Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The plan didn't work

Here's the result of all our work in the barn this morning, which you can read about HERE.

Penny came in willingly this evening and put her head in the stanchion to eat.  I locked the stanchion in place and put one kicker on either side, figuring one calf could nurse from her left side while the others nursed from her right.  Now keep in mind, she has been nursing these three calves ever since she lost her calf a month ago.  I would let the youngest, the Holstein, in to nurse first, because there really isn't room for three calves on one side and the older two would crowd him out.  Once he has at least the contents of one teat in his belly, I guide him out with the cattle prod and let the other two in.  The kicker was on the right, they nursed from the right.  She couldn't kick them; she did a lot of kicking with the left foot, but nobody got kicked because nobody was on the left.

Well, once she found out she couldn't kick on either side, her back end went down with her head still in the stanchion.  I had a terrible time releasing her from the stanchion, with her down like that.  And then she was sulking, or "sulled up" as the old-timers used to say, and wouldn't get up for awhile even when I let her out of the stanchion and pulled the kickers off.  

This isn't a tragedy:  As I said, I will just go back to letting the calves all nurse from the right side while she kicks away harmlessly with her left.  I AM glad Cliff added the barrier on the right, because now Penny can't keep edging over until she has both calves against the wall while they are sucking.  

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

3 comments:

Margaret said...

Hoping it would work, but sometimes all the wishing and effort in the world doesn't make it so. :(

Calfkeeper said...

Too bad it didn't work. Boy, they can be stubborn, can't they?! Well, you are right; learn as you go.

TARYTERRE said...

Poor Penny, all "sulled up" sitting down like that. Not a happy camper. Hope the situation improves.