctor calves all the time. Most days of the week, in fact. Including Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. I hate when they have to do it on Sunday. I want My Cowboy all to myself on Sunday.During the fall they get semi-loads of calves - fresh off their mamas, and those babies get sick. Alot. They get pneumonia. Pink-eye. Coughs. Brisket. Water belly. (Known in humans as kidney stones.) And various other complaints, that I do not keep up with. So these guys learn to doctor the calves themselves. Most of them have no training. They haven't looked at a book with photos of how each disease looks. They just learn by doing. And from other cowboys who have dealt with that particular problem before. The primary purpose of saddlebags is to carry medicine. I know Hollywood says its for cute canteens and some jerky, but most Hollywood guys have probably never been real cowboys. My apologies to John Wayne. I love your movies.
Anyways, back to the doctoring.
They carry several kinds of meds with them at all times. Antibiotic, vitamin B, painkiller, etc. So on an average day, My Cowboy will feed hay in the morning, and then after dinner he saddles up and rides through the yearlings, looking for any sign of sickness. When he sees one limping, runny-eyed, or just in general under the weather, his partner will rope the head, and My Cowboy will rope the heels. Then he grabs his med bag, and gives shots, lances abscesses, glues on eye-patches, or whatever needs done. Sometimes he has to yell at Cisco to keep the rope tight. You don't really want a 500lb steer getting tangled up with you in a loose rope.
Often My Cowboy has to ride alone. No partner to help rope. It takes longer that way. He told me the other day that he had only an hour and a half to ride, and he roped and doctored 5 steers in that amount of time. Alone. That's 18 minutes per calf. Not bad. Definitely not bad. I dare you to try and beat that - out here on the wide open prairie. :)
I love My Cowboy.

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