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Every calf counts | Preston Citizen

Every calf counts

March 30, 2013
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A Mink Creek cattle ranch has caught the attention of the American Angus Association for excellence in sires 

Story and photos by RODNEY D. BOAM 

 

It’s calving time at the Mink Creek Cattle Company ranch and Greg Belew, the ranch manager, is putting in plenty of hours to make sure the new additions are safe and protected. The hours are long, but if he plays his cards right he can keep from losing valuable calves making their grand entrance into life.

He’s up before first light and goes through the cattle late at night checking for potential problems. The other day he had to pull a calf trying to be born upside down and backwards. The calf is alive and well. He walks a little crooked, but Belew said he thinks in time the calf will be fine.

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For six years Belew has worked on the ranch. He’s built corrals, leveled ground, planted, watered and harvested feed, all the while working with livestock. One of his duties as a ranch manager is documenting the care of the operation’s certified Black Angus cattle.

The Mink Creek Cattle Company has about 100 registered Black Angus cows ready to calve. Belew drives though the herd in his ATV with a trailer he built to pick up and contain new-born calves. The calves are weighed, medicated and taken back to the mother cow. All of the pedigree, medication, weight and birth dates are entered into a computer. In the time he has been working at the ranch he has brought the death rate of the calves from as high as 17 one year, to none so far this year. His improved cattle management skills have come from on-the-job experience, lessons learned from a Cattleman’s Boot Camp at Utah State University and time spent with a local veterinarian.

Greg Belew drives his Ranger through a herd of new-born calves and mother cows to check on their progress last Thursday.

Greg Belew drives his Ranger through a herd of new-born calves and mother cows to check on their progress last Thursday.

Armed with the knowledge of minerals and antibiotics, he inoculates and gives newborns what is vital to their survival. His work has not gone unnoticed by the American Angus Association.

This story is sponsored by LaMont Automotive.

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