Back at the Ranch: Preconditioning Calves by Kathy Carrig Holzer
We want to share a bit more in depth what it’s like on a Montana cattle ranch. It’s not all handsome cowboys riding off into the sunset. So throughout the year, Kathy Holzer will give us short updates and a glimpse into life on the Mill Iron Livestock Ranch in central Montana.
By Kathy Carrig Holzer-
Last week we finished preconditioning calves. They were in five different locations on the ranch, so it took five sessions. We work together as a family to get the job done and hire help from the local Hutterite colony if it looks like it will take more hands. We also rent a portable alley from a friend (which he built) for one spot where facilities are minimal. He brings his alley and helps us as well. The alley funnels them from the corral to the chute and back into the pasture with their mama.
We precondition because in about 6 weeks those calves will be weaned and go to their next home and owner. We want them to stay strong through this change, so they get some vaccinations. By doing this they should remain healthy and not need any medication before becoming nutritious beef in about 10 to 12 months.