The family on Cedar Lane Farm

The family on Cedar Lane Farm
These are the people I love! That's my sweet mama in the middle. I wonder what she's thinking.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another lesson learned, the hard way

My sweet Cinnamon ( my Jersey milk cown) is sick.  She hasn't been feeling well for two days now.  Yesterday morning when we went out to milk, she had no milk.  The calf (June) was spry and happy.  We figured June drank it all and was letting us know it by her antics in the field.  Cinnamon wouldn't come in to the barn.  We thought it odd, but figured we'd just chalk it up to the calf needing more. 

We took a trip yesterday afternoon to the local feed store to stock up on her dairy feed, and for the second time this week, they were out.  Once again, they sent us home with a beef cattle mix.........ok then.

Yesterday afternoon, Cinnamon was looking like she wasn't feeling well.  She wouldn't eat, the water trough wasn't missing any water, and she hung her head a bit.  We all have days when we don't feel well, right?  I felt her ears, no fever.  She seemed as if she had worked all day and just wanted to be left alone for a good long nap.  Well, for John, that's ok.....for a dairy cow, it's not.  It's a sign of illness.

Upon checking in with her again last night, we knew something was not right, and decided to call the vet first thing this morning if she wasn't better.  So, after a long and sleepless night for me, this morning she was worse.  It took me a long time to get her up.  After an hour of prodding, and waiting for the fog to lift (I thought I'd just throw that fog comment in), she finally got up around 7:00 am.  She wouldn't eat or drink.  She had no milk.  I called the vet. 

Well, he just left.  He gave her a calcium drench.  A calcium drench is basically shoving a tube down a cow's throat and pumping in gallons and gallons of a white chalky substance that looks like milk of magnesia.  Two grown men vs a 1000 pound sick cow.   Get the picture?  Mr. vet says that Cinnamon should be feeling much better by tonight. 

Changing her feed, to a second-rate feed to tide her over until her good stuff came in, proved to be the reason for her calcium deficiency problem.  Dairy cows with a calcium deficiency will show signs of joint pain (which she had), milk production decrease (which she had), along with the not eating/drinking/feeling well.........

The vet also "pumped her full of antibiotics" due to the raging pasture pneumonia in our area....just as a precaution.  So, we were told to "dump the milk for 3 days."  I can do that.  What I will NOT do is feed her anything but the best grain, ever again.  We have always given her the best grain, the best alfalfa hay, and the cleanest water.  To have the healthy, happy cows...we must do this.   If the feed store runs out again, down the road I will go.



  1. I love your blog, Marilyn! :) Gosh, that is so frustrating that the store being out of proper feed caused Cinnamon to feel so sick! Poor thing! I'm glad she'll be okay now though with her good grain.

    I'd like your opinion on something regarding that subject -- how important do you think it is to give organic feed to a dairy animal? I've started to wonder about the grain I've been giving mine. It's loaded with corn of course, and therefore is extremely likely to be GMO. Do you give conventional or organic feed?

  2. Emily, I don't feed organic feed to my cow. I'm not even sure it can be purchased in my area. I do, however, feed the best dairy chow that I can find. And yes, it is very frustrating when one gets sick. I think the only way that I could be away from GMO, is to grow my own. And, I don't have that option. Good luck to you!

  3. That's a good point, I'm not even sure if organic feed is available here, either! I guess I have to keep in mind that our animals are pastured -- that's what makes up the majority of their diet, as opposed to CAFO animals in which ALL they are eating is GMO corn and other scary things. Thanks for your input! :)

  4. So sorry to hear she is sick. I hope she is better now! Just curious what will you do for the calf while you are having to dump Cinnamon's milk?