Here is a nice morning picture from one of the pretty spots on the farm. I called the cows and they are on the move to fresh pasture. Italy Valley is in the distance. The grass continues to grow well so we should be able to graze the cows well into November.
Farming is not all pretty pictures like I make it out to be in the newsletter. Animals get hurt and sick. One of the most common ailments is a foot injury. We have had them as severe as a broken leg but more often it is a cut that gets infected. Many times the infected foot heals on its own in a week or so, but sometimes we have to administer antibiotics. A treatment of antibiotics usually clears it right up. This might happen once or twice a year and usually in an older cow.
About a month ago, the bull Tim got a puncture wound in his foot that became infected. Tim’s infection was worse than normal so we had to have the vet out to help. The bull needed a serious treatment with antibiotics and daily foot soaking in Epsom salts and disinfectant followed by bandaging to keep the wound clean.
Today Tim is on the road to recovery but he still needs to have his foot soaked in Epsom salts to help with his healing. An essential tool for treating a sick cow is the squeeze chute pictured above. The cow walks in and is held at the neck. The chute can also squeeze the cow along its rib cage. This helps keep the animal still and has a calming effect on the cow and the handler.
Once securely in the chute, I can pull his leg up so I can inspect the wound and treat if needed.
In this case, I take off the bandage, clean the wound and then put this bootie on. I fill the bootie with Epsom salts and Iodine. The bootie is nice because he cannot kick and spill it like trying to soak his foot in a bucket.
Below is one of the sheep flocks that is grazing our hay fields. We cut the field twice for hay during the summer and then bring the sheep down in September to graze it until the winter. The hay bales are the white things in the distance.
Last but not least, we welcomed a new little critter to the farm last month. Norah Anne MacKenzie joined us about three weeks ago, weighing in at 7 pounds and 13 ounces. She is eating, sleeping and growing well and we are happy and grateful to be a family of three. Norah can’t wait to meet all of you at buying club and farm store once she gets a little bit older.
Thanks for reading,
Leith, Mary Kate & Norah MacKenzie