Posted: 2/20/2024

Remote Delivery Medication System Lifesaver for Prairie Circuit Director Gillespie


Remote Delivery Medication System Lifesaver for Prairie Circuit Director Gillespie 

By Allie Bohus

When Prairie Circuit Director Cindy Gillespie isn’t busy running barrels professionally, she and Sam Minnick run Bar MX Cattle, small starter yard (feedlot) in Central Kansas. They receive 400lb. steer and heifer calves and keep them for 60-90 days.

When the cattle arrive off the trucks, the first thing she does is let them eat, drink and rest. Then within 48 hours they mass-treat and process. Ensuring new cattle are up to date on vaccinations is necessary to maintain herd health. The cattle are then moved to different grazing allotments dependent on the season.

About 4 years ago Gillespie purchased a Pneu-Dart remote delivery device (basically a ‘dart gun’). The Pneu-Dart has afforded Gillespie the ability to remotely deliver medication to free-range cattle at the first onset of infection. This is something that would be exceedingly more difficult without this piece of equipment. If cattle are turned out to pasture many miles from any sort of holding pen or working facility, (think: rocky ground, steep/mountainous/brushy terrain, etc.) it can be very difficult (if not impossible, speaking from experience) for horseman to effectively doctor a sick animal. Not to mention it’s harder on your horses and yourself.

The Pneu-Dart allows the stockman to deliver a remote injection to the animal quickly and effectively. Following an unfortunate experience involving a sudden outbreak of pinkeye where Gillespie didn’t have enough horsepower or time to get everything treated, she made the call. Without even thinking twice, she purchased a Pneu-Dart the very next day.

“This has been one of the best purchases we have ever made,” she said. “It has more than paid for itself.”

Gillespie had seen the Pneu-Dart advertised on TV and in magazines and it piqued her curiosity. There are certain aspects of ranch work that are more difficult when done by yourself.

“I can’t rope a heavy calf and trip it and tie it down by myself. And I am by myself a lot,” she said. “Everybody can shoot [a dart gun], but not everybody can ride and/or rope.” 
Gillespie’s sister runs a cow/calf operation and is who helped solidify the decision to purchase a Pneu-Dart.

“My sister told me, ‘I know you do everything with horses, but this really would help,’ ” she said.

“I think the biggest benefit is not stressing the steers… [Pneu-Dart] is an investment, but if you stress that steer enough what have you gained by being cowboy.” 
High levels of stress in cattle can have long-term negative effects which affect the bottom line. Having stress reduction practices in place are paramount to running a profitable operation.

It saves a lot of time on the ranch too. She enjoys being afforded the ability of being able to doctor sick cattle herself.

“Don’t even think about it, just get one,” is the advice Gillespie would tell others who are considering making a purchase. “We have let people borrow it to try it. I think if someone tries it, they are going to get it.”