Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 11: Red Week - The "oldest" red cow

Full Name:  Po-Cop Talent Felicity-Red
What we Call Her:  #7009 (or I call her Fanny, which was actually her Mom's name)
Age:  6 years, 9 months
# calves/lactations:  5 (as of last Friday, her heifer calf, Freckles, was born)

#7009 is the oldest of our red cows (and one of the 5 oldest cows on the farm)
She was more than a little camera shy when I tried to take her picture. 
One thing you will notice are the red bands on her rear legs.  That is the signal that she has been treated with antibiotics.  Sometimes cows get sick, and sometimes, antibiotics are what I need to use in order to take the best care of them.  We have a protocol that has been discussed with our veterinarian (and reviewed as conditions change) of how/what/how long/how much to treat our cows when they become sick.  We hadn't actually noticed that #7009 was sick yet, but we just had our cows tested by the milk tester, and the report came back showing that she had a lot of "somatic cells" which is an indicator that she is sick or is becoming sick.  So, we have a paddle in the parlor that allows us to test the milk of the cows to determine which of the 4 quarters is the problem.   Turns out, her Left Rear quarter has some problems, and so we have been treating it for the last couple days with an antibiotic that will hopefully get her on the road to recovery.  When we treat a cow, we have to keep her milk out of the food supply, and so we use these red bands as our notice to pull her milk into a separate bucket that gets dumped and not placed with the rest of the milk.  We hope she is back milking into the tank soon! 

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