As a dairy farmer at a 2900 cow dairy, I wittness life and death everyday.  The other day, we were doing our daily fresh cow checks and we realized that there was one cow missing from the pen that we wanted to check as she was going down in milk.  After getting done with the cows we needed to check, we find that she was detected with mastites and sorted out to be taken to the hospital barn for treatment.  Upon arriving to her, we know something is wrong with her, her eyes are sunk in to the back of her head, and she can barely move, she is in shock.  Moving quickly,  the vet gives her some meds as i go to get a pump to pump fluids and NRG into her.  After several bottles of Calcium, Hypertonic, and many gallons of energy have been put into her to try to revive her, there still seems to be no sign of her coming back.  Still pumping, I get a call to go and assist with a calving, so I left her and the vet.  Upon my arrival back to the pen, ther was no cow there and I thought she surely had died.  With that, it put a real damper on my day.  Next morning, it is my day to milk the hospital barn and I notice a cow in the bedding pack, and to my suprise it is the same cow that not just 12 hours ago, she was in shock and on the her last string, but here she is standing up eating, drinking, eyes alert, and looking a million dollars better than last night.  When I hear someone tell me that dairy farmers just have cows for their milk dollars, while that statement is partially true, we also care very much about the cows as each of them have their own personalities.  And that is why my girls (the cows) keep me going.

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Comment by Elinor Opitz on March 11, 2011 at 7:59am
What a great story! Those successes make you feel so good...I think that's why I really love dairy farming....I know that the things I do really make a difference (to the cows, at least). There's nothing like pulling a calf and having it be a healthy little heifer, or treating a cow and finding her bright and alert and happy the next day!


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