Update on Josie

Josie had not aborted as we thought….at least that was one of the options.  The drugs inducing labor kicked in this evening.  She did not make much progress and when I was able to see something, it did not look normal.  The vet came and pulled a dead calf from Josie.  It died at 5 months gestation.

Josie is fine.  I am not.  I’m very very sad.  It was a very awful sight and a very awful smell.  My poor girl carried that dead calf almost to term.

Not much more to say.  We will press on.  I probably won’t AI her until next summer since I would like to get on a Spring calving schedule.  We’ll see.  So, now we decide what to do until then.  Do we get another lactating cow that’s bred or do we just wait.  We’ll just take some time to get over this, and then decide.

Thanks for all of your loving kindness.

Treating Mastitis Naturally

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At first glance on Thursday afternoon, I thought Josie had started springing. However, after closer examination, I realized there was something terribly wrong with the swelling on her right underside. Her rear right quarter was also very tight and swollen.

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I posted immediately on the two cow forums I belong to and one reply was that she had a bad Mastitis infection in the right rear quarter and edema had leaked into the front rear quarter.

I began treating her naturally for Mastitis and I began stripping those two quarters. We put her in the stanchion and I began milking out the infection. She had so much milk or whatever it was in that rear quarter, and being a new hand milker….well, actually never having milked a cow…..by machine or by hand….it took me well over an hour to get the job done. I didn’t have any light….but my eyes had adjusted to the darkness as it settled around me. I don’t have a little stool, so I was kneeling and my feet couldn’t stand it for too long. My back got stiff and I kept changing positions. The last thing I did in the dark was take my girls temp…..this is another first….taking a rectal temp of a cow!!! I had the string tied on the end just in case…..it was dark, but I lubed it up and she did act a little invaded….I wasn’t sure how long to leave it but I left it long enough….rapped it in a paper towel and took it in to read. It was a normal 102*…..I am grateful that I caught this early and began treating her before we went to bed.

My girl was in that stanchion for over an hour and once she was let out, she didn’t want a whole lot to do with me. We left her out that night and I knew she’d be in the barn in the morning and sure enough she was.

By Saturday morning, much of the swelling was gone. By Saturday evening it was almost completely gone. By Sunday morning, there is hardly any edema left under her belly. I got one little clot this morning when I stripped her. I will only strip her one more time tonight and I think she will sufficiently heal from this infection.

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Most of the edema was hanging under her belly and was quite giggly.

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Her rear quarter is much reduced.

In spending a lot of up close and personal time with Josie this weekend, I noticed a cut on her right front teat which could and probably is the cause of the infection. I would not have noticed it if she wasn’t such a good girl. I discovered that she will stand perfectly still (although I have her hooked to a short rope) for me to hand milk her while out of the stanchion. She hardly raises a leg! But in milking her from the right side (in the stanchion I face her left side), I was able to see that her teat had a 1″ cut on it. She probably cut herself on some blackberry or multi-flora rose.

Here was my treatment:

Pro-biotic in the morning, Mastoblast (homeopathic) morning, afternoon and evening on first full day, then 2x day thereafter, 2 handfuls of fresh Sage for the infection and for drying her up, 1 handful 1x day Comfrey, 1 handful fresh Echinacea for immune system, 20-25 grams Vit C divided 2x day for immune system, 2 head garlic first day, Cai-Pan® Mint Udder Cream , 1/2 C Whey 1x day for immune system, Selenium 30C, Vit E 1000 IU 1x day, Arnica 30C for teat injury, Hypericum 30C for teat injury. I didn’t have any Apis for the edema, but will pick some up to have on hand.

I dissolved everything in the whey except for the Mastoblast. I put it in a syringe without a needle and she allows me to just squirt it in her mouth…she acts just like a little kid who gets medicine, but I feel content knowing she gets the full dose (2cc) and isn’t missing any. The rest I mixed with a little wheat bran and barley. She refuses it until I put a handful of sunflower seeds on top and a tiny bit of molasses sugar…..Mary Poppins was right….”just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!” She first walks away and comes to see what I’m mixing up for Joy, and once she’s convinced that that is it….she gobbles it down…every last bit of sage!

Our New Milking Stanchion

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Honey has been busy as usual. He’s nearly finished with my outdoor milking stanchion. I’ve been training Josie to walk in on her own and she surprised me the other day by backing out all by herself. What a smart cow!

In my milking parlor we are going to pour a concrete pad with gravel sprinkled on the top. The gravel with give Josie some traction and the concrete will allow me to hose it off. Then Honey will build another stanchion there with a head gate from my farmers old barn! We have access to free brick, so we’ll brick the rest of the room. Until we can get that room done, the outside stanchion will be used. And I’ll pray for no rain, so we don’t get watered down milk!

(you know better than that….of course Honey will put a roof over me, when he’s let out of quarantine!!! 😉 )

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Not One But Two!

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Meet Gerdy!

This is our new Jersey Heifer, Gerdy.

and…….

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JOY!

