Wyebrook Dispatch



Just kidding. Like holidays, the animals don’t take the day off for bad weather. It was chores as usual. However, today’s big plans were thwarted by the snow. We were going to bring the bulls back to the farm for ear notching and vaccinations, but it was too slippery to be working cows and maneuvering the trailer. So much for that plan!

Instead we took extra hay to all the different groups since the little grass that is left was completely covered. We also checked waterers multiple times to make sure everyone had water and nothing was frozen over. Once the cows were situated, we moved on to the pigs (and goats).

The piglets are doing well. Everyone had food, water and huts filled with warm straw. The grown pigs and goats were not so fortunate. Their huts were muddy messes! Ryan and Steve had just put 3 bales of straw in each hut yesterday, but today you couldn’t tell they’d ever had straw inside. Something was wrong. We aren’t sure, but I suspect the pond lining is leeching water into the pig area. It’s the only explanation for the sheer amount of mud and water in the huts. Since we couldn’t fix the pond problem, we got the skidsteer and moved the huts to a nice dry section and filled them with fresh straw. The pigs were much happier!

The last big task of the day was treating calf 67. She is one of the yearlings, born late last fall. Yesterday she laid down on a hill and then rolled on her side in such a way that she couldn’t get herself back up. Ryan and Steve found her and got her situated, but by that point she was pretty stressed. When a cow gets over on its side like that, it can quickly develop bloat because the pipe that releases gas from the rumen becomes blocked by fluid. It isn’t good. They moved her into the barn, covered her with straw and blankets, and made sure she had plenty of hay and water.

She is standing up now, but the biggest concern at this point is dehydration. She still seems to be in shock and isn’t really processing what is going on around her. Steve held her head while I tubed her. This involves inserting a tube into her mouth and down her throat to force food or liquids into her. We gave her 3 big bottle of water, one with added electrolytes and two plain. At first she just stood there, but by the last one she started fighting a bit which is a good sign. She also went to the bathroom while we were with her (#1 and #2) and everything looked normal. No diarrhea or signs of severe dehydration. She’s not out of the woods yet, and this weather certainly isn’t helping, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for her!