The summer we never really had has arrived with a vengeance in autumn. For the last few days our weather has been up in the nineties and dry, for some reason it feels hotter to everyone here than ever before.
Though, I am not feeling it as hot as the people around here – you know how I feel about moaning about the heat when the winters are so dreadful but the animals and birds are not burdened with such memory or fore-knowledge and they are laid about panting. The cows all huddle under the trees all day long and the pigs go deep into their wallows.
Wai Wai has taken to sleeping in a garden bed he dug for himself. Every morning he gets up and waits at his gate, (not quietly) then after breakfast and his cream he disappears, literally, into the overgrown garden under a big tree. His skin is dappled black and gray from his injuries and the zinc cream so he is quite camouflaged. The first day he did this I had to get TonTon out to find him.
His new den is close to the back door verandah so he is able to join in conversations from down there. Rising to greet any newcomers or have a drink of water then disappearing back into the undergrowth.
I put a very thick, very heavy rubber mat under his bed in the barn in preparation for the winter and he is furious. He would not go near his bed last night, sniffing and complaining and backing away in disgust, refusing to return from the corridor. I will give it a few days but I may have to pull it out and give it to Molly.
He is a most ungrateful pig.
Molly’s belly is dropping. She is getting close. Although it is way too hot for farrowing it would be better for the piglets so I hope she does have her babies soon. Her farrowing pen is ready and she is moved in, all that is left is to shut her in when she is close.
Lady Astor and I spent all of a terrible hot Friday walking. She got the bloat again and this time it was bad and would not give up. We walked and walked. She went down every time I ran to do other chores and I forced her up when I returned. I laid planks of wood and cinder blocks in her room and she stood on them obediently. But nothing gave.
This went on from 6am when she refused to come in to be milked until 5pm that night. Four times I drove the milking machine to where she was stood and milked her there – every time only getting a miniscule amount. So not only did she have the beginnings of an infection but the pain from the bloat inhibited her ability to drop any milk at all.
She just refused to come into the milking room. She is a big cow, you cannot reason with a cow.
Anyway I had been talking to the Vet during the afternoon and though it was his day off he and his Vet in training were all set to come out when suddenly she began to deflate. That little bit of comfort allowed her to eat a little grass hay and the chewing and a little more time allowed her to go down enough where I could see her hip bone again.
I called the Vet office and told them not to worry the emergency was over.
Later she came into the milking room and I was able to milk her properly.
For the meantime she is in the barn with access to the smallest of fields and eating nothing but grass hay. Yesterday i milked her three times and she was clean much to my confusion, though she is milking very little and her udder is very loose. Maybe she is drying up which would be a blessing.
Yesterday we collected her a new calf. He will stay in the barn next to her. He is too old to drink from her, but already she is leaning over the fence to lick him. I am hoping that this might help with her letting down milk, having a new baby to mind.
He is a little crossed dairy/ beef steer – I have had my eye on his for a while and got him at a good price. Seven weeks old and already quite a sturdy little thing.
It is 5.56am and I an hear him moaning to all and sundry in the barn.
Alex stood with her feet in a big bucket of cold water all yesterday – I put out the water for Inky but no such luck for him. Her vulva is now very loose looking though her udder remains dormant. I think her milk is going to come in at the last minute which is not unusual for a beef cow. We will see what happens next.
I hope you have a lovely day.
Poor Wai – perhaps he doesn’t like the smell of rubber.
Lady must have been quite distressed, you too no doubt!
She was really hurting this time – and she is on such a slim diet anyway as I try to work out what is triggering it. Since the Milk Fever her belly has not been tip top and a healthy gut (guts) is vital to a cow.. She went almost 12 hours that i know of without chewing her cud – that scared me the most
Poor thing. I wonder if there’s something pro biotic that would help her digestion naturally.
I am very glad Lady Astor improved & has a new interest to take her mind off her difficulties. I hope your heat wave will break with rain as ours did yesterday here in the mountains. Many leaves blew down & it is quite cool & fallish this morning.
Sadly I can’t see more than a chance of rain in the forecast however I am glad you got some – it must be very lovely up there at this time of year..
It’s all far more exciting and interesting than anything the Kardashians can dish up. That’s all I have to say.
Amen to that!
Who exactly are the Kadashiawatchamacallits? I have never quite caught up on that name..
I have NEVER watched them. I refuse. I don’t know how to tell you “what” they are. But I think they are more a what than a who.
OH. Television? That explains it. No TV. c
Awesome! (Me neither; )
You don’t seem to be having autumn and we seem to have gone straight to summer, skipping spring. Maybe Wai will appreciate mat in December when the cold moves in. I am hoping it stays warm for all the new babies due to arrive soon. Hope the new Bobby solves Lady A’s problems, she seems to have an issue with last cuts of hay 😦 Laura
She has been out on grass – I don’t know – but from now on – no grain – no legumes. her health is not robust this time..
