On Poop and Mastitis

Cow’s poop and mastitis.

Today I’m dealing with some mastitis in her front quarters.  It’s my first time dealing with it (in a cow…I’ve had it myself before and I know how it feels), so I’m reading the Family Cow Forum looking for ways to deal with it before resorting to antibiotics.

I milked out the quarter that was harder and warmer than the others, and took a sample from all 4 to filter.  According to the filters both front quarters have some mastitis, so in a few minutes I’ll go milk out both front ones again.

I also rubbed some castor oil on the outside of her udder, because I read once that it draws out toxins.  We used it on her heel just after we brought her home.  Half her heel was swollen up and she was limping.  I dabbed castor oil on it twice a day and the swelling was gone in a few days.  I’m hoping it will help with mastitis too.

(this photo was taken the day her calf was born)

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I’m guessing the mastitis was caused by contact with poop.  There’s a lot of it in her pen.  It dried up enough a couple of weeks ago to get a few loads out with the wheelbarrow, but then it started raining again and her pen turned to soup.  The weather is clearing up this week and we’ve had a couple sunny days now, so hopefully her pen will dry out quick so I can get back at it.

It would be REALLY nice to borrow a bobcat for a weekend and get that pen totally cleaned out all at once.  Otherwise it’ll be a loooooong summer hauling it out by wheelbarrow.  I did that last year.  I caught up on all the horse poop in time for Moola to take over the pen.  I kept it clean until it got too difficult to get the wheelbarrow in there.

It was easy to keep it clean once I got it to that point though.  One load every couple of days.  I just need help getting it to that point again!

(His new owners named him Ruckus)

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It should be even easier to keep up come summer when Moola is out grazing during the day, spreading her own poop.  With the chicken’s help of course.  I’ll be rotating her daily through different sections of the “pasture” using electric fencing and step-in posts.

I did that with the horses last year.  But we don’t have enough grass to feed them all summer.  We should have enough for 1 cow though.  I’ve seen some improvement with the grass in the last year.  Now that I have an electric fence the grass isn’t being overgrazed.  But I think it’ll take a year or two for it to recover fully and start rebuilding topsoil.

(so nice to have fresh butter again!)

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Anyway, I’d better go do some milking.

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