Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yak Pneumonia - On Our Land Days 19-27 Part1

It's been a crazy week. With the Blazer out of commission, we focused on building the corral. Not nearly as easy a task as we'd thought. The post holes had to be made bigger and then deeper, not an easy chore even with the auger. Since I was afraid to drive the pickup (it's huge) CK did most of the driving into town. Plus CK looks for any excuse to go drive somewhere, get out of work and blather with everyone and anyone. So it wasn't until Friday that Quantum took a run into town.

There he got the news that T&R had been trying to find us, and that Yonkers was looking very sick. She'd come down with pneumonia. This is something that tends to happen with cattle when they're shipped, and has an incubation period of about 2 weeks to a month. T got pretty upset and since he hadn't been able to contact us, was considering giving our yaks away to anyone who would take them. I'm not sure when she came down sick or when he first tried contacting us, but between our focus on the corral, our lack of phone and our inability to get into town, we'd been out of contact with him for about a week and a half.

So naturally we freaked out. Quantum arranged for T's friend who had a horse trailer to help bring the yaks to our land. Quantum and I spent all of Saturday putting the corral together as fast as we could. (CK once again copped out and went into town saying he desperately needed a shower. Weenie.) Fortunately we'd already got the posts in, and would have been done soon anyway. Just as CK was returning, we realized we'd made a mistake and not sent CK for more hay and whatever else the yaks might need. And the feedstore closes at 12 on Saturdays and isn't open at all on Sunday.

Sunday morning we still hadn't gotten the gate finished, but it was moving day for the yaks, and we didn't have a choice. Quantum gave CK instructions on finishing the gate and we took off. Yonkers looked terrible. Her nose was dripping with snot and she was having trouble breathing. She looked like hell and it was scaring the heck out of me.

Getting the yaks into the trailer was no small feat. RY, (T's friend with the trailer) is a huge gap-toothed dude, with a funny sarcastic manner. And brave. He got in the pen and tried herding them in with a broomstick. T got in as well, holding a log in front of him. Now the best way to get them in would have been to put some food in the trailers and wait till they went for it. But RY didn't have time for that (he seems to be on the local fire-response team as well).

Naturally, Yonkers wasn't thrilled with this idea and gave a couple charges at them. Its amazing how fast that old lady can move, even sick. Eventually we got them in the trailer and made the slow journey to our place. RY had already warned Quantum that if he couldn't make it up the road, we'd have to let them out of the trailer and walk them up. He wasn't going to wreck out his truck (can't blame him for that). I was dreading this possibility, especially after seeing how hard they'd been to control getting them in the trailer. I had a clothesline that I'd knotted (we didn't have any stronger rope) and my best thought was to get the rope around Yeti and sit in the back of the pickup leading her, and that the other two would probably follow.

We were lucky. The night before it had rained, and somehow that smoothed out some of the ruts. No problem getting RY's truck up the drive.

We got them in the pen, RY left and I spent the rest of the day researching what kind of illness Yonkers might have. And also what I could feed her. We had enough hay, but I wanted to try getting something like a warm gruel into her. I made up a concoction of turnips, onions, oatmeal, barley, carrots, apples and molasses. She wasn't impressed. A horse would have been thrilled. But these guys don't seem to have been exposed to more than hay and range cakes, and they don't seem to know what other stuff is.

We sent CK back out to town to call the vet's emergency number. He returned with the info that it sounded like pneumonia. (Much as I'd expected - the official name is Bovine Respiratory Disease.) We'd have to go out early to call the vet again, but his assistant said he could probably make it out to us the next afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment