Ag in Action 2017
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Weather and disease in newborn cattle are a
rancher’s greatest nemeses.
Woosley maintains a more traditional
approach to calving season. Foregoing a four-
wheeler or pickup truck, every hour and a half,
this time of year Woosley saddles up to check the
pastures for newborns. Ranching is her family’s
sole source of income, so ensuring every calf
has the best shot at a healthy life is critical. The
quicker a calf is on its feet and suckling after
birth, the better its odds of survival.
When the wind whips and temperatures dip
below zero, newborns and their mothers are
ushered into their well-strawed barn for shelter.
If temperatures rise, the ground thaws,
creating muddy conditions out the fields. Wet,
cold ground increases instances of diseases like
scours and even pneumonia in calves.
Scours is caused by any number of bacterial
or viral infections and induces severe diarrhea,
leading to dehydration and possibly death
within several hours. In the event of a bad case
of scours, the Woosley’s can readily rehydrate
their calves with an IV setup in the barn.
Continued on page 10
Continued from page 8
A mother cow licks her hours-old calf on Stuart Dunkel’s
ranch off of Horse Creek Road south of Wilsall on Feb. 27.
Yellowstone Newspapers photo by Hunter D’Antuono