Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Lifestyles

May 4, 2014

NOW HEAR THIS: Of lice and men (and cattle)

(Continued)

A few weeks ago, with my trusty feed bucket, I was able to get both of them in the corral, leaving those big greedy calves on the outside. After a few sacks of 20 percent breeder cubes, a dose of pour-on parasite medication, a weekly spraying for flies and no calves, the old girls are starting to cast a much wider shadow.

In grandpa’s day, cattle parasites were controlled by dipping them in community dipping vats containing a mixture of oil, water and a weak arsenic solution. The USDA created an extensive program in the late 1800s to dip cattle throughout the southern states to stamp out ticks responsible for spreading Texas tick fever which killed thousands of Northern cattle exposed to Texas trail drive herds.

The program lasted into the World War II era. I recall seeing the local vat on Oscar Bish’s ranch on Grindstone Creek west of Brock. Cattle were driven for miles to use this facility.

While controlling parasites in our livestock is much easier today, I still view it as a “lousy” job. Grandpa Jones may have loved to doctor sick animals, but I can assure you that genetic trait skipped my generation.  

Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to nowhearthis@pwhome.com.

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