Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good news...and bad

Well I think I can safely say that we are finally finished treating for scours. I'm sure we may have one or two moving forward but we haven't treated anything for a few weeks and the bulk of the calves are getting to the age where they are past the major threat. The bad news is that we have lost around 10 head of calves to very quick, severe respiratory issues (6 this week alone). I have no idea if the stress from the mob grazing is contributing to this outbreak or not but would imagine it is playing some role. I do know that others in the area (non-mob grazers) are having some respiratory issues. It's been unseasonably hot here, well into the 90's the past few weeks.

After speaking with Hal, he's comfortable saying that he feels we had scour "issues" with 80% of the calves this year (yellow squirts, not all bad enough to treat). All told we've treated 117 calves, the bulk of those were the Charolais cross calves out of our older cows which number around 320 head. That said, he's not ready to give up on calving in the mob and points to a stretch of a week or so where we had no issues. It was when we were quietly taking down fences (instead of calling), leaving the 2 prior paddocks open and simply moving the mob up a few paddocks behind. I'm not convinced this is the cure. I really think we will move to a hybrid Sandhills System next year during calving. Both Hal and I feel introducing the pairs a week before we started calving was probably a big factor. We are hesitant to blame the mob grazing for all of our problems but we are both pretty hard headed.

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