Country Living Series

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bovine updates

Thor is much better today! His scours has decreased and he's prancing around like... well, like a newborn.

He got brave enough to leave his pen for the first time too, but not at first. I had to clean the pen around him because he wouldn't go out...

...even when Matilda encouraged him.

But once outside, there was no stopping him. He gamboled about and explored and napped and acted like he was never scared to go outside.

Nothing new on the magic disappearing teat, however. We got three large syringes...

...and cut the tip off one of them. We sanded and filed the edges smooth.

What does a magic disappearing teat look like? Well as you can imagine it's pretty hard to photograph, but I tried. Here I held the camera underneath and got this shot:

The teat is just left of center top.

Here's another blind under-the-udder shot:

The teat is the little whitish bump on the extreme left. As of this posting, we haven't tried the syringe suction yet. I'll report what happens when we try it.


  1. This might be a stupid idea,but what about a constant vacuum source ? like a wet or dry shop vac with a longer hose so that the noise would not spook her.

  2. Not a stupid idea at all. That's precisely what the dairy vet suggested if the syringe doesn't work.

    - Patrice

  3. That was what I was thinking too, but I know little about cows and also thought it might seem foolish.

    I thought perhaps you could wrap the hose end of the wet vac with a wash rag or something (taped very well to the outside) so it would make the edge a little softer. Also, you may want someone else to turn it on and off so the suction does not get to be too much and it duplicates the milking action. This is a time when it would be really nice to have an old discarded nursing pump that you could adapt to your bovine. When human moms get this condition, they often suggest a pump to assist.


  4. I very much agree with the dairy farmer who suggested an infusion cannula without the syringe.
    You need to get that quarter drained before you get mastitis or an abscess in there. Do you remember when you were nursing and got engorged and how much that hurt? Dairy cows give so much more milk than any calf can drink, it is important to milk out each working quarter just enough to relieve the pressure for the first couple of weeks until she has adjusted to the amount of milk needed. Good luck Ree

  5. Whew, ok. I was getting ready to suggest a shop vac as well, but was afraid it would sound stupid. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about livestock, but it seems to me that a shop vac w/constant suction would pop it out. I hope she's not in any pain. Good luck!

  6. Thor is absolutely adorable!

  7. I'm wondering how the remedies worked. I figured you've tried them by now...

  8. A thought or two...

    If you intend to use a Shop Vac, which is a great idea by the way, (I had gone down a whole 'nother road that I'm glad I don't EVEN have to find a way to explain...) I would suggest a little tinkering first on Don's part. I don't believe standing by the OFF switch is sufficient to be POSITIVE you aren't risking an injury to Matilda. The great thing about Shop Vacs is that they work so well. I would fashion a sleeve to fit the end of the hose - a spare nozzle that you could modify would of course fit perfectly - and cut a round hole or two or perhaps a slot, along one or more sides, stopping short of the end. That way you could start with much less than full vacuum and then slowly cover the hole or slot in a controlled fashion if it seemed more power was prudent. And perhaps a section of rubber tubing, split lengthwise and slipped over the edge of the end would make it easier on Matilda as well.

    Jeff - Tucson