MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
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Testing Time

It's that time of year again. The state vet will be out in a few days to Bangs test the herd and Tric thest the bulls that are for sale, all the cattle that are breeders must be bangs tested annually. The testing is to make sure that they are free from brucellosis, tuberculosis, and johnes disease. We also do an Eliza test on the sheep to make sure the flock is free of CL and a variety of other potential problems. It's not a fun day but necessary. We have good handling systems so stress on the animals is minimal. I utilize the time that the animals are in close to check condition and body score, preg check any animals that I'm not sure of. We see our stock every day but don't put "hands" on them unless there is a need. They aren't pets and need to keep their instincts sharp in case of predators. The cows move willingly for horses and stock dogs as do the sheep. The critters at the home place are a little different, they need to be used to human interaction because they serve as a teaching tool. The only way people are truly going to learn about the importance of grass based livestock production is to get "close up" with some of the animals. I don't keep cattle at the home place for 2 reasons. 1 not enough pasture, and 2 they are big enough to REALLY hurt someone if they get spooked. A friend suggested a couple of miniature cows would be nice but I can't justify feeding something that for me, has no function other than being cute. Other people love the small breeds but I just can't see the logic. Our Belties are as small as I want to go. It's a personal preference and there is a niche for the smaller cattle. Banker, Gracie and I had better get busy, we have a long day ahead of us. Meg
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