It’s February, and in spite of it being the shortest calendar-month of the year, on a Cariboo operation it often feels like the longest, as the rancher may have been battling the elements since November, to keep water flowing for stock, get feed out and plough snow, in an endless round of chores that often seems, by February, to be never-ending.
But, not this year — thus far; with no real winter and temperate weather, Cariboo cattlemen/women have had a reprieve and many have thus been able to attend numerous seminars/talks in regards to the cattle/agriculture industry, several of which have been informative and valuable.
A case in point was last week’s Williams Lake Veterinary Hospital customer appreciation dinner (Dr. and Mrs. Ross Hawkes/staff) to which the response was overwhelming, with more than 150 of its clients attending the dinner and talk by guest speaker Dr. Chris Clark D.V.M. (Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Sask.).
The dinner was great, but Dr. Clark was the icing on the cake or a la mode portion — a lively, easy to hear (no, not too loud, Dr. Clark!), plain-speaking veterinarian who offered the crowd (based on years of learning) useful, practical, easy-to put-to-use tips/hints to keep your newborn calves alive, healthy and well.
Information delivered included affirmation of the value of that vital “first suck” (importance/ timing/of calf receiving that oh-so valuable colostrum), how to discern (in a timely manner) when your calf needs help (human intervention), proper use of a rectal thermometer for taking temperatures to help decide treatment (every rancher birthing calves could use one), how to read the label on medication bottles and numerous other tips as Dr. Clark provided all with a sound review of what they may have already known (basic know-how) and some newfound knowledge as well. Thank you.
Note: The Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association members’ AGM takes place at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 10 at the Pioneer Complex.
Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.