Friday, October 07, 2005

Big Red

Everyone has a favorite animal. For Dave it is his cow Big Red. She is this big old "black jersey". Black jersey being a term to define an animal that has Holstein and Jersey in its make-up. She is a plain animal with a stubborn nature. She always milked slow. Wasn't a top performer, but kept condition well and until last year didn't give any troubles health wise.

Last year she injured a teat and developed mastitis in her right front quarter. After repeated attempts to save the quarter, it was decided to let it go. For the rest of her lactation, she milked well with little trouble in the last three quarters. This past pregnancy, the bad quarter seemed to bother her. She took longer to recover from giving birth (to a heifer - her first since I've known her). Last Sunday she injured another quarter. Dave didn't say anything because we had people here for a cheese workshop. He seemed upset but wouldn't say more than I think I have to ship Big Red.

After the workshop was over and Rona and I were in the house did he tell me that Big Red injured herself. She is milking on two quarters now with the bad one too injured to save. She is a good old cow. She is one of our oldest cows. We will milk her until tie-up. I don't think we are going to be able to keep her on over the winter. Of all of the troubles we have had this year, losing Big Red will be the one that stays with Dave the longest. He'll miss her.

The photo attached is not a great one of her. It was right after calving this year and she was just starting to feel better.

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