You just never know how things are going to turn out in the end, do you?
When my dear friend brought me these sore footed Jersey cows, I really thought that Bambi was the one in the worst shape. Berthe Belle did not appear to have as much of a problem. I was honestly afraid that I would end up with her and her bad attitude and crazy hang ups.
Bambi has made an almost complete recovery and often trots to the barn at milking time. The only time that I really see her limp is when she tries to walk down the gravel road.
Bertha Belle has not done so well. In fact, she is much worse. I am beginning to think that along with a serious case of foot rot, one of her toes is slightly fractured, too. It has reached the point that she often cannot get up. I am happy if she makes it to the barn every couple of days to be milked. I would completely dry her off but after the incredibly painful effort to make it all the way to the milk barn, I do not have the heart to not let her in for the grain.
They both have really tamed down, slicked off and we have worked out our differences in the milk parlor.
I have made up my mind that I will not call them to the barn anymore. Bambi knows when she should be there and will hang out and wait for me to show up. Poor Bertha waits at the hay and then tries to struggle to the barn when I call. If I am quiet, maybe she will just not make the effort.
I added another element to the mix today as well. Noelle will be calving in the next month or so. She looks dramatically better than when I turned her out to pasture but cold winters are hard on dairy cattle. Competing with my bossy cows for space at the hay ring is a losing battle for her, too. So when I was checking the girls, she followed me back to the "home lot" and I let her in with Bambi, Bertha and the sheep flock. She immediately bullied the younger, sore footed cows into submission. In this paddock, she is the boss!