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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Milking again. Hooray!


Well had a rough  calving season. The sad result  is  10 new cows  on a new property in Karridale became 8. Yes, and we were right there 4 out of 4 difficult calvings.  Seems like there may be too much grass leading to too big a calf? We have had 3 deceased calves,2 deceased cows and 2 only just saved. There were a couple of cases of what we suspect was grass tetany. With one cow  Stew was right beside her. We  had a vet attend  but he would  would not provide the  magnesium solution we believe  would have saved her life.  Even at home here in Nannup the cow pictured above, Jersey, came very close to death with this dramatic disease which is caused by a magnesium deficiency. Any stress, like a difficult birth, can trigger off convulsions and muscle spasms , cow goes down and struggles to get back up, head arches back, teeth grind together audibly, frothing at the mouth, rapid breathing. Treatment  consists of a solution of magnesium  in a bag delivered by subcutaneous injection. 20 minutes or so after the solution enters the cow they usually get up and are OK., that is if they don't require another bag. In Jersey's case she did need 2. We once again   called the vet ( a different one) but in the hour long wait for help to arrive she deteriorated and came very close to death. She moped around for 3 days after that refusing to eat the garlic and raspberry tea I made her. She was touch and go but finally came good and was back to being bossy. She adopted a new calf we obtained from our very helpful dairy farmer friends . PREVENTION is the name of the game for this disease and "milk fever" or otherwise named "calving paralysis" which is similarly dramatic and deadly disease but is caused by a lack of calcium.   Magnesium and calcium naturally occurs in a rock called dolomite. We have spread ground up dolomite lime  on the paddocks here in Nannup 4 years ago but indications are we need to do it again. Mean while we will put a magnesium oxide dust on the paddocks at Karridale and in the water troughs today to try and prevent any cows yet to calve having these difficulties. After all our trevails it is really nice to report that Jersey and Moon the calf are doing well and we , the pigs , chooks and the cat and dog are loving the  milk. I am going to pasteurize some and see if the animals reject it.Update! Our dog and cat proved only one thing: that they like milk. They didn't care if it was heated or raw, they clearly enjoyed it either way and had no preference. Sorry if that disappoints you.
Moonie a few moths later with his "Aunty Jane".
 Jersey has stopped bothering to kick after a week long  a battle of wills. I seem to have won , and the result is one and half buckets of milk every morning . With lashings of thick cream and a plethora of eggs It is truly a land flowing with milk and honey in spring. I feel  ice cream  production is next on the agenda. Made with honey this will be very special food for invalids and babies , full of vitamin A and D as Dr Weston Price ordered.  Nearly finished Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price. One of the most profound  books I have ever read. Will be doing  a book review soon. His message is of monumental importance and is very very different to current trends. There could be nothing more important for teenagers to hear, as the health of the next generation is being formed by the diet of parents- to- be way before conception.

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