The new heifer, Aunty Anna, was allowed out into the field with the others for two hours yesterday to eat some fresh green grass – then back into the barn with her new friends. She has eaten a lot of grain in her short life so her belly will need to be slowly introduced to the rich spring pastures that my cows are on. We do not want a calf with bloat on top of everything else. To compensate I gave them all a small bowl of my special grain mix. It is 1/4 each of oats, barley, wheat and corn. All local grains and chopped and bagged for me at a local mill. To this I add dried molasses and dried seaweed. Usually this is only for fattening pigs but the cows can have it as an occasional treat.
Lady Astor on the other hand is being kept off the rich spring growth and any grain at all, and is locked up in the barn with her calf every night. Her calf still seems to get left behind. Lady is on dry hay because we do not want to cause an increase in milk production quite yet, I don’t want her udder to be pushed until it is back to peak condition. Three quarters have drained properly but one quarter though smaller is still swollen and hard. It is softer after milking but I am sure it is not draining properly yet due to the swelling.
It is generally believed that the swelling from an engorged udder can take up to two weeks to go down but I still feel anxious.
But we are working on it. Bobby T, her calf, has a full belly every time I check and his digestive system is working the way it should so that is a good thing.
Good morning. It rained all day yesterday and is raining again today. We are soggy. Very soggy – another reason to keep the cows in.
I hope you have a good day.