Monday, May 13, 2024

Preg Checking

Spring isn't your usual time to preg check cattle. But if you know of a guy who is capable of it, why not. Once the big rush of calving is over, you always have a few stragglers that make you wonder if they are pregnant or not. This being the case for Randy and Sheila Burggraff, and knowing that Fr. Zane Pekron was in the neighborhood, they set up a mid spring preg checking party. 

There was 17 girls who hadn't calved that needed checking. 

So they called in Fr. Zane and newly minted Dcn. Lee Noel. 

Zane's no stranger to the rear-end of a cow. If I have my facts straight, he started leaning the trade as a young lad from his grandpa. As the years went by, he'd pick the brains of the local vets who'd come to check their herd and they would let him arm a cow or two and give him pointers. Lately, he's even attend some clinics that are geared to teach ranchers some of the tricks of the trade. Needless to say, he's a sought out commodity to his Catholic Cowboy parishioners. 

Having the right set up is key to a smooth operation. 

Randy and Sheila, along with other members of their family, ranch off of Oak Creek, northeast of Aladdin, WY. They first met Fr. Zane when he was associate pastor in Belle Fourche, SD, which is their closest parish. After learning of his preg checking abilities, this has been an annual event for the past several years. 

Preg checking is not for the faint of heart. A brave soul reaches up the rectum of a cow to be able to palpate their uterus to determine if they are pregnant or not. 

There are four basic features that will determine whether a cow is pregnant: You can feel the actual calf; you can feel the cotyledons attached to the uterus; you can feel the artery pulsating, which is feeding the calf; and, if its very young, you can feel the small fetus slip by your fingers within the uterus wall.

Zane is also a good teacher. Little Ezra is a ranchher at heart. 

Not being her first rodeo, she knows what to look for.

Meanwhile, Dcn. Lee keeps the other cows from sneaking down the chute. 

Fr. Zane even got him gloved up to take a feel. 

In the end, the verdict was 12 bred, 5 open. 

Just ranching.

Fun time. I'm always game to see beautiful country and learn a trick or two. I played it safe with my clerics and was able to just be the ranch photographer. I'm a big fan of priests’ healthy extracurricular activities. Palpating cattle keeps Fr. Zane in the saddle of sonship. From here, he is not only able to help preg check his parishioners cattle, but he can also relate to them on a human level. Kind of like Jesus. Keep it up, pard. 

1 comment:

  1. What an experience!! Thank you for sharing and showing a side of priesthood I never knew existed!


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