She has been missing for three days. I tried to find her every day, twice a day, morning and night, but I didn't even find a trace of her.
Tonight she came to the barnyard where she lives with the rams and allowed me to milk her. She was heavy with milk, but the teats on her right side were tender as though they had been voraciously suckled, so I knew the calf was alive. The right side was cheesy though, so she has mastitis in one quarter. I got about two gallons of milk, but it was hard work. Elsie has small teats and milking her by hand is not that easy. I need a milker fast. And I need help with the mastitis. I will get help from the vet tomorrow morning.
After milking Elsie, I followed her. She went around to the highway in the south west section where there was a tiny trickling bit of water that the cows had trampled into quicksand. She stood there staring at the mud, but she did not need water, because she drank when I brought her in to milk. It was almost dark and I could not see much, but suddenly I saw why Elsie was standing there. Her calf was dead and stuck in the mud.
I got two long sticks and tried to pry her out, but that did not work. I got another stick and used the first one as a fulcrum and the body let go, but the suction of the mud was very great. I got the back legs out and then pulled hard. Nothing, so I pulled harder and there was a little give, then slowly, slowly, the calf came out. The mud is grossly smelly with cow poo and run off from the ditch. I cried for the little one, just here for a day or two and to die in such a horrific manner…it just was not fair. I left her there because she was too heavy to tote home and I will go back in the morning and bring her in with Elsie. Now I need to find a milker for Elsie or another calf, but late calves are rare here. Poor Elsie.
My heart is heavy this night.