February 10, 2015

Tubing Bulls

When I went to feed the heifers this morning I found the bulls had broken out of their pen and eaten a bunch of the heifers' corn mix feed. The kids have been filling up six, five gallon buckets for me in the evening so I don't have to get in the corn because of my allergies. The bulls discovered all this feed out and didn't exercise any will power. Between the two of them they ate around 75 pounds of feed- most of it corn. Cattle that are not used to eating much corn will have a hard time digesting that much and can bloat, have foot problems and even die. I knew I needed to bring them into the corrals to keep an eye on them. The Ranch Hand, the vet, and I decided it would be best to get some mineral oil in them to help the corn move through their system quicker and hopefully cause less problems.
 I've put a tube, actually a garden hose down a calf, and even a cow to remove excess air when they've bloated, but bulls can be hard to manage sometimes. The Ranch Hand was positive I could do it by myself. I really doubted...now if I had three arms and hands, then maybe. I'll have to work on that one... So I gathered all my tools: Mineral oil, 1/2 a gallon each. A 4-5 foot chunk of old garden hose, to stick down the throat, a piece of hard plastic poly pipe, which I would've liked to have been longer- next time. This is to put over top of the hose so the animal will bite on it and not chew the hose in half. And a funnel to pour the mineral in the hose. This is called "tubing" an animal.
 This was the steed of my choice, Scout, because there hasn't been a cow, calf, or bull that's been able to outsmart, outrun, or out move this horse. Very dependable guy. Needs his feet trimmed I see....
 After getting the bulls into the corrals I readied the chute. It was set for calves so I widened it up.
 Then I got the bulls down the alley, without even getting chased. They were pretty easy going, even the one that's a little snotty.
 From here I couldn't get any pictures because, well I would need four hands for that one... I got the first bull in and the tube down his throat. Then I stood there trying to hold the hose with one hand and not lose the poly pipe down his throat. I tried reaching for the funnel and the mineral oil, and although they were within reach, I just couldn't do it all with my own two hands. Then, out of the barn walks the guy that's been helping us build on it and is doing an awesome job. Well he's pretty good at funneling mineral down a squirmy hose into a bulls belly too. I hollered at him to see if he wouldn't mind giving me a small hand. After that we did the next bull too. When we were almost done I got a huge whiff of those stomach gases coming out of this bull. The gagging reflex kicked in and luckily, just as the barn builder got over the fence and headed back to the barn, I lost half my lunch. Seriously I haven't done that since I was pregnant. IT. WAS. BAD.

I finally got composure and decided I'd take a selfie with this bull. Ha ha, I know right?! Ya done did got oiled Bull! He looks a little perturbed. But me, I'm happy. I called up the Ranch Hand and said I got done... with a little help!

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