Saturday morning, after morning milking and chores, I dusted off my cow care and diagnostic skills and went to work. Each cow got a thorough check up. I used a stethoscope to check heart rate, respiration rate, and rumen movement (if their stomachs were moving). I used a thermometer to check their temperatures, making sure we didn’t have cows with fevers. I also sleeved up and palpated the cows that had just had baby calves, ladies you know what this is all about if you’ve ever been to the gynecologist. 2 of the 4 cows were doing just fine, the other 2 were doing only ok, but were going to need a little more work. We don't accept anything less than excellent health for our cows.
|Close up shot of my thermometer, this is the cow with a low grade fever (average temperature of a cow is about 101.5) yes we check temperatures rectally.|
|Felfie of me checking for rumen movement with my stethoscope.|
After having a good look at their medical histories (yes, dairy farmers keep detailed records on their cows’ medical histories!) we came up with a plan of action for treatment. One cow was treated with antibiotics because she had a low grade fever (sign of an infections) and her milk was discarded for the following milkings. The other cow was not treated with antibiotics, but with probiotics, vitamins, and a little boost of sugar. By Sunday night those 2 cows were doing so well. There is nothing more gratifying that using my God given gifts and talents to treat and care for God’s precious creatures. I take animal care very seriously, and believe they always deserve our very best. Having the gifts and skills that I have from God, makes it even more important for me to put animal care first....not everyone can be a dairy farmer or dairy farmHer ;) Prevention is always key on a dairy farm, but when we make sick animals feel better…the feeling of joy and pride is priceless J