Bright Eyed Opportunist

You’re never too old to learn something new. In fact that’s all you do. The longer you live the more new you learn. As I was planting I let the cattle graze the four paddocks. The grass was growing as fast as they were eating it. They were even being forced to eat the rank grass that grows up around their droppings. They generally don’t like to eat the rank grass but I wasn’t listening. Too bad for me. Too bad for them. When I pulled them out of the corn to drylot them pinkeye was breaking out in the herd. I couldn’t figure it out. I haven’t had any pinkeye in years. They weren’t on tall scratchy grass that would wound their eyes. What the heck was going on?

They have been on hay for a week now and I’m not seeing any new cases.The other day in a farm magazine I was reading a column on grazing. The subject matter was grazing flush spring growth. It said that lush spring growth should be supplemented with dry hay if there is no old growth grass mixed in with the new growth. If not the cattle get too much nitrogen from the new growth and pinkeye would break out. Why hadn’t that article been written back in the Eighties when I started raising cattle? I remember a field of grown alfalfa that my older brother was wanting to graze cattle on. He loaded them up with bloat blocks and turned them in. He didn’t lose any to bloat but he did have a breakout of pinkeye.

He hasn’t had cattle for years but I wished I’d have had known this the last twenty nine years. Here I thought I had bred the propensity for pinkeye out of the herd. And many of them don’t have it so maybe it is possible. I definitely know which cows to get rid of to achieve that. I don’t think they are all related but they got to go. Until a week ago it was not something I any longer sorted for. I’ll just have to turn this lemon of a development into the lemonade of progress. Look at it as the opportunity it is. Ridding the herd of pinkeye susceptibility. Keeping only the bright eyed and bushy tailed.The country needs hamburger. Nobody eats the eyes. Well nobody but the vultures.

Later …….



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