Hey Doc, What’s This Thingie For?

So like every profession, veterinary medicine and cattle ranching in general have a unique set of tools that are necessary for the trade. If you’ve never seen them before, they probably look like something of a sci-fi movie or a weird Medieval torture device. Since they aren’t either one, we thought we’d put a few pictures of them out here to test your knowledge on what each is used for. If you get 100% correct, you’ll get a virtual pat on the back from Cletus.

Cletus in a sweater

He’s so proud of you.

Okay, so how this works is a picture of the item is posted, and then there will be a multiple choice selection below it for what it is and what it could be used for. The answers are at the bottom of the page. Best of luck!

Picture 1.

Vaccinating a calf

We’ll start with a softball. Sorry if you get this one wrong, because it will only get harder from here.

A. This is a teleporter, which allows a veterinary to move cattle from one pasture to another.

B. This is Vern’s cattle wash. It’s kind of a like a car wash, but for cows and doesn’t have those aggressive brushes.

C. This is a cattle chute at the end of a cattle alley, which is used to restrain cattle to do health practices (vaccination, medication treatments, etc.)

D. This is a foot trimming chute, which is used to trim cattle’s hooves when they get too long.


Picture 2.


No, this was not my Halloween costume last fall. Though LeVar Burton does rock in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

A. Jake is holding a radio frequency identification wand, which is used to read electronic identification tags in cattle.

B. Jake is holding an infrared camera that allows ranchers to find cattle at night.

C. Jake is holding an ultrasound machine, which is used to look at calves inside the cow’s uterus.

D. Jake is holding a radio frequency identification wand for the contact with alien life forms that want to abduct cattle for research purposes.


Picture 3.

Fencing Pliers Picture

Remember that comment about Medieval torture device?

A. The tool above is a hair puller, used for tweezing out hard to remove hairs when rancher ladies do their grooming in the morning.

B. The tool above is an ear tagger, used for putting identification tags in cattle ears.

C. The tool above is a fencing plier, used for repairing damaged fences or building new fence.

D. The tool above is just a fancy nut cracker, as walnuts are much harder to crack when they are farm fresh.


Picture 4.

Balling Gun

For reference, this device is roughly 18″ long, 1″ wide and comes with no computer components!

A. This is a bovine flossing device, used for cattle that have grass stuck in a difficult spot between their teeth that cannot be removed with regular floss.

B. This is an AI gun, used to put semen into a cow during artificial insemination.

C. This is a balling gun, used to give oral medications to cattle.

D. This is a post pounder, used to put small electric fence posts into the ground.


Picture 5.

OB chains

Have you ever realized the word “narrow” really isn’t very narrow?

A. This item is a calf catcher, used to catch young calves so they can receive an ear tag.

B. This item is a set of bovine bling, two earrings and a rad chain, worn by hip cattle.

C. This item is a set of OB chains and hooks, used to help with pulling a calf during a difficult birth.

D. This item is a set of chains to help pull your pickup out of the mud.


Picture 6.

Calf tubing bottle

Hint: It’s not a radio.

A. This tool is a radio.

B. This tool is a radio-like electronic tag reader, that has an antenna to recognize the ID on the electronic tag, but is not actually a radio.

C. This tool is a calf tuber, used to give milk and electrolytes orally.

D. This tool is a specialize grease gun, used to lubricate cattle equipment.


Picture 7.


18″ long, hollow, and made of steel, but it’s not Superman!

A. This is a piece of tubing used to replace damaged tubing on cattle handling equipment.

B. This is a weapon used by cows to ward off vengeful wolves.

C. This is a speculum, used orally in a cow in order to pass a stomach tube.

D. This is a caudal speculum, used for colon exams on cows.


Picture 8.


I have an ear-y feeling about this item…

A. This item is a hair plucker, used to remove hair from a surgical site before a C-section.

B. This item is an ear tag grabber, used to grasp ear tags when you are removing them with a tag knife.

C. This item is a tattoo gun, used for tattooing cattle for identification.

D. This item is a message gun, used for loosening tight muscles on bulls that have done a lot of breeding.


Picture 9.


Pew, pew, pew, pew!!! I hope I’m more accurate than a Stormtrooper.

A. This is a vaccine gun, used to administer cattle vaccinations.

B. This is an alien ray gun, confiscated by the CIA and now I’m probably going to be arrested for posting this!!!

C. This is an implant gun, used for administering hormone implants.

D. This is a thermometer, used for taking the temperature of newborn calves.


Picture 10.


Vintage edition.

A. This is a fish scaler, because hey, a guy’s gotta go fishing every once in awhile!

B. This is a tag printer, used for putting numbers and letter on ear tags.

C. This is a stapler. Plain and simple.

D. This is a cattle blood pressure reader, used on an artery in the ear to measure blood pressure.


Have you seen all these items? Were some of them new or maybe confusing? Is my photography crap (please don’t answer that question)? These are all tools used in beef cattle veterinary work. As for what they are used for, the answer to every question was C. Yes, I did that, and I’m evil for it and should apologize, especially if you were sitting there freaking out on questions 4-8 and questioned your own sanity. My bad. But hey, this is self-graded, so if you’re honest that you got all ten questions right then you’ll get a virtual pat on the back from Cletus. Well done!



2 responses to “Hey Doc, What’s This Thingie For?

  1. Some “way out” and some reasonably plausible wrong answers. Got a few right, maybe because I hung out occasionally with my Dad’s Polled Herefords. Liked the irony of #10 and did get it right. You weren’t as mean as my first year human med school neuroanatomy prof that gave a true/false test where all 50+ answers were “true”. For one thing, my grade on your test doesn’t count for anything. Thanks for sharing!

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