Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Last Thing I Do

This is Carlene....back in the day.
She is now a big cow and just had her first calf a couple of weeks ago.
She decided to stomp on Alan last night and stepped on his hand.
He has a perfect set of dew claw marks on the back of it. Isn't she cute?

Before leaving the barn these days is check ears. I go around to the fresh cows and grab their ears to see if they are nice and warm or cold and clammy. It isn't fool proof but it is a pretty good way to check for the beginnings of milk fever, or hypocalcemia.

Of course we are always on the lookout for more serious symptoms of the metabolic disorder so common at calving time, but the cold ears sometimes give us a head start on treatment. It is far better to get a bottle of calcium on board before the cow is down or has stopped eating.

Right now I am keeping a close watch on Egypt and Verona who both had calves a couple of days ago, as well as checking Lakota who is due in a couple of days. And Heather, ditto. Come March we will about be living in the barn because so many cows will be calving.


June said...

Yeah. Carlene's a doll. I bet everybody wishes she'd stepped on Alan's hand when she was that size instead of now!

Cathy said...


That's got to be a lot of poundage per square inch coming down on your hand.

But who could get mad at such a sweetie?

Hypocalcemia. Very interesting. Is it because they are suddenly producing milk that causes their calcium levels to crash?

lisa said...

I learned something new today, thanks! :) Poor Alan, let him know that I said he should keep his hands to himself ;)

CTG Ponies said...

Ouch, I bet that hurt!

Sandcastle Momma said...

His hand must feel like it's been run over by a car!
I love the idea of feeling cows ears at the end of the day. I'm sure it's only fun the first time but this beach girl thinks it sounds awesome.

DayPhoto said...

And of course---she just stood there like nothing was out of place until she was PUSHED off. Cows! They KNOW they are BIG!


threecollie said...

June, she is usually a very nice girl. Don't know what got into her that night, but she was just a nutso. Jumped all over me too, but I was ready for it after what she did to Alan. right back to normal next milking

Cathy, yeah, I though she kicked him in the head and I was terrified! And yes, that is basically what happens with milk fever. Their calcium-producing mechanism sometimes doesn't kick into gear when it should

Lisa, I will tell him just that. Wait until you see him!

CTG, I think it really hurt a lot. I tried to get him to let me finish milking by myself but he insisted on helping. Probably didn't want his texting thumbs to stiffen up. lol

SC Momma, I felt really bad for him. I have only had a hand stepped on once, but it was memorable. You have to have a certain technique for the ear checking thing. They generally don't want you to touch the ears unless you happen to be giving them a nice scratch...and only certain ones will allow that. Thus the quick grab and clutch and get your hand back away before they smash it on a pipe or wall is a good touch. lol. I am always glad when they do react strongly though, because if they didn't I would know they were probably sick. I am certainly grateful to have such a quick method of checking on them though.

Linda, I don't know what got into her that night. She is generally the sweetest heifer you could ask for, actually loves to be scratched and fooled with. I thought she had a stepped on teat or something because that is how she acted, but there was not a mark on her and she was fine the next morning.

thecrazysheeplady said...