About 30 area cattlemen gathered at Crowder College Tuesday night to learn ways to avoid two pests that plague all cowmen: flies and thieves.
Tom Haines, a representative from the Bayer Animal Division, explained various ways to combat summer fly problems. Ear tags seem to work best, although they are often combined with sprays, dust, and medicated mineral blocks.
Most ear tags last about three months.
Representatives from the Newton County Sheriff’s Department were on hand and said that cattle theft has not been a major problem to date. They explained that living in a county that borders two other states can prove to be a problem.
They advocated “neighbor helping neighbor” by watching and listening for strange activities like diesel trucks idling in the neighborhood at three in the morning. Game cameras located in possible trouble spots can also be an asset in theft prevention.
Using common sense is a way to help prevent theft. Feeding cattle in their catch corrals invites problems. This allows thieves to load the cows into vehicles quicker. The thieves can take the cattle and be gone in a short time.
Most cattle thieves apprehended in Missouri are driving stolen vehicles with stolen trailers and stolen license plates. This makes them want to get away quickly.
Branding is one of the best ways to deter cattle thieves. Jay Wilkins, Crowder College Agriculture instructor and department head, demonstrated how to brand with hot and cold irons.
Missouri is a state which has certified and registered brands. Crowder College’s brand is two “C’s” located on the rear hip.
No technique used to prevent thieves and flies is fool proof. Cattlemen today must be vigil, use common sense, and help one another watch for those who would steal these valuable animals.
Flies can suck away part of the profit, but thieves can take it all.