Twice in the last week Lady Astor has become bloaty. The bloat is indicated by her left side – her grass side – popping out high and round. So round that her hip bone disappears. When you tap on it it feels like a drum.
Lat nights episode was worse than the first. It took a good couple of hours of walking and massaging her side for the gases to escape. Of course this is not always the case with all cows. This condition can be lethal. Lady’s care was only mild. Some need a sharp instrument or a catheter to be punched in through their side to release the gas or a hose down her throat. Oil down the throat. Every farmer has her own remedy.
Luckily I caught it early. I am not experienced in any of these procedures and it was Sunday evening and so we walk. Every time I left her, to quickly attend to a chore, she would lie down again but she was just resting while lay – not chewing her cud. Just lying there. At one point she would not get up so I went and got the lemon grass fly repellent. She hates that stuff and so we walked for quite some time with me brandishing the aerosol at her every time she stopped.
Soon she began to burb – great long belches that I could hear and feel rolling up from her belly and after a while the gases were escaping from both ends and she and I were much relieved.
Now I have to cycle carefully through any changes to her diet to work out what is causing this. The only change is the new hay that she is eating while she milks. Though I don’t think she eats enough to be a bother I will shift her back to the older hay. Greener alfalfa can cause bloat (though usually not in grass fed animals) but only if an animal eats a fair quantity of it. Which she is not. Mostly she eats cabbage and kale mixed with hay at milking time.
The fields have no new legumes in them as they wind down for the year. So it is not that.
She is off kilter, with her udder not being the healthiest at the moment, so I think her whole system is down a bit. She was OK in the night and I will keep her on rougher feed for a while until she is back in order.
Sunset through the wild garden.
I guess over in this hemisphere we have to start getting used to getting up in the dark again. Starting our mornings before the sun. Sigh. I am not an Autumn person.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: Sunny and warm. This Nor’East is keeping us settled and cool. I think the hot weather is over now. What there was of it.
Monday 09/11 0% / 0 in
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High near 75F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
Monday Night 09/11 10% / 0 in
A few clouds. Low 52F. Winds light and variable.
6:29 am 7:08 pm
Waning Gibbous, 70% visible 10:46 pm 12:11 pm