We had a very successful vet visit this morning. Dreading the potential outcome of Sheila and Bridgit's pregnancy checks, we decided to tackle them first. We were thrilled when our vet announced that Sheila is most certainly pregnant, carrying low in the left uterine horn (which explains why I couldn't bump the calf...wrong side, under the rumen), but she's only 7 to 7.5 months along! Bridgit, too, is pregnant, a little less further along. Both are bred by Umberto of Hem-Loch, the second bull we had visit last year. We're not sure why Tabor didn't breed Sheila (Bridgit was under-conditioned, meaning too thin, so that's why he didn't cover her), but it will work better for us to have both ladies calve around the same time. We might be taking at least one cow/calf pair to the fairs this year. That'll be a brand new experience!
Once that ordeal was over, we switched gears and went into the other pasture. Paul fashioned a second v-squeeze out of two stock panels borrowed from a neighbor and three 4x4 wooden posts buried sturdily in the ground. It worked like a dream, almost better than our other setup. (Plus, since the rain decided to hold off until we were done, the lack of shelter didn't matter.) We put little Natalie in first for her vaccinations, and she was a good girl. That's actually the first time we've been able to lay hands on her (ha ha, you can't get away now!). We plan to halter her again and work on just gentling her by combing and giving her little leading lessons without a negative vet visit as the "reward."
Finally, we brought T-Bone in for his nose piercing. Our vet was very careful and slow, first giving him a mild sedative to mellow him out, then injecting something to block the nerves to the nose, and squirting copious amounts of Novocaine or something into the piercing area to deaden the mucus membranes. He feels that making the experience as pleasant as possible would help make him easier to work around (especially around his head) as time goes on. Once he was sure T-Bone couldn't feel it, he made the piercing using a trocar, a two-piece metal device normally used to relieve an animal from a bloating rumen (which can be fatal). After he had the trocar installed, he threaded the now-open, sharp pointed ring through in the opposite direction using the hollow tube part of the trocar as a guide. He inserted the tiny screw that holds the two ends of the ring together and keeps it closed, and T-Bone went on his merry (slightly unsteady, mellow) way. According to the vet, it'll take about 2 weeks for the wound to heal. Afterward, having that ring will allow T-Bone's new owners much greater control any time they need to work with him for any reason. (Bulls follow their noses much better than halter ropes or other means. Plus, if you tie them by the nose, which is a requirements for bulls of a certain age at fairs and shows, they're less likely to get loose.)
It was a good day, one we're very glad to have behind us, and one, happily, with a positive outcome all the way around!
T-Bone sporting his new manly nose ring. He's looking so grown up!