Because sometimes, older isn’t always wiser.

by Katie on January 17, 2011

Every year, in January, we synchronize most of our little cow herd and Brandon artificially inseminates them. For the synchronization process, we implant each cow with a CIDR, and give her a shot full of hormones. Seven days later, we remove the CIDRs and give them a different shot. If all goes well, this process should make around 90% of the cows come into heat and be ready to breed about the same time.

If all does not go well, and you do something like switching up the order of the shots, you end up wasting a lot of time and money, and delaying your breeding season.

But in all of Brandon Leister’s AI breeding days, all had gone well. So far.

Now, let’s backtrack a bit. To that fateful day of January 7, 2011. The day Brandon turned 30. And spent it voluntarily sliding his hand inside 20 cows and stabbing them with needles. (Happy birthday!)

I had just arrived from a veterinary pharmaceutical warehouse in town, where I picked up some things we would need for this little project.

So, let me just paint the scene of our cattle working on January 7th…


Brandon:  “Where are the drugs you picked up in town?” (By this, he means breeding drugs for the cows, not the various illegal substances floating around Phoenix.)

Katie:  “Here you go. And you know which one we need to give them today, right?”

Brandon:  “Hmph! Of course I do. I’ve been doing this a long time, Katie.”

Katie:  “I know you have, Dear. And you’re good at it. Just double-checking. I really don’t want to mess this up. It’s a pretty expensive mistake.”

Brandon:  “Yeah, I know. It’s this one. Trust me.”


Scene Twoten minutes later…

Brandon:  “Okay, I’m going to bring the cows into the chute, and I want you to have this shot ready — 2ccs, and have the CIDR ready to go. I’ll ask you for each one. And make sure you mark off the cows as they get done.”

Katie:  “Alright. And you’re sure this is the right shot?”

Brandon:  “Yes, Katie, I’m sure this is the right shot.”


So we went about our business, then cleaned up for a birthday night on the town. Thought nothing of it for the next seven days. Three days ago, Brandon pulled the CIDRs, then anxiously awaited for the cows to begin coming into heat, expecting to have quite a few within just a couple days.

And now that we have all the background information out there, here’s the text message that greeted me when I picked up my phone following the P.F. Chang’s Half Marathon with my sister-in-law:

“You know how you asked if I was sure I gave the right shot to the cows? Bad news…”

Just what a girl wants to hear after running 13.1 miles, let me tell you.

But luckily for Brandon’s sake, my frugality is dominating my pride here. Because rather than gloating about my numerous warnings to this disaster or giving him a hard time about his arrogance, I just keep seeing the dollar signs produced by this error. And the fact our breeding (and resulting calving) season was just further delayed.

Maybe things really do turn downhill at 30?


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