Fingers crossed that Lady is beginning to dry off! The bloat that she is getting seems quite serious. Sure hope it doesn’t happen again! We have a few more days in the 90s here and then a cool off into the 80s. I must say that I’m not sad about still being able to swim in the lake with Dolly this late in the year! 🙂
It must be lovely in the lake – how is Dollys leg?
Celi, she really does seem to be getting better! 🙂 I’m keeping her on a long leash with me almost always so that she doesn’t run after squirrels, or race with Daphne, our German Shorthair Pointer. And lately she is walking on all fours with very little limp! We are so thrilled about this!!! But I am still going to keep her by me on a leash for the indefinite future so that she continues to heal! Your blog post helped so much! I also took the advice of Linda, dayphoto, as she advised DMSO, and it seems to be making a difference too. I did research on it, and am putting it on Dolly’s knee once a day. Thank you again, and again for your help with this!!! xo
That is wonderful/ I Am thrilled/ by next year maybe she can come off her leash- slow really does work doesn’t it. I am so pleased for her
Wow. This was a lot over the past few days. I hope you have a good cool down soon.
I don’t mind the heat – it is better for me and the animals than the cold that is for sure
Too funny about WaiWai; he seems to have assigned himself as doggie #3 (but too bad about the rejected sleeping mat): SO strange about Lady and truly hope she’s drying up; but her surrogate calf is very handsome! Are you thinking of him as being Carlos’ replacement? And The Heat! Yes, we’re also getting the back end of the hurricanes up here slightly to your NE and you are so right; after having had no Summer weather to speak of, now suddenly getting all of this heat and humidity is horrendous! Looks like it’ll continue through until Wednesday/ Thursday sometime. But you’re right, we’d best “enjoy” it while we can… Take care.
Thinking you’re right about it being the smell of “rubber”. Can’t say as I blame him either, as this stuff that’s coming from China doesn’t smell anything like what I recall as being rubber. The smell of their new tires(tyres; ) totally turns my stomach upon walking in the doors at Princess Auto. Whatever “extra” that’s been added in can’t be good:/
I never really thought about what they put in the modern rubber.. hmm. This Bobby will join the beef herd – Carlos was too destructive to do over again . As usual though i had to learn the hard way !!
Bulls are unpredictable at best. My uncle was seriously injured by his Jersey bull when I was very young. But yes, so-called “Rubber”. Does the mat have a “chemical” smell? Although (being a pig; ) he may be much more sensitive to such things, the Chinese have a pretty poor record for questionable additives, to say the least ):
Poor old Lady A, she’s having a rough patch just now – and by extension, so are you. A farmer I knew as a child used to bury things that smelt too new in the muck heap for a couple of days (if they’d stand up to it, of course), which would take care of the smell. Worth a try?
Wondering if little (?) Wai may associate the petroleum-rubbery-chemical smells with his injuries? We are dry & hot here in NW MO, too. Lots of fields getting an early start on harvest; mostly the corn so far.
I think you might have figured out the reason Wai dislikes the rubber mat- It just might have a reminiscent odor to it that reminds Wai of what caused his horrible injuries…? Poor Wai….he is quite the character even if he isn’t appreciating what you are doing for him. Have a cooler day !
What lovely pictures and fascinating insight to your daily life. Love Wai
Ah yes, the weather! Oh, what have we done. The climate change naysayers will have a different view -probably from their airconditoned filtered water provisioned offices- but I think the climate canaries are coming home to roost.
I used to have a Jersey cow, Cassie, that would frequently get bloat in the grazing season for some reason. This really worked wonderfully to relieve the bloat. Take a piece of wood like a piece of a broom handle and drill a hole in each side. Then thread a piece of hay string in both holes. Very gently put the piece of smooth wood in the cows mouth and tie it loosely around her head, so that it is not tight, but she cannot spit it out. She will try to work it out, but she should not be upset about it as long as it is not tied too tightly. As she tries to work it out, somehow working up that saliva helps the bloat to diminish. Don’t ask me how, but it works!! When I had working draft horses, I even just put the horse bridle on my cow, with the bit in her mouth instead of a piece of wood, and it worked perfectly. Just make sure it is not too tight, as that will upset your cow. Good luck!
It is absolutely unbearable here too. I feel so bad for the animals, at least we have A/C to escape to. Yesterday, I saw a squirrel literally resting after a few steps coming down a tree. It just stretched itself across the branch and a moment or two later, repeated the process.