Daisy’s coat needs attention

About this time of year a cow’s winter coat starts to lift and itch. So while my back was turned Daisy has been rubbing her neck on the big tree in her yard and if you look carefully you will see that in some instances she has rubbed the coat right off and little bare patches are appearing.

So she is getting extra flax seed oil in her feed (along with the unpasteurised real apple cider vinegar, garlic, molasses and eggs that they get every day anyway). And I will make up a mix of lanolin and tea tree oil to rub into the areas that have become dry and might break out if we are not careful.  Plus she will get a daily brush until her spring coat is through.

The itchiness is making her bad tempered. This time of year it is hard on both animals and humans. Here, I shall show you our view.  TonTon needed a good walk after yesterday’s star appearance so on the way, we went right out into the middle of the field, stood in one spot and took shots to the South, West, North and East.





The big  open prairies. Stripped to sepia by industrial farming.  The saddest sight. What is the opposite of cabin fever?  Well, a bit of that is creeping in too. So I took Daisy into the center of the barn and let her play with the others for a wee bit. Until she started smacking heads together, then I divided everyone back up again.I mucked the pens out and  swapped everyone around.  Now Daisy is in the new central pen with The  Baby Bobby (he is a steer and all steers are called  The Bobby), with a door open to Pat’s Paddock out to the North.  HairyMacLairy the Ram and Queenie the Hereford calf have gone into Daisy’s pen with access to the yards. Mama and Moaning Mia are still in the home paddock so now Hairy can chat to them through the yard fence.

The new Central pen is also where I work from, most of the day, so Daisy is more under my eye!   I believe that to farm organically the farmer needs to be ahead of things and watch and listen and smell for changes.  If Daisy’s skin did start to break out we would be in big trouble from flies and infection.  So I need to get ahead of it.  Hopefully the brushing and a change of environment will get us through to her spring coat.

We are having the most gorgeous sunrise.  Red in the morning, shepherds warning! And yes there is snow forecast for this afternoon.  But it will be a wee bit warmer which will be nice.

Good morning!



84 Comments on “Daisy’s coat needs attention

  1. I loved lovely Daisy in your photographs… She is a luck one because she has an angel in her life: 🙂 Thank you dear Cecilia, have a nice day, with my love, nia

  2. Interesting photos today; you really have to squint and study each to see any difference between them. I hope you can help Daisy with her itch. My shins itch so much lately that I’m scratching them until they’re scabbing up while I sleep. I’ve tried all sorts of lotion, and nothing works.

    • Oh dear, You need to wear some cotton gloves to bed, to mitigate that scratching. I am sure you have tried it but I find pure lanolin is really good. You must be looking forward to summer so you can get those legs out into the sun. The very best thing for skin though is the sea. My children’s excema would disappear in the summer when they were in the sea each day! c

    • My legs itch too, and I use a cream called A-Derma, made from oat plantlets, which does work, at least through the night.

      Poor Daisy – though I don’t like the idea of her banging heads together!

      • She can be quite mean to the little ones, she aimed a good kick at Queenie and you should have seen that little cow duck and run! c

  3. Good morning, Celi. I popped in earlier today! Were you acquainted with farming prior to your lovely home now? You are so knowledgeable, and I would think organic farming would require such expertise. I love the stories and pictures. Hard work, but I think it must be very rewarding! Debra

    • Morning Debra, great to see you again. I am from NZ but grew up on the beach, however i spent all my holidays on farms. Most of it is common sense i think, the rest we are learning as i go along -that is why I love the blog, anyone who knows anything will always help me out! c

      • That is a good point! I’m sure many have contributed to your knowledge base! But the requirements are surely specific, so at least you must have very skilled instincts! 🙂 D

        • They are specific and i am determined not to let the farmy get too big, I think overcrowding has caused a lot of troubles in modern farms, we will stay small and sustainable.. and just potter along.. c

    • What an extremely brilliant idea, it would no last long as she is probably about 15000 pounds plus now, however it would get rubbed in! good thinking chris! c

  4. G’mornin, Celi! If not for the farms in the distance, you could have used the same photo 4 times. Worse yet, you could have said your were taking the pics while in Illinois, Iowa, Saskatchewan, any number of locales. On the plus side, be thankful there are no windmill fields. They are starting to take over our little corner of Michigan. Poor Daisy. Sounds like she needs a vacation or at least a spa day.

    • Oh a Daisy Spa day, that is a tremendous idea! Good morning John, do you have the snowed aimed at you for tonight? c

      • Oh, yeah, but, you know what? So long as whatever snows that are to come can be measured in inches and not feet, I won’t complain. We’ve been very lucky this year and I don’t wish to appear ungrateful to The Fates. (They can be so mean!)

    • She will stand still for ages to be brushed, but we have looked everywhere for the brush and have concluded that TonTon took off with it (sigh).. so until shopping day will have to use then scrubbing brush! c

  5. Ah, signs of spring; Miss Daisy is really “itching” to get on with the season change…best of luck.
    I had always heard..Red sky in the morning “sailors” take warning..(perhaps this is the New England version? Enjoy your beautiful day.

    • Exactly.. itching for spring, that should have been my header!! ! maybe This is the NZ version, shepherds warning..I have heard seamans warning too though.. c

  6. Daisy is one spoiled mama! lucky girl! our three bulls are in the pasture right behind our house, and they must be itchy too, as they are rubbing their heads on whatever they can find. the one I call Ferdinand has been complaining mightily 🙂 but there will be no brushing any of those boys– you’d be trampled for sure!

