Farmfair veterinarian Roy Lewis spends a lot of time walking through barns, making sure breeders’ cattle are healthy before show time.
This year, he treated about 50 head, though he doesn’t want people to be alarmed by that number.
“It’s more minor things.” he said. “There’s only two, three or four that were probably somewhat serious. The rest were fairly minor.”
The neat thing, Lewis said, is that producers know the minute something goes wrong because they are constantly feeding, watering and grooming their cattle.
“So, we as vets are in very early if there is some problem.”
His most severe trauma case this year involved a Red Angus bull calf that tore part of its eyelid after it got caught on some chain link.
“We were able to get the eyelid back together and he’s making a pretty uneventful recovery. He’ll be healed up and can go on to be sold,” he said.
“It was helpful that he was a calm individual. That was probably the worst trauma case we’ve had at Northlands. There’s always that one fluky incidental thing.”
Don Murphy, owner of the bull calf, said he’s thankful for Lewis’s service. All vet bills are complimentary at Farmfair because the price is factored into producers’ registration fees.
“It’s mandatory and we thank Farmfair for having a vet on call and he was wonderful,” Murphy said. “We’ve had the vet examine him thoroughly probably 10 times since it happened. It’s a great service Farmfair offers.”
Regan Racha of Red Rush Red Angus also used veterinary services this year for his Black Angus bull.
“He’s been really good,” he said of Lewis.
“Not only do we deal with him here, but we also deal with him for genetics and semen collection, and he’s always been helpful and reassures your animals will be OK.”
Normally, Lewis wouldn’t treat animals with mild problems be-cause that would require lots of driving and vet bills.
But at Farmfair, he said, he gets to carry out checkups on all cattle, whether they’re mildly sick or injured, and he enjoys helping out.
“Producers are good to work with,” he said.
We can examine in the stall and some of the treatments we can literally do in the chutes, even those big bulls. It’s all fine.”