Surprises… Bad – Good – and Thank You, Lord Jesus!

Miss Cora has become a Teacher’s Lesson Plan book for us.  And we’re the students.  Trust me!  I keep telling everyone we are green as goose poop.  But she’s doing all she can to knock that out of us.  😉


The latest surprise wasn’t so grand.  I figured she’d birth a large calf when I saw her udder blow up overnight.  But it kept growing after he was born.  I noticed the calf was confused whenever he went to that side to nurse.  He kept going up under Cora’s right front… Leg.  He’d bump…and bump…until he’d get fed up and go back over to the other side.

The front and rear on the right side just never deflated.  After spending a whole day going out every couple hours and trying to guide him to the teats on the right side with no success… I became worried.  I called Dwayne at work and told him to be prepared to come home and deal with getting some help to get the problem resolved.

We have some of the most wonderful members in our region of the American Dexter Cattle Association!  With some wonderful help from a couple of members, we were headed into a better direction.  One in particular, Jennifer, arrived ready with everything she could think of that we might need.  But even she was a handed a surprise.  She jumped right in… milking Cora and getting the clogs free without a second thought!  She’d been into it for about 5 minutes before finding out she was milking a brood cow that had never been touched or milked.  🙂  LOL!

Jennifer was working on the rear teat, almost finished up at this point.

Jennifer was working on the rear teat, almost finished up at this point.

Cora hung in there for over 3 hours (from the time we got her into the chute after Dwayne got home from work) while Dwayne and Jennifer took turns milking the 2 quarters.  All that milk from 2 teats… in that 2 gallon bucket!  (I distributed it around our fruit trees, later.)  I kept Cora’s attention redirected with her precious little 3-day-old bull calf… who was doing a fantastic job with his very unexpected…expedited lesson in halter training!

Our Vet came out the next day to give her an exam.  Treated her with some Banamine for a little bit of fever.  Took culture samples to send in for testing.  Milked her out, again, before cleaning with a sterile pad and squirting a tube of Spectramast into each of the 2 teats.  With her being her ‘Don’t touch me‘ self… we decided to grab the moment while our Vet was there and give Cora all her annuals, as well.

We had the task of getting her back into the chute for the next 3 days… to milk her out and treat the teats with the tubes of Spectramast.  Right.  LOL  The only thing on our side was the fact that we’d finagled getting the chute into the little yard and back up against the barn door… trapping Cora and her calf inside their half of the barn.  (That’s another story!) But the only way out was through the chute.

After all the needles she felt yesterday… Cora decided she was NOT going into that chute today.  We got all prepped.  Had to wait for pockets of air in between all the pockets of heavy rain.  Eventually…Dwayne went in for Seamus.  I tended to him while Dwayne tried getting Cora into the chute.  Nothing working.

Tied the calf up to the side of the chute and walked around to the other entrance and climbed over a corral panel to get to Cora’s side and help Dwayne.  It began raining.  Ran to get the calf and led him to outside the little yard where our Baler sits.  We hoped it would provoke Cora to forget and come into the chute looking for him.  Never happened.

In fact… she let Dwayne come back into that barn and start massaging her shoulders and back… and she STILL wouldn’t budge!  But that gave me an idea.  We tried a combo halter/lead rope.  Within several minutes… Dwayne had conned her until he had the combo on her.  But she wouldn’t let him come to her left side!!

I had to bring the calf back inside the little yard.  Tied him to the chute trailer where he’d be in the shade.  Walked through the chute to go back in the barn.  Got Cora to turn around.  Dwayne handed me the end of the combo.  He grabbed a cotton lead rope… which we tied to the nylon combo.  And I began leading her to the chute with Dwayne in front of me.  We came out into the little yard and began keeping the rope tight until she caved and crept all the way to the headgate.

Mama always wins!

Dwayne thought about going ahead and putting one of the Dexter Control Halters on her.  We got that out of the way before Dwayne began milking her out.  I brought Seamus up to Cora so they could be close to each other.  He’s gonna be a lover!  And a very smart one, at that!  Taught him a little game the other night.  And he remembered it today!  He walks up to his mama’s chest when she’s in the chute and nudges her when you tell him to “give mama some kisses!

Another round of storms began threatening to come in.  Dwayne got Cora all milked out. Got the tubes administered.  We got Cora backed out of the chute and back inside the barn. Dwayne led the baby back inside to be with Cora.  I cleaned up the mess outside… just before it began to shower again!

She almost looks happy about having Bling just like April!

She almost looks happy about having Bling just like April!

I went inside to get this shot of Miss Cora with her new ‘ Bling ‘ … while Dwayne was cleaning the chute… in the rain.  Just like a man… priorities!  LOL

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