Bloat

Welcome back!

Do you remember last week when I told you it wasn’t good for animals to eat foods that they aren’t used to because they might get sick?

Echo accidentally got into the barn and found a few bags of sugar that we had tucked away in the back corner of the tack room. She tore one open with her teeth, and ate most of it.

It’s really bad for a cow to eat that much sugar!

Animals are like children. They need to be protected from doing things that could hurt them. We have fences to keep them in places that are safe, we have doors to keep them out of the barn where they might get into trouble, we have gates to keep them from wandering around town and getting hit by cars.

We want Echo to be safe.

What a mess!

If an animal like a goat, cow, or sheep gets food they aren’t used to they can get really sick. I happened to be in the right place at the right time to notice what Echo had done.

We always have baking soda in the stalls in case the animals have an upset stomach.
It’s one of our daily chores to make sure there is some in each feeder.
Farmers call it ‘neutralizer’ because it neutralizes the acid that may cause bloat.

Even having baking soda in the stalls wouldn’t have saved Echo’s life. I could tell right away that her stomach was getting very big! She was bloating! That’s dangerous for cows. It means that her stomach is making more gas than she can burp or pass quickly. It can cause a cow, goat, or sheep to die.

This is the medicine we give our goats, sheep, and cows if they start to bloat.
It’s called TheraBloat.
We mix up the right amount in water, then fill a huge syringe with the mixture.

The long tube you see attached to the syringe gets put in Echo’s mouth and down the left side of her throat. It’s very important to get the tube down the left side, if it goes down the right side of her throat the medicine will go into her lungs, not her stomach, and that would kill her.

Matt and I worked very quickly to get Echo the medicine. She was a good girl and it wasn’t any trouble. We don’t have photos because it was just the two of us and there was no one to hold the camera.

It’s very important for you to know that if you are passing by a farm and you see cows, goat, sheep, horses, or any other animals that you don’t feed them anything unless you ask the owner. You might give the animal something that would make them very sick. If the owner isn’t around to check on them, that animal might die.

Our friend has a horse that can’t be ridden any more because someone thought it was okay to put grass clippings from a mower over their fence to feed the horse. The horse got very sick. She didn’t die, but she can’t be ridden anymore because it made her so sick.

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I’m having some problems with photos today so I don’t have a video that I planned to share.
Quin and Xander came this week and were helping. I wanted to show you some chores they help with when they are here.
One thing they do is feed the chickens.
Xander is filling the bucket.
Quin is strong enough to lift the bucket and dump it into the feeder.
Quin is also strong enough to help put the milker on Echo. He’s not afraid of Echo because she’s so nice!
They are strong enough to help carry buckets back into the house, too.
Quin has eggs in his bucket. Xander has dirty washcloths.
Xander isn’t careful enough to carry the eggs yet.
Matt feeds the hay to the animals.
Quin and Xander aren’t strong enough for that, yet.
There are lots of things that Quin and Xander can help with. They are learning to work hard and help around the farm. They like it most of the time, but sometimes it’s hard and they don’t want to help.

That’s normal, there are times we don’t want to do chores, too. They are good boys because they do what needs to be done whether they want to or not.

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Bryon got our Christmas tree planted this week!
We hope it grows tall so that the animals will have shade in the pasture.
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Our old cat, Stinky, is finally friends with Bubs the new cat.
Cats don’t make friends very quickly.
Neither do most animals.
People are much better at making friends and being kind to others than animals are. People are smart and can think things through. Animals aren’t like that at all, even if we want them to be!
I hope you have a wonderful week! I hope you make friends with someone that you don’t know very well. I hope you work hard even when you don’t want to.
All of those things will help you grow into a wonderful adult! That’s what your parents and your teachers want most for you!

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