Friday, June 22, 2012

It is Hard

To be gloomy with the sun so bright and orange and the cedar waxwings are coming right to the shady cedar-draped front porch to feed.

But it can be done. Our boy is broken down along the highway in Secaucus, NJ. I know that, as he says, he is a big boy and will get it figured out, but I am a mom and must worry. Always.

And those blasted ratcoons on my porch last night...and yes I can spell better than that but I don't find them cute. They were after the porch cat's food; he was cowering in his cathouse and things were tumbling and crashing.

 I turned on the light and opened the door, TWO FEET from them!!!! and they didn't even move, just stood on their hind feet peering nearsightedly at me and waving their little paws around.

I had to scream at them to get them to leave. So now the cat will need a rabies booster and I guess I need some .22 shells. At least I know now what knocked down all the potatoes that were growing on top of the compost bin. They must have come up on the back porch after we went to bed and caused general chaos there as well, looking for who knows what.

And the pup is sick

On the better side......We have four new milkers, which will be good news for the tank, although it gets us out of the barn an hour later morning and night because their milk has to be segregated from the milk that goes in the tank for a while. 

We stuff them with hay morning and night to keep their tummies healthy. Transition, the time between being a dry cow, on vacation from milking from six to eight weeks each year, through having a calf, into getting up on full feed, and beginning to work hard making milk, is a challenging time for cow and farmer. A lot can go wrong, especially with the cow's delicate metabolism. 

A DA, displaced abomasum, or twisted stomach, is dreaded by all. One of the cow's four stomach compartments can flip over, closing off both its ends like a twisted plastic bag. Then surgery is needed. Not good. We try to keep everybody as crammed full of hay as possible to try to keep all those inner workings...well...working.

The four that have freshened (had a calf in farmer-speak) are Liz's Dalkeith, a second calf girl who stands in my line, Dublin, her full sister, a first calf heifer, who now also stands in my line, Becky's Evidence, an older cow, and Bonneville. The boss milks the latter pair. All had heifers except Bonneville. 

The elusive common yellow throat, 
you hear them all day long, but don't see them much

Bonneville is a miserable, mean, mean animal, who pinned the boss on the stall rail the first time he milked her this year the other day. She smashed his ribs up against a steel pipe and bent his hand up pretty bad...nothing broken we don't think, but he is a very tough man. She had him moaning and groaning and clutching various body parts... She is six years old and has been milked plenty of times, so she really has no particular excuse for such behavior. When Liz was milking her when she was a first calf heifer she knocked her right out cold jumping on her head. She probably weighs 14 hundred pounds!


Anonymous said...

Hang in there, it will get better! I do feel for you, linda

June said...

An animal that weighs a thousand pounds plus . . . with a delicate metabolism.
And people scoff at poodle owners.

Floridacracker said...

Yikes! The pup is sick?

Jan said...

Bonneville obviously doesn't understand her options in life.

joated said...

Ya ever get to the point where a tough cow begins to sound good as "hamburger?"

Terry and Linda said...

I'm so glad your hubby wasn't hurt too bad...I lest I hope so. Please let us know.

I think Bonneville needs to go the way of that car called Bonneville.


threecollie said...

LInda, thanks, what a day!

June, it's true. When you feed a cow you are actually feeding a delicate balance of bacteria that ferment their food to break it down. If they are eating say baled hay or green grass and you feed them a big slug of corn silage you will kill off the bacteria and make them very sick...potentially even kill them. Thus new feeds have to be introduced slowly and carefully. When they are in transition from calving their appetite isn't always the best and it is even more challenging

FC, tummy troubles. It is crazy how much we love the little son of a gun. while he was off at the vets the house felt plumb hollow. Life seemed okay before we got him, but he sure added something...something special

Jan, she doesn't indeed. I am going to have to talk to her about the Golden Arches

Joated, you betcha, as I said to Jan, sometimes the Golden Arches are the only option. And when they are mean enough to hurt the boss, who is really really tough.....

LInda, he is okay, thanks. He was hurting the other night and his hand is still real stiff. She is so crazy. The odd thing is she is off Alan's old show cow, Balsam and sister to his other one Bayberry who were both dears.

Cathy said...

OK. That beautiful picture up top sustains me.

Having assimilated some of those recent occurrences . .
i am needing a drink and I hope you avail yourself of same at the end of one of these days.

I see in a more recent post that the pup is doing OK.

As for dear old Bonneville . . . I think that 22 might be waved at her for some effect.

threecollie said...

Cathy, thanks, the view from my front porch. I love it out there.
I think there is a Seagram's malt beverage with my name on it awaiting the end of milking and chores this evening. lol Everybody despises that darned cow.