There is a new cow in the barn

She came to us with no ear tag. Just a sticker number on her back.

caramel cow

My son bestowed her with the name of ‘Caramel.’

There’s nothing wrong with naming a cow after your favorite ice cream topping, right?

We don’t know much about Caramel, only that someone put her in a trailer and shipped her to the auction. There she went through the ring and was sold to the highest bidder, which just happened to be us. She was then loaded onto my dad’s trailer and he brought her to the farm.

Talk about having a long day.

Imagine leaving home in the morning not knowing where you were going and by supper finding yourself in a new place. A new herd.

Distressing.

Reality.

There are some of us who are born and are buried in the same place. We spend our entire lives in one place. Dairy cows aren’t much different. Once in a while, however, some of us may leave home. We see the world and leave traces of our journey through the friends we meet and the people we impress.

Some of us return home.

Some of us join new herds and find new barns.

No matter what the circumstance, I believe people come into each others’ lives for a reason. Whether they stay for the long haul or a short while, the impact of knowing them is priceless.

Here on the farm, cows aren’t much different. Some come, some go, some travel and some never leave.

Welcome to the farm.

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The Loss of a Dairy Cow: RIP Midget

At times of great joy, there is also great sorrow.

During a time where we celebrate the improvement of one cow, today I’m sadden to say we lost one.

It happens. Its apart of life – farm life.

If there is one thing that my dad and I have always shared, it’s compassion for the cows that need a little extra TLC. It’s hard when you go to a livestock auction and you see animals that will never see the other side of the sale barn again, or know they’ll walk onto a trailer that is destine for the slaughter house.

We eat beef, even though they’ll called dairy cows, the meat is the same.

A few months ago, the decision was made to bring this little Jersey heifer home from one of the dairy sales. You take a chance on any cow you bring home from the unknown, but when you see potential its better then watching them walk down the ramp of no return.

rip midgetShe was a little dame, needing some extra groceries, and her tiny bag milked out.

It’s hard being little in a herd of cattle. That’s why she was called Midget. She was the smallest.

Was….

When a farmer loses when of his cows, it’s more than financial. A herd of cattle is like a family. After they walk through the milking parlor long enough you recognize them, you appreciate their personalities.

Yes, dairy dames have got personality.

Midget was a little rundown when she came to the farm. Like all the cows that come into the herd from other dairies, she hadn’t got acquainted with all the other dames, nor had she fully adjusted to the move.

Then she got pneumonia.

She couldn’t tell us.

The only way to know is to look for the signs.

1.Fever

2. Depression

3. Loss of Appettite

4. Eye and Nasal discharge

5. Rapid shallow breathing

6. Crusty nose

7. Coughing

8. Diarrhoea

9. Stiff Gait

You may not be able to recognized all of them, but even a few symptoms is worth keeping an eye on your dame.

Unfortunately, pneumonia is a common cow killer on any farm.

Midget started out with loss of appetite then moved on to a stiff gait and a runny nose. It moved on to shallow breathing and then she laid down and didn’t get back up –it seemed like not enough antibiotics or aspirin could bring her back around in good health.

And then in the early hours of the morning, she became lost to us. Resting in peace.

I wish we could save them all, but sometimes letting go is for the best. Especially, when you know you’ve done everything in your ability to try and help.

R.I.P Midget