Sunday, 21 October 2012

Butts and Such

Yes, I said BUTTs ...

Heading to the yards.
The bulls.
For a start here are some butts ... the big boys.
Yesterday was the second day in the yards and joy of joys it was spaying day. Spaying is when old cows, thought to be barren cows and bad tempered, snotty cows have the cow version of getting their tubes tied. Boss R happens to be able to spay which it seems not many can, actually we were quizzing him on whether he knew many people who could. Apparently it is a dying art but if you want to take it up the pay is awesome at $3 per cow or there abouts. Now before you decide you are going to become the next cow surgeon here's what happens. By the way now is when you stop reading if you get grossed out.

Waiting ... look at the horns.

Once upon a time they used to flank spay. They used to cut open the side/ flank of a cow and then tear the muscles. The tearing part is because they heal easier. They then did something or other and pulled out the cows ovaries. Some people stitched them up and put tar over the wound to help with healing ... some didn't. Here they used to do the first option.


These days its an internal process where they very nicely put their hand, I mean arm, up the cows birth passage. Firstly the cow is put in the crush. The next two things done are her tail is secured and her butt is washed. All very nice. She then gets doused. They squirt water up her birth canal to help clean out any mucus or muck. Please note here that this is not the same place the poo comes from. A bit like people really. After she is all nice and cleaned out a contractor is put up her birth passage. It is a longish metal gadget with a bend in it and a ring at the end. The idea being that the ovaries go through it with the help of the person doing the procedure and are contracted so that the fallopian tubes can be cut with a small scalpel blade. Yes, this is all done inside the cow without looking. The contractor and blade are then passed onto someone nearby who washes and disinfects them. Meanwhile the operator's arm goes back up the cows birth canal to remove the ovaries which are disposed of.

Getting ready ... disinfecting everything.

Contractor and blade.

Tools of the trade.

Tail holding and spaying.

After this process or while it is happening the cow has her horns tipped, so the tips are cut off them and she has her breeder tag removed and a new electronic tag put in for when she is sold. She also has an ear marked so they know that she has been spayed. Then she is let go and the process happens all over again.


I think we did 33 cows this time. Most of which were in calf. Yes, they still spay when a cow is in calf as they don't usually loose the calf and it means they can't get back in calf again. Boss R said it is the weirdest feeling when a calf kicks you when your hand is in there.

This time I got the important job of tail catching and butt washing. Not so bad as it sounds really. No worse than doing a baby's butt. Mind you the poo splattering and pooey water bath was not so good. I really enjoyed my shower.

My wash bucket.

Just to prove I did it.

The statistics apparently are 75% survival however that may have been for when they used to flank spay though. Boss R is quite proud of the fact that out of the hundreds of cattle he has spayed so far only one has died from it. The thing is there is a very important artery in the same area so you have to be careful.

So everyone still up for the job of spaying? Come on $3 a cow. Yeah I know a pittance really. I can't believe people would do it for a living.

Right now the old girls are out enjoying their freedom and the last calf they will have. Then their job is to enjoy getting fat until next year when they will be sold.



  1. It is really interesting, the real workings on a station, thank you for the info.

  2. I am glad someone else finds it interesting. I was unsure whether to post about this especially with pics but well it is part of life ... part of station life and one I have no issues with so it got posted. I sadly actually enjoy this kinda stuff.


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