Well, there has been some good stuff on the farm as late. The cows are milking 68# pounds per cow (~8 1/2 gallons) per day this week. This is the highest sustained milk level that the cows have achieved in 6 years (since Brent & I have been married). We will usually hover around 60-65# (7 3/4 gallons) per day, and while this little bit may not seem like a lot, when you multiply 3/4 of a gallon per cow times 70 cows, it really adds up! The cows are healthy & happy, and healthy & happy cows produce more milk. We are also milking many "fresh" or newly-calved cows, which tend to produce more milk. We've also had many live, healthy calves, and are already up to heifer #115, which was born Tuesday morning.
The bad part of all these fresh cows is that it means we have a lot more cows to attend to. When any female has a baby, it is a stressful time, and such is the same with cows. When cows are fresh, they are more susceptible to infections and metabolic disorders. We work hard to stay ahead of the problems, and catch them early, so that we can treat them & keep the cows doing well. Sometimes these treatments are just extra vitamins and minerals, like calcium and glucose (for energy), and sometimes, it requires more serious measures, such as veterinary surgeries. Monday night we treated 4 fresh cows for various ailments. #9014 & #913 (aka Hyacinth) were found to have displaced abomasums (DA's), and #9014 also had an infection in her uterus after calving. Hyacinth & #122 (Alexis) also both had ketosis, which is when a cow is in need of energy, and so begins to burn fat stores. The ketones produced by the burning of the fat, reduce a cow's appetite, which leads to additional burning of fat stores. (Hence, a bad cycle.) So, we give the ketotic cows additional electrolytes to try to keep them from burning fat & try to get ahead of the cow's needs. We treat the uterine infections with antibiotics, where necessary, and then we bring the vet in for surgeries. Dr. Susan did 2 DA surgeries on Tuesday morning. DA's is when one of the cow's 4 stomachs (the abomasum) twists, and doesn't allow food to pass thru this portion of the stomach, thus not allowing a cow to continue eating & absorbing nutrients normally. Surgery typically is very effective on this issue, and the cow gets back on track quickly after fixing the problem. Both #9014 & #913 are doing better now, but we will continue to watch & monitor them over the next few days. Thank goodness for our veterinarians who we can call on when we need!