Tequila Update

For those of you who read my last post “Caring for Tequila,” I wanted to hop back on and give an update.


We saw no signs of improvement so the vet came out to take a second look. This time the vet brought a squeeze chute with them. This type of chute squeezes the cow gently to keep them from moving around. The vet needed to take a closer look and our chute just wasn’t keeping her still enough. We didn’t receive good news. From the sounds of it, she has quite the wound. Something likely punctured her in-between her toes, causing damage to her bone and joints. To learn what our options are we need to take her somewhere; but the problem is we can’t get her to walk farther than a couple feet, let alone onto a trailer and into a vet’s office. The vet gave her another dose of antibiotics which has a withdrawal period of 45 days. This antibiotic helps with pain and infection. We are currently doing our best to keep Tequila comfortable. It is important to keep her wound clean. We are hoping she improves enough in the next week or so to take steps to help cure her but if she doesn’t we might need to make the tough decision to cull her following the 45 day withdrawal period.


We have continued the Epsom salt foot baths. We are pretty lucky that Tequila is tame. We would not be able to do this with most cows. Each evening dad, Megan, Tyler or I catch her with a halter and soak her foot for 10 minutes. We finish by spraying her wound with Iodine. This helps keep flies from bothering it. If you look closely in the photo above, you will notice her ankle is swollen. The swelling has actually gone down but there is still a noticeable difference.


Meet her calf! Her calf is just as healthy and spunky as ever and he takes the opportunity to nurse while we soak her foot. He has become quite tame himself over the last few weeks. Tequila is still providing him with milk but he is getting close to weaning so our calves get supplemented with hay, grass and creep feed (feed for calves). Tequila isn’t moving very far so we have her in a pen with water and hay.


The other cows are out on pasture but as you can see they were ready to move to the next pen! Soon they will be receiving hay as the grass growth is slowing down for the season.

I know this wasn’t the update on Tequila you were probably hoping for but I want to be 100% transparent with all of you. It is important to me that we share the real story of agriculture… both the good and bad days. And on all days we do our best to care for our animals.

I love the new Iowa Farm Bureau campaign and partnership with Fareway!  #RealFarmers, #RealMeat #RealFood! If you have questions about antibiotics, livestock footprint, hormones, etc. Please ask! I will do my best to answer any questions you might have!


Why do Farmers Precondition?

14225621_10209542843121644_7296698390012844330_nFirst and foremost, I would like to give a shout out to my mom! Happy Happy Birthday!! This weekend was full of fun and laughter. I truly feel blessed to have such amazing people around me.

Part of the crazy exciting weekend was spent down on the farm! I was feeling very cattle deprived so spending a morning getting dirty couldn’t have gone any better!

On Saturday we took our weaned calves to the veterinarians office to be preconditioned.


The definition of precondition is “the preparation of 4 to 8 months old, recently weaned beef calves for entry into a feedlot. Includes castration, dehorning and all vaccinations before sale or entry to the feedlot.” 


The morning began at 6:30 am. We rounded up all of the cows and calves to be sorted. Once the calves were weaned (separated and switched to grain and/or grass diet) we let the cows out to a new pasture and hauled the calves to the vet’s office.


Jessica (our vet) began vaccinating and pouring (prevention of lice and grub) the calves while we kept track of records, directed calves into the chute, and assisted with gates. Proof of vaccinations are determined by a green tag in the calves ear. Green tags require vaccinations for 7 different diseases but only 2 shots are given. 1 of the 2 vaccinations cover 7 other diseases. It is important to prevent cattle from getting sick and stressed before they enter the feedlot system.


Green tags also require calves to be castrated and dehorned.

Castrated: turning a bull into a steer (a non-reproductive male) is a mandatory action due to the high levels of testosterone in bulls. Steers are less likely to be aggressive towards humans and towards one another. Dehorning is the process of removing horns from the calf’s head. Removing horns helps by once again decreasing the risk for humans but predominantly by protecting the calves from hurting one another.

We choose to band (similar to castrating but a rubber band is used to cut off circulation) at birth. Every farm is different but we find it to have less risk of infection, less stress, and faster healing rates.


After all of the calves were preconditioned- we made the trek back home and made the calves comfortable in their new pen. We will feed the weaned calves for a little over a month before selling.

We are hoping to sell a few of the calves for showing. If you are interested please message me! All of the calves are bred from a Simmental bull.


Farmers precondition calves to protect the health of the calves and humans.

For more information on Green Tags: