Friday, February 21, 2014

A Funny Thing...or Several

A song sparrow sitting in the sparkly snow yesterday before the rain

Farm Side deadline is Wednesday at noon, or thereabouts. This week I wrote about how slow the early signs of spring are in arriving this year. Not the robins. We see them all year. But rather the first scent of earth, the first gilding of the willow trees, the first spring songs of the birds that hang around all winter, like chickadees and white-throated sparrows.

And then didn't yesterday bring most of those things...... It thawed like the devil, really fast and furious. Then it rained with considerable enthusiasm.

Soon calls of "Old Sam Peabody" rang through the shrubbery and the chickadees were going mad with spring songs. No sign of color on the willows yet though, and it will be a while yet before the maples put on their first blush of pink spring lipstick.

Meanwhile Bailey had a bad spell, went down and couldn't get up. Although she calved weeks ago and should have been long past "milk fever" the boss gave her a bottle of calcium. She was up in an hour or so.....

She seems to have a uterine infection along with the slight mastitis, so we are treating her with two antibiotics for the two conditions. If you were to see her now, you would find bright red crosses and lines drawn on her fanny and hind leg with oil crayon. That is so no one makes a mistake and milks her into the tank. There is also a record kept of everything we do for her, so we can be sure when her milk is safe to return to the bulk tank.


Every single tank load of milk that leaves the farm....and every tested. If you are caught trying to sell milk from a treated cow, you pay for the whole truck load. Needless to say we are careful. We don't even feed it to the bull caves. It is just dumped down the drain.

And thanks to a very nice person who sent us an antibiotic test kit that he isn't using any more, we can do our job better. Normally we would run a milk sample up to the vet's office and wait while they tested it for us. Now we can test our own right at the farm. 

Thank you all for your good wishes for Bailey. All eleven years old, she is the last Sandy Valley Ricky daughter we have, although at one time we had several. Her dam was one of the five Mansion Valley Delaware full sisters we had off a cow that would only breed to him and no other bull. Those five were really special cows, and did great for the kids in the show ring, as well as being good milkers and having very distinct personalities.


Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

I get so mad when people tell me all the milk in the store is full of antibiotics, as if, they think farmers are that stupid. Or that cows don't get sick ever.

Glad she's on the mend and you're warming up back there.

Rev. Paul said...

I'm glad that Bailey is better.

Anonymous said...

I know from you and dairy friends how safe the products are and I echo throwback's comment.

The Milk Maid said...

I hope Bailey continues to do well. My son's favorite cow almost went on the truck but because of the ice the trucker didn't go to the auction and with those few days she improved and now it looks like she is staying. Thank God for the ice. I just always love your pictures also!

Sarah said...

Glad to hear that Bailey is on the mend again!

Cathy said...

Oh my. The white throated sparrow is singing his plaintive spring song. You are blessed. And you can smell the earth. Seems like a distant dream.

Bailly is a lucky gal . . having you nice people looking after her. Here's to her continued improvement.

Terry and Linda said...

You are so right about the purchase of the whole truck of bad milk...our neighbor had a huge dairy (200 cows) of Jersey and Brown Swiss...Had the dairy for years and years and years. After all the kids grew up and left they had to hire help. One day a very sloppy worker didn't care and milked and poured the spoiled (sick cow) milk into the holding tank for the trucker.

Long story short---they had to buy the milk. In the double tanker...all of it.

Within the year the dairy folded. Because of the awful milk purchase and the bottom falling out of the milk prices, the cost of feed skyrocketing...they just couldn't keep on.

Made me sick!