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Farming animals - My story

Baretta11
Valued Contributor

Farming animals - My story

Hi to all at the workshop community.

It's been brought to my attention that there might be allot of people throughout the community that don't live in suburbia but on farms and whilst we all shop at Bunnings, we may not have had the opportunity to talk about our lives, our animals and the challengers that exist by simply being farmers.

Of course with farming life comes all manner of animals including dogs, cats and chooks but also the larger animals like horses, cattle, sheep and goats as well as some wildlife species that might not exist in suburbia etc... like kangaroos for example.

Farming life,  just like surburban life, is usually a choice and together with dust, drought, storms, floods and everything in between, we still wouldn't give up our way of life for anything.

Anyone who knows even a little about farming life may know that the larger the farm and the more remote it is, can bring more sever challenges relating to weather and feed for the animals and how far it might be to go to the "shops" for the people that live there.

There are of course  many things that happen on farms specifically related to the animals that would never be experienced in suburbia and some of the things would have people upset because it's a fact of life that millions of people still eat meat and the meat comes from farm animals but my take on all this is that when anything is slaughtered, it is done humanely but not to dwell on this subject, there are many happy and rewarding animal stories that occur on farms all over Australia on a daily basis that can warm anyones heart, so I'll post my recent animal story and please feel free to ask any questions that might arise from it and also to add a story of your own.

Quick background of our farm is that we have a small herd of Angus cows in the south west of Vic and we share the cows with our daughter and grandaughter who actually has Shorthorn cows because they're a pretty colour but that's a story for another day, so back in Oct, the 9th to be exact, a heifer (female) calf is born on our farm, her mother is Seti as all our cows are named and we named the calf Ruby but unfortunately Seti didn't have any milk as she was getting old in terms of the age a cow reaches and sometimes the first thing that is comprimised is the milk supply but specifically the colostrum which is the first milk all mothers both human and animal provide their babies that has all the antibodies that protects the baby from any or all of the local diseases that naturally exist in the ground.

By the time it came to our attention, Ruby was 2 days old and hadn't had a drop of milk and really should have died but she was brought home and fed and on day three Ruby crashed, meaning, she was almost comatose, couldn't stand or drink on her own, was really beginning to die actually, as the diseases that she should have been protected from were ravaging her body, so I started her on broad spectrum antibiotics after a phone consultation with the local vet and then for three days my neighbour, a vet nurse and I proceeded to try to keep Ruby alive by feeding her by way of a tube into her stomach and miraculously she recovered as so many don't, probably 98% don't.

Anyway, as a result of the bad bugs that had entered her body, she ended up getting an infection in the eyes when normally it presents as what's known as "joint ill" where the joints become painful and inflamed, so our little Ruby who was drinking from a bottle and growing well, was blind and we hoped against hope it was temporary!!

So fast forward 3 months and over 50 injections so far and still counting, Ruby appears to have finally regained some sight in her right eye and the left eye is improving, so together with the veterinary bills and the 3ltr bottles of fresh milke we purchased from the local supermarket for the first month, 6ltrs a day which was the best we could do to get fresh milk for her and now the powdered milk she is still getting at 9ltrs a day, 2.5 bags so far and another two will be bought at $150 per bag, she has cost over $1000 so our daughter informs us as it is her calf actually and we're still counting so just in case some people think farmers are heartless, albeit some are unfortunately, we are giving Ruby every chance to have a life with us for the next 14 odd years and there are thankfully many farmers out there that care as much as we do.

Hope everyone enjoys my story about Ruby and I'm more than happy to share any knowledge I can impart to the communiy on this or other querries I might be able to help with.

Cheers,

Barbara

PS I will include a photo of Ruby when I can.

 

 

KatieC
Member Engagement
Member Engagement

Re: Farming animals - My story

Thank you for sharing your story about Ruby @Baretta11.

 

Let me tag @ClareH and @AmyM I think they would be interested in your story!

I'm sure they both understand the trials and rewards of farming. 

 

Not too long ago @AmyM asked about building a shelter for her cows How to build an animal shelter | Bunnings Workshop community.

 

Looking forward to seeing photos of little Ruby and getting an update on her health. 

 

Katie

 

 

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Baretta11
Valued Contributor

Re: Farming animals - My story

Hi all,

Further to my intro of Ruby.

No one wished more for Ruby than me but after a barage of injections since birth, a thorough veterinary investigation just last Wed, it was deemed her sight was not actually improving as it looked but going the opposite way and the prognosis was that she would never see, so poor little Ruby is no longer with us.

My mother in law had a very old saying and it went something like this:

"If I was so soon done sir, why was I ever begun sir.

Such a sad end after three months of hope.

KatieC
Member Engagement
Member Engagement

Re: Farming animals - My story

Hi @Baretta11 


We are very sad to read this news. She will surely not be forgotten and was very loved. 

I hope that you will be blessed with more calves this year. Please keep us updated. 

 

Katie

 

 

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Farming animals - My story

Sorry for your loss @Baretta11. You certainly did everything you could. 

 

Jason

 

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Baretta11
Valued Contributor

Re: Farming animals - My story

@Jason 

Thanks Jason.

As unfortunate as it was, it was a pleasure for me to try to save Ruby but I don't think I have eveer worked so long on an outcome.

To all intents and purposes Ruby was thriving but just couldn't see and that was the worst of it, she didn't have a bad wound or worse that just wouldn't heal for example.

This kind of thing is certainly a more common fact of life in the country.

Animals are born and die for various reasons every day as well as those that face some kind of medical episode every day too, some serious and some not.

We have some cows that will start calving any day now, not many, about 25 and all the family gets involved with making sure they are checked at least twice a day and more if we believe a birth is imminent and if necessary we will assist in a birth and hope for a positive outcome and whilst mostly we are lucky, losses do occur and one must simply move on to the next animal that might need assistence and not dwell too long on what can't be changed.

Farming can toughen a person, perhaps even make you cynical if you let it but then something amazing happens and you feel toped up again so to speak with enthusiasm and hope. Farming is not for everyone but those that make it their lives wouldn't swap it for anything.

I was a city girl back in the 70's worked in Collins st in a Bank in Melbourne and my parents bought a little farm and we moved to the country and the rest as they say is history ha-ha

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