So yesterday I was at work while Tom tended to the calf. It was a torrential downpour and the mother was not paying good enough attention to Maddie. So he carried her through the muddy areas with Indy following and put them in a pen Indy was less distracted there and started caring for her better. Maddie was seen nursing. Tom caught a chill and ended up sick.
He found one of the chicks had escaped their pen and was dead, pecked by the other chickens. There is a small gap in the door he figured the chick had gotten out of so he blocked that inside and out with some straw and shavings. The remaining chicks were doing fine at dusk.
This morning when I got home, Indy did not look so good. She was wet, breathing fast, bug eyed and trembling. She was wobbling on her hind legs when we let her out of the pen. Her udder is quite large. She peed and pooped, but her ear was cold. We are especially worried because her mother Rosemary had milk fever twice and died when Indy was 10 days old. So we called the vet, worrying about milk fever.
We finished doing the chores while waiting for the vet. In this process I realized all the chicks are gone. No sign of them anywhere. Our thinking is that they escaped out the small hole in the door and were then eaten by something. The pen is otherwise secure at the ground level, and there is fencing above to keep predators out. I searched everywhere and cannot find a trace of them. So sad.
The vet came and examined Indy. Her lungs were OK as was her uterus and no mastitis. He thought she most likely has milk fever. So we double tied her to a post, and she received IV CMPK. With that she became more shaky which is expected, but her face and behavior improved. Now it is the waiting game to see if she recovers well. We do not want an orphan calf again like Indy was.
So a sad and stressful day which makes one wonder why bother. But then there is this:
And in other good news (sort of), a car ran into our front gate this morning before I got home. The good part about it is that Steve behaved perfectly, alerting Tom to the situation and acting like a guard dog should. He barks rarely but seems to mean it when he does. Rocky, of course, howled well.
Oh Donna! That’s awful! I pray that Indy will pull through. I’m so sorry about those beautiful little chicks. If the weather was warmer, I would suggest a snake, since they can get in through small places, but it’s probably too cold for them to be out this early. On a happier note – Maddie Moo is just a little doll! She’s beautiful!!
I read about Indy’s mom, Rosie…so sad. She must have had a very difficult time. I’m puzzled as to why Indy won’t let you touch her, after you basically hand-raised her “from a pup”!
It is because she is half Highland.
Maddie Moo is a cute nickname. We do not have much in the way of snakes here and you are right not this cold.
Beholding Maddie would certainly turn the world right for awhile! So pretty! Sorry about the chicks; ugh. Rick used to treat a LOT of milk fever when we lived among small family dairies in Minnesota. Most of the time it was an easy fix and a dramatic turn-around.
Thanks Michelle! I am hoping for a dramatic turnaround. We are not sure what killed Indy’s mother, if it was the milk fever, uterine rupture or an infection so it makes us nervous. But Indy seems OK this evening. And we got some advice for preventing it better in the future. The chicks will not be back though.
Hoping today was a better day for all.
Today was the bad day. Hopefully tomorrow is better.
We had chicks in the kitchen and baby pigs. We had a wood burner so when the electric went out we could still be warm.
Tom is saying no to chicks and baby pigs in the house. Although we have had baby goats in diapers…
What a crap day 🙁 sorry.
Thanks, It was a crap day. The guilt that goes along with farming sometimes is a killer.