A Cold Day, Cow Vaccine, and Common Household Items

A few weeks ago, we vaccinated our cows with their pre-calving shots. The antibodies they produce to the vaccine will go into their colostrum (the first milk given by a cow) and provide immunity protection to their calves. To learn more about how colostrum works, check out this blog post from last January (Colostrum: Breakfast of Champions).

On this particular day, the weather was a bit crisp. As you can see, it was 7 degrees at quarter to nine that morning…with a low of zero and a high of 11 since midnight.

It was a beautiful morning, though – no wind and bright sunshine.

We gathered the 2- and 3-year-old cows…

Then the mature cows….

Then we went to the house to get the vaccine ready. It’s important that the vaccine be kept within the temperature range described on the packaging. On this day, we were using a cooler for insulation to keep the vaccine from freezing– definitely no ice pack needed!!

We also knew we might have trouble with the vaccine freezing in the vaccine gun and needle, so in another cooler we put a hot pack from a Pyrex portable potluck dish…

…and a corn pillow, both warmed in the microwave. On a ranch, there are often odd alternative uses for common household items…

The result was a warm – but not too warm – place for the vaccine gun during our work day!

The cows have started calving, and I’ll be taking next week off for my annual calving vacation. Stay tuned for more details!

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux