spring mastitis

With new spring grass thick in the pastures, such of our winter-weary dairy cows as haven’t been dried off in anticipation of calving have doubled or even tripled their milk production.  Consequently, the youngest member of our regular milking team (fourteen) has had trouble finishing her two cows by six a.m., but it was misguided to conscript the twelve-year-old to help her, and it is hardly surprising that within twenty-four hours two cows showed up with mastitis in one quarter.  Rich grass, high production, and incomplete stripping out are ample to explain the event.  But intensive rotational grazing establishes a basis of good health that provides insurance against these little blips.  Massage and thorough milking got rid of any symptoms of mastitis after just two or three milkings.  And as an added bonus for at least one farmer, the twelve-year-old gets an extra hour-and-a-half of sleep in the morning.

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