    • Daisy is a milk cow so if I cannot get close to her i am doomed. We had a bull once who was meant to be a steer but one of his testicles did not drop so he really was a bull. I could not go in his paddock at all. He took out more fences and gates than John could fix, attacked every feed bucket, smashed everything, chased dogs and left the farm a bit earlier than we had anticipated. He was just plain mean! Daisy is spoilt though. But we are such a small farmy that I can indulge myself!

      • I envy you that smallness! and of course, yes, Daisy needs to be handled, and often, I’m sure that greatly enhances the milking relationship! it’s so sweet that you’re able to be so close with all your critters. our beef cattle will always be not-so-available, but I do hope to expand what we do into other areas and keep those projects small and more hands-on. we’ll see… cash flow and infrastructure first…

        • yes, i like to be tiny, for the fences and the barn we use all found posts and recycled wood so it is a slow process.

  7. Your landscape shocked me in its uniformness. Here the land is broken up into “pièces” sometimes far too small, due to the inheritance laws here where individual fields have been divided up so that each of the children inherit equally, and of course they all want a share of the best bit.

    There has been a change of direction in the last twenty years or so, called “remembrement” where small plots are amalgamated. Sadly, the familiar, wildlife-friendly bocage (hedgerows on banks) is being grubbed up to make large areas for maize and its necessary huge machines. We still have a fair bit of variety though, so I feel very lucky to live here.

    • It is the maize (field corn) and beans that have impacted both on the land and on the farm families here. The trees were just chopped down and burnt to combine fields! ah well.. we are a little oasis in the madness! c

    • Firts i have to get her harness on her so i can keep her still, and she has not had it on since summer! there will be some wriggling.. c

  8. Poor Daisy – hopefully her spring coat will be through soon, altho I suspect she is secretly enjoying all the spoiling. Gosh it sad to see the view of what industrial farming does to the landscape.

  9. Love John’s idea of a spa date for Daisy! And after some of your days on the “farmy”, I’d vote that Celi get one too!
    And on another subject, I know the land seems to run on forever where you are, but does the sky seem big too? We’re surrounded by such green here, tall firs and other trees, and then the mountains and hills, that the sky seems miniaturized sometimes. Have a wonderful day, C!

  10. So you are now a hairdresser to the stars, well Daisy is a star?!
    and your view, I find it hypnotic that you can see pretty much nothing for miles, so there is a beauty to it. But what I was wondering was that befor ethese big open fields what was there before? Claire

    • before the pioneers came this was the summer hunting grounds for the American Indian, it was all grass, prairie grass, there are some pretty big rivers close by too so i am sure it was stunning.. Some of the prairie grasses grow shoulder high.. you can imagine.. where we live was a boggy area, swampy, with those tall swamp reeds and grasses c

  11. I’ll bet that like us, as a coastal kid you originally learned it ‘red sky at morning, sailors take warning’, but I’ve no doubt it’s equally meaningful for shepherds! I think I must be shedding my winter coat a little too, because my skin has gotten unusually dry. Won’t Richard be amazed when my russet and white spotted fur finally sprouts! 🙂

  12. I really do look forward to hearing about your trials and triumphs on the farm. It really inspires me to start planting one day like you and my grandmother. And I hope Daisy will feel better. It most certainly is rough around winter time for everyone.

    • morning kay. Do you have a tiny corner to plant a tomato or a zuchinni? or maybe a deck for a basil plant, it is wonderful to watch things grow.. c

      • You know.. I do have a tiny corner in my kitchen.. and I thought about growing strawberries just to get my feet wet. I have to figure out what i want to grow first 🙂

  13. I find it quite a musing that the solution to the itch for a cow is the wool fat of sheep!
    (Lanolin is a substance produced by sheep to protect the fleece from the effects of weathering) – quite a number of humans are allergic to lanolin, but if not it is a great ointment.

  14. That’s one lucky cow to have such a dedicated person attending to her ‘itchy’ patches. I’m impressed that you knew what to do for her in a way that is organic. I bet she loves you for it.

  15. Is that Daisy laughing or yelling in the group playing shot? (or someone else) Amazing prairie views…must be very grounding and humbling to stand there with that vista, like looking at the ocean.

  16. As a New Zealander, I wonder how you can manage without the view of distant hills or mountains. But the animals are a great focus, and I’m impressed with how well you are looking after them. Sorry I missed the postcard flurry as I was at the bach and can’t download pictures with my dinosaur dialup.

  17. I wasn’t aware that cows shed their coats. Been a city girl too long, I’m afraid. It certainly is flat where you are. Thanks for sharing your view.

  18. Oh gosh, you DO live on the prairie! Wow. So happy you take such good care of your farm animals!
    Have missed hearing from you on my own blog – hoping you are okay!

  19. Daisy, the high maintenance bovine. But she’s worth it…well…what if you ran out of reasons to mix up all sorts of exotic brews? Actually I feel for her. Imagine being itchy and having to risk rubbing the barn into collapse?!

  20. I can’t believe the view from your property. The land is so vast and flat. I didn’t know cows developed itchy skin. She is a beautiful looking cow like something out of a Charlotte’s Web novel.

  21. Celi, try some lavender essential oil – tea tree is used to dry out skin problems, and might make it worse – even though it is the best all round essential oil EVER 🙂

    • Thank you Tandy, wonderful that you can help me out with your knowledge of natural remedies. I shall find some lavender.. c

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