I discovered on milking for the first time last night that Dorrie freshened with mastitis in both front quarters. This has never happened to me before.
It took me half an hour to milk three gallons — mostly from the back teats. The front quarters are hard as rocks and very little milk will let down. Her edema was severe last night and worse this morning.
I thought perhaps she was holding up for the calf, but the teats remained flat and empty even when Elsa butted her impatiently.
To complicate matters further, the ache in her udder is putting Dorrie off her feed. Not eating, she is heading into ketosis. I’m struggling to problem-solve on the fly, administer what meds I have, and drive a couple of hours to the big city to get more.
My hands are full.
* * *
When I turned the boys out yesterday morning I found my black yearling steer, Mike, was limping badly.
He could hardly touch his left foreleg to the ground.
Once I verified that nothing was broken, in the midst of my concern I was aware of a slight sense of “serves him right.” Mike had been the leader of the hooligans crashing into walls the night before. A sprained leg might teach him something, I thought righteously. (In reality, it is unlikely.) At the very least it will slow him down.
Meanwhile, my bulls, Harvey (1/2 bull) and Leo (younger, entire bull) are regularly tussling in mock battles.
They look at me as they walk by and I’m aware of a growing dread.