Why Not Just Do It Right The First Time?

by Tammy Taylor

Most of you already know that due to health issues I wasn’t able to raise my beloved batch of bottle baby calves this year as I usually do, and as a result RancherMan purchased bottle-fed calves that had already been weaned to pasture so that I could still enjoy their cuteness.  (I love him for that)

Bottle Babies #TaylorMadeRanch

Most of you also know that the seller of the bottle calves told us they were vaccinated to protect them against blackleg, even giving us a product name and date vaccinated, yet TWO of the nine calves died suddenly & unexpectedly.  When we lost the second calf we contacted our vet and scheduled an onsite necropsy and he determined the calf died from blackleg!  We immediately loaded up the remaining calves and brought them through the chute and properly immunized them so they would finally be protected.  Although it was getting dark by that time we noticed one of the remaining steer calves was not properly castrated and a testicle remained, although it was now tucked high up on his belly & possibly covered in scar tissue.

Botched Banding by Previous Owners #TaylorMadeRanch

I called the seller and told her about our blackleg diagnosis and she became very defensive and even patronizing saying she was not responsible, rambling for quite some time about her qualifications as a pharmacist (What??).  I notified her also of the apparent improper castration & she shrugged that off as well as she began explaining to me that sometimes a testicle doesn’t descend, blah, blah, blah.  But the question remains – why in the world would you band a single testicle of a calf in the first place?  In the end I just wrote it off to a bad experience from what appears to be either an unscrupulous dishonest seller or at the very least a seller that knows nothing about the animal they are selling but trying to fast-talk their way into sounding like an expert hoping I know nothing about raising cattle and am mesmerized by their apparent knowledge.  No I wasn’t fooled.

Now upon closely inspecting the remaining steers we found yet another boy with a botched castration so we contacted our vet for guidance.  RancherMan & I have steered many calves over the years either by banding or by cutting, but this botched job complicates things quite a bit.  Will the remaining testicle be surrounded by scar tissue?  Will the calf bleed too much?  Can the remaining testicle be removed easily?  Our vet gave us some guidance and after careful consideration and inspection we decided to go ahead and correct the castrations.

Why Not Do It Right The First Time - Recastration #TaylorMadeRanch

RancherMan & I believe in treating our animals as gently as possible so we took our time getting them to the pen, through the alley and into the chute, speaking softly to them and  guiding them slowly.  In the end we were successful in completing these two calves’ castrations and although it was difficult for both rancher & calf we are confident that we’ve done all we possibly could to ease their discomfort.

But the question remains – Why not do it right in the first place?  A blackleg immunization costs about $0.95 per dose, there’s absolutely no reason to risk that sweet calf dying from something so preventable.  And why NOT give the vaccine yet tell the buyer after the fact that the vaccine had been administered?  (We already had possession of the calves so it wasn’t to make a sale.)  And when you do mess up whether through purposeful or accidental omission – for cryin’ out loud own up to it and do the right thing so that you can stand the reflection you see in the mirror staring back at you.  I think in the end it’s just easier all the way around to do things right the first time.

OK, soapbox removed & put away.

~TMR~

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7 thoughts on “Why Not Just Do It Right The First Time?

  1. Emily Oxford

    Could not agree more. Why do anything at all if you don’t (or can’t) give it 100% of honest effort. I don’t like half-tail-ery. She is just lucky that you have not publicly shamed her.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      (sigh…) Maddeningly frustrating Emily. I hate that these sweet boys have had so much trouble and I’m happy they have finally landed at a place where they are being properly cared for (and spoiled!) 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  2. Candy C.

    You are right, just do it right the first time, especially when dealing with the health and welfare of animals! Some people…

    Reply
  3. Judith

    In this day and time with all the social media outlets, why not do it the right way the first time and get glowing reviews from the people you deal with. Does she not realized she could end up with her name out there as someone who NOT to do business with? Cattle sales, just like the sale of anything else should be done with the intention of keeping the customer as a long term investment to the operation. I doubt you’ll be doing business with her again or that other sell of the previous calves.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Yes Judith – word of mouth is huge and a good reputation is a big deal around here. I know sometimes things happen, omissions or mistakes are made. We’ve made honest mistakes ourselves in the past, but we owned up to them, took full responsibility and made it right. (sigh…) No, we’ll never do business with her again. ~TMR~

      Reply
  4. cheri

    Oh my! How terrible for you guys. And a little traumatic for the poor little fellers who had to go through the “procedure” again. 🙁 Some people just shouldn’t own animals. I always keep copies of the actual vaccinations we give our calves. And those pieces of paper go with the calves along with health papers from the vet!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Yes Cheri, it was not pleasant for them, or us. I keep pretty detailed records as well – good records (and honest dealings) go a long way to healthy calves and happy customers. ~TMR~

      Reply

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