On Sunday night, our dairy herd got out of their barn and managed to open a grain bin with their horns. Two thousand pounds of grain spilled, and the cows gorged themselves on it. Unfortunately, eating a large quantity of grain can cause a cow’s digestive system to become blocked. The grain gets stuck in the cow’s rumen, starts to ferment, and poisons the cow.
On Monday morning, we woke to find 10 out of 34 cows sick. By Tuesday, four of them – Armenia, Heidi, Olga, and Zulu – had died. The six cows who survived feel sick and are not producing milk anymore. All this leaves us feeling very sad about the cows. In addition to this, we’re at only about 50% of our normal dairy production.
We are now in search for 8 or 10 new organic cows, and hope to bring them into our herd by sometime next week. Bringing new cows into an existing herd is not a simple thing, though. Cows have an established social order, and it takes time to introduce new ones into the group. On top of this, purchasing the new cows will be difficult for the farm and will cost somewhere around $20,000.
Because of all this, we hope that you will understand that some dairy products will be in short supply in the coming weeks.