BANGS, BANGers, B brands, S brands, Strain 19

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SBMF 2015

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We have discussed Brucellosis on and off in conversations that started on another topic a couple times this year. I thought it might be interesting to relive some war stories that some of the vets and longtime cattle folks have.
As most of the regulars on CT know I worked for a sale barn vet for ten years. I'd hate to guess how many on sight ELISA tests I ran. Tens of thousands. My best friend and I also did the vast majority of recording the ID's, tattoos, ages, breed, ect. that went on the USDA form.
GLS test chart.jpeg
An official USDA steel tag ID has 2 numbers 3 letters 4 numbers. The first two digits represent the state. Illinois is 33. If an animal never had a steel tag or had "lost it" We were required to give them a new one. 1 steel tag per animal. Some of the western drought cows that passed through the sale barn would jingle when they walked. Apparently, it was easier to give them a new tag than to record the one they already had. The most we ever saw was 10 steel tags in one ear! Lots of cows had multiples.
State ID cattle steel tags.jpeg
On the test chart a two-letter code was used for each breed. No BWF's were BW. Unknown cross breds were XX. Most of the time it was just an educated guess unless they came from a registered herd.
Cattle Breed Codes.jpeg

Probably the most "false" positives we had were from the Strain 19 vaccine. It was so potent that years later aged cows that had been calfhood vaccinated would show up positive on the ELISA test. It caused a lot of upset producers and hot conversations about why there cows couldn't sell at the sale that week.

Never saw the B brand used. Helped brand several of those Strain 19 cows as S suspect. That pretty well guaranteed that they would bring only a few cents a pound.

So what kind of memories do the rest of you have?
 
I got banged out in the 70's.
Wasn't pretty running cattle through the ring with a B branded on the jaw.
Try .03 to 5 cents a pound.

I was helping my great-great uncle work cows back then. He had a lot of cows. We'd test, and sell the ones that were positive, test again, there'd be a few more, and repeat. It took a very long time to get them all cleared up.
 
I was helping my great-great uncle work cows back then. He had a lot of cows. We'd test, and sell the ones that were positive, test again, there'd be a few more, and repeat. It took a very long time to get them all cleared up.
Problem was they were quarantined by the state until you got two clean test.
The state man would brand them, we hauled them straight to Sealy.
 
Some states, the 'B','S' and 'T 'brands are reserved by and for the states.
In Texas, you had to have what was called a pre-movement permit paper but the the "B' had to actually be on the cattle even before moving to slaughter or to sale. Only specified sale barns would take bangers. Sealy was one and the original Raywood Tx was another. Texas has changed their code and the B brand now is to be on the left hip, high near the tailhead.

Was the Sealy barn you spoke of the original Sealy sale barn or after Port City moved out there from Calhoun ?
 
Some states, the 'B','S' and 'T 'brands are reserved by and for the states.
In Texas, you had to have what was called a pre-movement permit paper but the the "B' had to actually be on the cattle even before moving to slaughter or to sale. Only specified sale barns would take bangers. Sealy was one and the original Raywood Tx was another. Texas has changed their code and the B brand now is to be on the left hip, high near the tailhead.

Was the Sealy barn you spoke of the original Sealy sale barn or after Port City moved out there from Calhoun ?
We put the S on at the sale barn before they were sold. Special permits had to go to the plant with the cow. The sale barn vet had to place a seal on the roll door on the semi only to be removed at the plant.
I think most of those cattle were shot when they walked off the semi. Never made it into the plant.

What did the T brand stand for?
 
TB
Not common at all but was still taught when I was in VoAg in high school and was mentioned at a Southeast Texas Beef Seminar I attended several years back..

Heard the story in the mid 60s of a guy that gathered some of his pore mouth cows from the national forest. back then, al lot of people branded but didn't register their brands.He just branded his 1st initial on his, agtherd them same time everyone else did and took 'em to the sale. The unloader paid little attention but a vet went bananas when he saw an A branded on the cows. A was reserved for anthrax.
 
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I heard a story several years ago. A WHOLE feed lot pen of cattle were condemned at slaughter because they had TB. Apon investigation it was discovered that the illegal immigrants the feed lot had hired were using the back of the pen as a bathroom. The people had TB and gave it to the cattle.
 
. . . Was the Sealy barn you spoke of the original Sealy sale barn or after Port City moved out there from Calhoun ?

Neither. I can't remember the name, but there was a place right across from the sale barn that bought old cows and bulls, butchered them, and then mailed you a check based on the dressed weight. My father, uncle, and others of his generation regularly took cows there that wouldn't bring much at the auction barn.
 

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