But Elsie's calf died. So I got a replacement calf. What a way to term it? As if Elsie's most precious little baby girl could be replaced with a large hunkering Holstein bull calf. My goodness, he is twice the size of Elsie's baby, which disappeared for the most part, over night. I did see a large German Shepherd running into the area where she was. We have trouble with a pair of dogs that live across the road, but eating my baby calf is just too much. When my big dogs are a year older, those dogs won't be coming here anymore or they will tear them apart, or at least send them home crying.
So, I went to the vet in Bonnyville this morning and they are not familiar with mastitis in dairy cows and were not sure the best route to follow. I tried to go to the St. Paul vet but they close very early and were not open by 5 pm. So, I got some long acting penicillin at Peavey Mart, just in case. In the meantime, I have been milking Elsie, but she is holding her milk or not producing much or something, because she is supposed to give 3 gallons a day and I am getting just over one. She has mastitis in one quarter and tonight I was able to move it out a little. She was very uncomfortable before because that is the side her calf preferred to suckle from and she was sore from the vigorous and strong suction of the baby.
As it turns out, Elsie did not want to let the bull calf actually nurse from her though, so I am ending up milking her twice a day and then have to bottle feed the calf. He gets a half gallon of milk twice a day, so a gallon a day and that is it. Man is he strong. He is a day old and when he bunts that bottle, I get sent flying backwards. No wonder Elsie did not want to nurse that little fellow! Anyhow, that might change some with the smell of her own milk on him tomorrow. If he is that rough with her though,maybe it is a good thing not to allow him to nurse. I cannot afford the time to milk and bottle feed twice a day when there are bed and breakfast guests, at least not at the times they would have been accustomed to. I am going to milk Elsie at 10 am, maybe 11 and again at 10 pm. It was best to milk her this evening with solar lights, no mosquitos or flies and the smell of the night…way better than the day. She is so patient with me and stands so fine. Some one really trained her well.
So, now, two more chores are added to my day. Whew!