I just thought I would take some time to blog, as I might be missing in action for the remainder of the week. We are patiently waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate with us; we are waiting to cut our 2nd cutting of alfalfa. We have enjoyed some much needed rain for the past few days and it has been great for the corn and soybeans, but it has made a mess out of our silage bag pad and we know our alfalfa fields will most certainly be moist and soft. Today we saw the sun for the first time in days, and it was a welcomed sight! With a little bit of a breeze we started to see dry soil again. We will need more days like this before we can hit the fields, but it sounds as though we have a chance of rain again on Thursday.
Time will tell, but for the time being, Jon was able to haul liquid manure over to the neighbor's harvested pea field. It's great to have such ag-friendly neighbors who appreciate the value of cow manure and its ability to grow great crops! We definitely appreciate having neighbors who will take our cow manure. By doing this they help us make sure we don't over apply nutrients on our own fields as well as stay within the limits of our manure management plan. Plus, sharing manure with neighbors helps them grow awesome corn too!
We were also able to take some time to work on a cow who suddenly developed a sore foot. Isabel, our 3 year old cow (who has had 2 calves and is pregnant with her third) started to favor her front left foot on Sunday. Sometimes cows will injure their feet like people do, misstepping. Other times cows have a more serious issue like a sore or infection. We trim the entire herd twice a year, which eliminates most problems, but since it's been about 5 months since the last trimming, little issues like this sometimes pop up. Isabel continued to favor that foot, so we decided yesterday morning (Monday) that she needed some medical attention. We lifted her foot with a rope, as we don't have a hoof trimming chute. She was actually a great patient. She calmly stood on 3 legs as Jon diligently worked to carve out the bottom of her foot. He carved hoping to find the problem, but we didn't find anything wrong with her foot! When we were about to give up on Isabel, Jon checked for a second time between her toes and found what appeared to be a small sore. Sure enough, that was our problem...a small sore that looked to have developed from a small stone getting stuck in her hoof. Cow's hooves are much like our fingernails, so they can pick up stones occasionally. We removed the small stone and the hoof tissue that was damaged. We applied some salve to help heal Isabel's foot and wrapped her up. While Isabel didn't start walking perfectly right away, she definitely was running around today! Keeping a close eye on our cows is critical to keeping them healthy. By catching Isabel's foot injury early we prevented any further damage to her foot as well as the risk that she could have slipped, fell and hurt herself even more. We work hard to prevent injuries and illness, but early detection also helps maintain healthy cows!
Hopefully I will be doing hay soon...pictures to follow!