Joy, is only 2 months old and is a Jersey Heifer Calf.

Oh my, I think I’ve fallen in love.

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My very first time leading a cow…ok technically she’s a heifer, none the less my first.

Gerdy was being used for 4H so she’s used to a lead and already somewhat broken in and hopefully is bred.  We’ll know soon and then she’ll freshen (calf) in July or August.

It was raining cats and dogs so the pics are as they are.

Freedom At Last!

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Today my new chickens tasted freedom at Peaceful Acres. I finished tightening up the fence and adding a gate. I was awake about 3AM (must be those menopause hormones again!), so I layed there for an hour praying and thinking. I came up with a plan to make a gate. I’m not very handy with hammers and nails. But I found something that has been a life saver for this old gal. It’s those wonderful electrical ties. I know they look tacky, but when you don’t have any other choice and you don’t know what you’re doing, they work GREAT! I’m not sure how experienced people do these things, but with Honey so busy at work I just hate to ask him to do one more thing for me, especially for our newest addition to our homestead. He’s always more than willing, but I just hate to. Besides, I really love and am so grateful to be able to again, be outside breathing fresh country air and working hard.

I worked for 2.5 hrs and when I finished I let the girls out of their coop. I had Lady (Cocker Mix) on a leash looped over the garden post. Boomer (Lab) was ok. Lady was shaking like a leaf. Boomer started his hopping. Lady started drooling. Boomer started barking. It was a real show. I stayed with the girls who seemed content even with the dogs starring down their backs. The little Plymouth Rock kept trying to escape through the chicken wire….that really ruffled my feathers. She finally realized that she couldn’t get through….thank God and she stopped. They ate some of the veggies I’d put in the chicken yard and explored in and out of the coop. Eating and scratching and making a new home for themselves.

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The dogs electric fence is right about at the line of the chicken fence…not too smart. Lady sat completely erect and drooled. You could hear her teeth chattering. I could tell she really wanted to attack. Boomer laid down and had his belly rubbed. When I came in the house they were both obedient and came with me. I’m not going to trust them for some time. Lady is going to constantly be watching for fried chicken. Boomer will get used to them and not give them a second glance.

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The coop seems to be working out fine. When I checked on them last evening, they were roosting everywhere. The little ladder seems to be Roxie’s place and the others were up on the nesting boxes. I’m trying to figure out how to build another coop  (yeah, myself….that ought to be a sight) or buy a used something or other and convert it like I did Gpa’s doghouse. I’d really like to get 3 more chickens. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Next it’s putting the fence up for Butter Cupp. We’ve settled on a “barn”. It will be big enough for Butter Cupp and her calf. With an area to fence off for the calf if needed and a separate milking parlor. Plus an enclosed area for hay. With the price of hay, we just can’t let any of it get wet and go to waste. They keep saying cash is KING, so lets see what kind of a deal we get…..KERI, I need your wheeling and dealing help!!!!!!!

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I got another egg today. I call them prizes! Aside from reaching in a grabbing chicken poop it’s the most rewarding part of raising chickens, that and eating them. I love to make a shake with raw milk and eggs. Here’s my recipe.

Diane’s Shake

1 C Colostrum (optional-I use for my health)

1 C raw Milk

3-4 heaping Tbsp raw Cream

Blueberries

1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 fresh raw eggs

Dash of Sea Salt

Blend it all together. Mmmmm I love this. It’s so healthy and gives me so much energy. It’s filled with nutrient dense foods that bring healing.

Update on Cow

As you know, when God is in our lives, He always has BIG surprises for us.  When we put our deposit down on Nelly, I began praying for her.  That she would be bred quickly and that she would be a good mama.  Not only that but it was her owners concern that she was a little strong willed and would need extra attention to train.  I was up for the challenge….but then our new farmer friend, Tammy, emailed me and felt strongly that God wanted her to offer us one of her experienced cows.  Butter Cupp is a freshened cow (already giving milk) who has calved easily and never had mastitis.   Because I’d already been praying, I really felt like this was an answer to my prayers.

So, we accepted her offer.  Butter was in heat a week or so ago and may already be bred.  We will know in a few weeks.  So, let me introduce you to the newest girl on our homestead…..here’s

Butter Cupp

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This is Butter Cupps last calve…cutie pie!

I’m more excited than I can express!

New Addition to Peaceful Acres

Meet Nelly!

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This is the newest member of our family. She is a pure bed Jersey heifer. We bought her Friday, on our way home from vacation in North Carolina.  No, we didn’t have room in the mini van, so we’ll have to go back for her!!! 😀

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She’s 15 months old and has just been turned out to be bred with a pure bred Jersey bull, Peanut.

She’s a brown gray color with those big loveable Jersey eyes!   Hopefully Nelly will give us a beautiful Jersey calf!  Now we will have all the raw milk we could ever dream of drinking!  Boomer, our allergic Lab will have all the kefir and clabber he could ever dream of drinking too….ah!  The good life!

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She will hopefully be ready for us to pick-up in a few months, depending on how quickly she is bred.