Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Identifying with my cow

I went out to give Xana an apple yesterday, and as my former shrinking violet ambled directly toward me and took the apple eagerly from my hand, I was struck by how much more I like her and how much more I anthropomorphize her now that she doesn't run away when I blink at her. I think it's something about her wanting that apple so much that makes her so much more interesting... so much more person-like.

1 comment:

  1. hi there. you asked over on my blog about my cow's apple catastrophe.

    Rori is a jersey cow. we had gathered windfall apples to crush and feed to the cows at milking time. after i gave Rori a bath (yes, i bathe my cows) i let her run in the yard so she could dry off. she got into the bucket of uncrushed, whole, small apples and i saw it but didnt stop her. within minutes she had choked on what ended up being a half-apple she hadnt chewed well enough. it blocked not her airway but her rumen. cows must burp, and release gas from the rumen constantly. but the apple caused instant, life-threatening bloat. she blew up like a balloon immediately. i frantically got on the phone with my vet who directed me to stab her rumen side with a large bore IV needle, releasing enough gas to get her to the vet before she died. when we got there he inserted a trocar in her rumen to stop the bloat. the vet tried (for hours) in vain to push the apple downward with a tube. he confided that she wouldnt live without a miracle. and a miracle did happen- she managed to get the apple up that night. but the trocarization/ stabbing of her rumen has caused complications and her fate isnt decided yet. we are having to medicate her heavily with both antibiotics and pain relief. she has a condition called subcutaneous emphysema (air under the skin) that can cause serious, septic infection.

    crushing the apples would lessen the risk, or running them through an apple peeler/ slicer/ corer, which is what we plan to do with future windfall fruit. i didnt know the risk was so great, though i had read that cows can choke on apples. you can read more about choke here:

    best wishes to you and your cow!



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