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Real dairy wives: A calf in the house

Jodi Jackson for Progressive Dairyman Published on 27 February 2017
David and Jodi Jackson

Every day, dairy farmers go to great lengths to care for their cows. In this series from Dairy MAX, Jodi Jackson of Bentwood Dairy in Texas shares her story about caring for a calf with a broken leg. Can you relate?

We had a newborn calf whose mother had stepped on and broken her hind leg, up high under her hip. I wrapped her up in a blanket, put her in the front of the truck in the floorboard and took her to a veterinarian, who cast her leg. 

I then kept her in our house for about 10 days. I was trying to keep her quiet for the first few days, so she didn't move around much. I would go in a few times a day and pick her up to help her stand on her three legs. It was important to do that to keep her lungs healthy. I also helped her to stand when I fed her a bottle, two to three times a day. 

I put her in my kid's playroom because it had a cleanable tile floor and laid her on the dog's large pillow bed. It was kind of sweet to go in and see her cuddled up next to my daughter's baby doll crib with her childhood dolls in it. 

She soon needed to be returned outside – not only was I ready to quit cleaning up after her, but she also needed to get traction on the dirt to start moving around and get her mobility back.

After I moved her from the house, I put her in a pen by herself in the barn. She got to where she could rock back and forth and get up by herself. I continued giving her a bottle until she was well on her way to eating grain and growing up big and healthy.  end mark

PHOTO: David and Jodi Jackson operate Bentwood Dairy near Waco, Texas. Photo courtesy of Dairy MAX.

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