Calving 2014

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9 years 4 months ago #499740 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Calving 2014
I was going to chop her open, but in the end decided that on balance it was most likely I'd find nothing unusual to my lay-person's eye. She's been living apparently healthily until the last few days when she's looked a little down in the dumps (just a bit more lying around than usual) from scours, which I'd put down to coccidia, since that's what's going through the calves, as usual, at present. She would quite happily dash about with the others for short periods, but was generally pretty lethargic when in good health. She'd been alone in the paddock with her mother and the last pregnant cow for the last few days, because it was easier to deal with the housecow mob that way, so if she's been even more depressed than I thought, I would not have remarked upon it without the other calves there to make it obvious. I'd seen her feeding each day, so didn't make a special point of watching to see how much or how vigorously.

The longer she lived without obviously thriving, the more I wondered if she were really a late-term abortion which got rescued. Maybe she was simply too immature in physique and immune system to do well enough to live healthily. Too late now, but I suspect it would have been possible to spend another hundred or two on trying to get her past whatever ailed her and still end up with a questionable calf.

These constant knocks are making it a bit hard to maintain a positive outlook!

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9 years 4 months ago #499747 by funnyfarm331
Replied by funnyfarm331 on topic Calving 2014
Hang in there Ruth, better years are surely coming your way.

So sorry to read about this latest loss - farming sure can suck at times.

Make sure you have a bottle of wine in the fridge and no, 4.47pm is not too early .... my grandparents always had drinks starting at 4pm[:0][:0].

They were farmers too, maybe it was their way of coping with the yuck days and the habit stuck with them after they moved into town. It sure meant that they saw family members on a regular basis, we all used to pop in from time to time for a sherry or whatever else was on offer[;)].

Know that there are plenty of us thinking of you :)

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9 years 4 months ago #499757 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Calving 2014
Thanks for the cheering, supportive messages.

I kept thinking, earlier in this dreadful season, that I may have had a fluke run of good luck when I was away from the farm for seven years between the end of calving and the beginning of mating, being the Exam Centre Manager for the local NCEA exams. There was the odd problem, but nothing like any of the things which have happened this year all at once! I gave it up for this year because I missed being at home when things were so lovely and they stopped paying me enough in compensation for missing it. It would have been really hard to have had to go away through that period this year and things would have seemed a great deal worse, had I not had the time to deal with them as I did.

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9 years 4 months ago #499758 by terralee
Replied by terralee on topic Calving 2014
What a BA$T^R# year ....sorry to hear you have lost Julia to end calving Ruth :( ....at least 2015 is nearly upon us ...wishing you a much better time then :(

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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9 years 4 months ago #499763 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Calving 2014
The year is nearly over and even though that doesn't really make a difference it sometimes feels as if you can draw a line under things and start afresh...sorry it's been such a bad year for you.

Web Goddess

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9 years 4 months ago #499766 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Calving 2014
One can only hope! It's odd how some years seem to be utterly full of dreadfulness and others only have their fair share. I was thinking though that the two preceding years were difficult in other ways, but not in quite such a concentrated manner. There were deaths of very important people to me, but not all together and at once and on top of each other in an avalanche of awfulness!

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9 years 4 months ago #499833 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Calving 2014
Yesterday we gave up trying to get Julia's mother to take the orphan calf because she really doesn't have enough milk. She was feeding Julia adequately for her needs, evidenced by Julia's nice body condition, but I think we'll do the orphan harm by persisting with the plan to graft him onto that heifer. Most of the heifers do an only-just-adequate job rearing their first and 721 didn't have a proper start to lactation, with her interrupted pregnancy.

Zella, now 5yo house-cow, is producing oodles of milk, so that I can easily take seven litres out of the morning milking and still have enough for the house and occasional cheese-making. At the moment she still produces a bit in the evening as well, but it won't be long before her calf adjusts to the daily regime and removes that before we get it.

Zella's sire's daughters are described as late-maturing in terms of their milk production, so I'm not surprised she's really pumping it out this year in her fourth lactation.

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