Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Copper in a coat

Copper in a coat

Copper in a coat

After a spiritual uplift, something of a downer.

Copper’s been off-colour for a while. In fact she’s been looking a bit below par through the autumn. This six – year old cow is one of our favourites. I know, the well-hard farmer’s front breaks up very quickly, but she’s placid and friendly; always one to have her ears scratched.

At weaning in November, we brought her across the road into a small paddock with some shelter to spend at least part of  the winter with her half-sister, Pepper; where she could be pampered and at the same time, provide a bit of company for Admiral the bull.

Whilst Pepper and Admiral have done well over the last month, Copper has continued to look sad so we penned her in with plenty of food. She looked worse and seemed to have stopped eating so we decided we needed Caroline, our vet, to visit. The week before we had some faecal samples analysed for intestinal parasites, thinking she may have a large load and no resistance. Results were negative, which in many ways was good news but failed to provide a reason for Copper’s decline.

Caroline’s concern was immediate, but examination proved inconclusive. She was hypothermic and anaemic, both of which are in theory treatable. She’s had shots of penicillin and subcutaneous calcium, snuggly surrounded by draft proof boards and bales and wrapped up in a borrowed horse blanket – looks odd but she seems to like it.

The cause of her condition remains a mystery. We await other test results to show if there’s an infection, which may or may not be treatable. The worse could be leukaemia. Should know very soon but Christmas and now New Year holidays have delayed things.

In the mean time temperatures have been well below freezing and it’s been snowing  alot. So we’ve been glad we were able to get her inside.

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