The Life of Joplin - Blowflies Strike

"Hey man, can I help you with something?"

Our first birth on the farm was three weeks ago. It was the adorable little Joplin. We haven't written about her much since then. With the beef cows there's just not that much action. For Janis (Joplin's mom) and Corrina, it's just eat grass, chew cud, drink water, move to a new paddock, and repeat. Joplin's basically the same, just throw in some quality time on the udder. The cows are easy and I love them for it. One strand of hot wire keeps 'em fenced in. Fresh grass and water keeps 'em happy. And I don't have a whole lot to worry about. 

Joplin's first few weeks have been largely uneventful, except for her first three days. Joplin encountered exactly what we feared: "flystrike", or Myiasis, a product of the blowflies. The blowflies took advantage of Joplin. Right on her wet spots. The two wet spots on the rear end. I was worried about it, so I checked everyday. On her third day I lifted up her tail, spread her legs and a handful of maggots crawled out. Disgusting. Also scary. Poor Joplin looked perfectly happy and healthy on the outside, but something was eating her alive.


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First Birth on the Farm - Janis' Calf (A Heifer, We Think)

As I was stringing up some new fencing for the cow's new paddock I peered into the trees and saw a little head poke out. I was pretty far away, so I thought it might just be Corrina's nose. Then I saw it stand up and do a gangly little walk out into the sunlight. What!? Is that a baby calf!? It was a bit surreal.

Sure enough Janis had her baby, just as expected, exactly 11 months after her last calf. That means she was bred about 45 days afterward. 

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