Friday, October 21, 2011
The Other Side of Yesterday
Back last Sunday I posted a series of pictures under the title "Yesterday" and many of you commented on what a beautiful day it must have been. Well, weather wise, it was. But it was actually a pretty bad day and the picture of the buzzard soaring overhead has a darker side,
What happened was that a neighbor's recently acquired heifer escaped and got in with our herd. She wasn't there long -- less than a day -- but evidently she introduced some really awful respiratory disease. By the time we got medical advice (no large animal vets in our area,), one cow had died, and by the time we could get the appropriate meds, three more were gone. It was like the plague.
John loaded the first one on the truck and took her to the landfill.
But when there were three more to deal with, he rented a small track hoe to dig a very big hole.
And we rounded up the survivors and John shot them full of the appropriate antibiotics.He was ably assisted by Justin who's a real calf wrangler...
The head gate works well to hold the cows still but not so well for the little calfies.
The ladies in our rental house came out to help -- Nancy assisted with filling the hypodermics and Suzy worked the gate.
When it was all done, we shared a celebratory bottle of bubbly -- and kept our fingers crossed that the meds and vaccine would do the trick.
We were unlucky with this outbreak but lucky to have caught it before it went further ... and lucky to have helpful friends.And Justin made plans to make use of that rented track hoe, doing all sorts of long dreamed of or postponed projects.
That was Saturday and the cattle all seem to have responded well to treatment. (The milk cows and Xena and Clover were not in the infected group and they have been moved to other barns to keep them safe. They've also been vaccinated.)
I didn't tell you about this in last Sunday's post-- such a downer. But as I read all the comments, I realized I needed to show the other side of what is usually a pretty idyllic life.