An eventful day today. I went out to water the vegetable garden this morning and saw a big brown lump laying out in the pasture. It was a cow. Cows do not lay all the way down unless they’re dead, so I asked Christian to go out and see if she was dead. He came back and said she was still alive but she was just laying there making little grunting noises.
I went out, saw mucus hanging from her rear, and realized she had milk fever. Milk fever occurs mostly in dairy cows (which is why I’m phasing out of them and into a heritage dual purpose cow); when a cow has a calf, the body pulls calcium out of the body to put into the milk and milk fever occurs when too much calcium is pulled out, which shuts down the muscles, and the cow can die. I was flabbergasted, since she had just started bagging up the previous day or two, and I thought the milk fever had come on before she calved, which hadn’t happened before.
So I called the vet (none of the local vets treat livestock anymore, there’s more money in cats and dogs), and had to wait almost two hours for him to get here. So I would go out there every 15-20 min. to see if she was still alive, and try to pour a little bit of water in her mouth, and to chase the vultures away. There were two of them just floating around and coming in every once in a while to see if there was something there yet for them. I finally put up a couple of sticks and put a sheet over it to cover her up a little bit.
The vet came and said there was still a chance for her, and asked if I realized that the treatment could kill her. I said yes, I knew, but she would die without it. So he stuck a HUGE needle in her neck and hooked up a calcium drip. He put a liter of calcium in her. She started to come out of it a little bit, but still wasn’t moving much after that. He put on his long sleeve gloves and put his arm in to check on the calf. I was flabbergasted again when he said, ‘There’s no calf in there.’ She must have had it in the middle of the night. So we started looking for it, tromping around the pasture trying to find it. Cows hide their calves, and the calves stay there until momma comes back. We couldn’t find it, so went back to Sally and tried to get her turned over. After some pulling and pushing we accomplished that, and she was laying up in a more normal position. So we went back to hunting for the calf. Couldn’t find it, so headed back to Sally, who had in the meantime recovered enough to get up on her feet and go find the calf. The vet had walked right by it, it was hidden under a pine tree. I think he was expecting it to be black like Dex (papa), but the calf (now named Chuck) looks like a Jersey like mama, so he blended right in with the dead pine needles under the tree.
So Christian carried him back to the barn while I paid the vet, and 15 min. later we went out to check on him, and he was gone, along with Sally. So this evening we took the truck out to try to find them again, and after a half hour of walking Christian finally found them. He got Chuck up into the back of the truck and he and Sally are safely locked up in the barn. Now hopefully, they’re still both be safe and sound in the morning.
Photos, Christian and Chuck in the truck with Sally following,
Chuck and Sally
Gertrude, Sally’s daughter and hopefully the next one to pop, checking out Chuck,
Christian threw some hay into the barn, and some of it landed on Sally’s horns. Goofy cow didn’t even try shaking her head to get it off, so he had to go in and get it off of her.
I have a rose-breasted grosbead pair hanging around,
And here’s one of my big goofball dog, Suka. He’s getting to big to fit in the recliner. The other night he was sleeping with his butt on the arm rest. Here he is sleeping with his head on an old swivel chair.
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