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Author Topic: Cow pox Jersey  (Read 1191 times)
Cindi
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« on: December 06, 2006, 11:45:10 PM »

This may be lengthy, it is a story for sure.  About 24 years ago, my husband, my two young daughters  and I made a radical move and went to live with a sister of mine that is my junior by 2 years, her husband and her children, up on the side of a mountain.  Our water was fed from a stream that ran down the side of this mountain, and now and then, after heavy rain, we would have to trudge way up the creek, up the side of the mountain to unplug the leaves and debris that would plug up the filter in the creek.  We would know that it was plugged up because our water pressure would drop.  Holy smokes!!!  Thinking back, this was such a strange thing to have to do to get water.  But man was this water good, mountain fresh and oh so cold.  This was a very rural area and we farmed a little, raising calves, and some sheep, (I never did learn to like veal) and had a Jersey milker by the name of "Candy."  Lovely, sweet, sweet cow, such beautiful, big brown eyes.  (oh ya, I  loved her cow breath too).  That summer we learned how to milk a cow.  Now learning how to milk a cow is something that certainly does not come in any way naturally.  It is an art form.  If you have ever milked a cow by hand, you will know what I mean. Talk about the muscles being built up in the forearms!!!!  Wow...that summer was spent having fun, both my husband and I were not employed at that time, taking the summer off, to relax and enjoy the country life.  Then came the early fall and we both sought employment and went to work.  We worked a very long ways from the farm, really far.  We lived about 70 km from our places of work and it was a long haul.  We would leave about 5:00 AM to get to our respective places of work, it would take about 1-1/2 hours to get to the place I worked, my husband would leave me the car, and he would take the bus another 1/2 hour to go his workplace.  When I got off work, I would drive my car to his work, wait until he was off work and then home we would head.  In looking back, it was an adventure of all adventures.  thank goodness my sister loved my daughters and took good care of them.  We had a little tiny orange Mercury Bobcat car.  I thought it was a beauty, it was the second car that I had ever owned, and I felt like I was a lucky woman driving a Cadillac!!!.

We all shared our tasks at the farm, our biggest task was to milk the cow before we left for work, so we got up very, very early.  Don't ask me how we did that, but we did. That was just simply life, and we were young, and probably not very wise. 

Anyways poor old Candy.  What a strange thing happened to her.  Her udder started to get terrible small sores on it, it was very painful for her to be milked, but she had to be milked. There was no way out of that.   We had the vet come to see what on earth was wrong with this poor old girl.  She had cow pox.  Now I know that there are many dairy farmers out there.  Has anyone ever encountered this?  Maybe it is very rare, I have no idea, maybe its common.  Maybe there are vacinnes for this disease now. Anyways, we would try to be as gentle to her as we could, lathering her with bag balm all the time, trying to get her over this obnoxious malade.  She did eventually get better, and thank goodness she did.  Cause it was a horror show.  I cannot count the times that she would kick the old milk pail and milk flyin' everywhere.  As an aside, I understand that cows can actually kick sideways, horses cannot.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is a remarkable ability of these creatures.  What a time, they can actually do a stomp pretty hard too.

We moved away from my sister's home a few months later, to move much much closer to work.  Upon moving into our new home, it was such a wonderful thing to wake up and know that both my husband and myself had not much more than 1/2 hour to go to get to our workplace.  I've mentioned before, one cannot appreciate something fully, until one has experienced the opposite side of the coin.

We loved our milk from our Candy girl, and we made many many delicious products from the cream.  She lived with my sister for many many years, and as humans are with the chickenpox, never contracted this cow pox again.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
organicgrl37
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2007, 02:35:56 PM »

Cindi i just found this post today and gave it a read. I have worked on several dairy farms in my life, both organic and non-organic. I have seen cow pox many times. the best treatment for the poor cow is to milk her out a gently as possible without stripping her. Bag balm will help keep the skin of the udder soft and help her from scarring. I also have hand milked cows and found that this time of the day was always my most peaceful. At one farm I was milking 10 goats and 3 cows (2jerseys and 1 brown swiss) twice a day. I earned some strong hands and big forearms from the duties.Now that i am living in the city i really miss those mornings of singing and milking my gentle friends. My understanding is that cow pox is of the same viral family of smallpox. I am not positive on this one, but I have heard that this is why milk maids rarely suffered because of having been in contact with the cow pox. I think I recall hearing this from one of the Vets when our goat Luxmi had it. I will have to check it out. Anyhoo. It is always great to share memories with you.
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Brian D. Bray
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I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2007, 04:32:08 PM »

Bag balm does indeed help with the sores, my grandmother was convinced the cows got it from the chickens.  Not sure if that's true.  I look back at my days growing up on a farm with nastalgia.  I learned how to milk a cow by the time I was three.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2007, 10:47:25 PM »

organicgirl37 and Brian Bray.

There is nothing on earth that compare to a childhood that involves life on a farm.  I wish that every child on earth could have even a teeeny tiny part of that to remember when they are an adult.

My life memories of farm, grandmother's farm, will never be forgotten.  Yes, I learned to milk my grandmother's cow Daisy, when I was a youngster too.  Isn't it really a blast to put the hands to work to create a beautiful white product that we can drink, change it into so many good things to eat.  And like you said organicgrl37, the quiet, peaceful time spent with the loving cow who is appreciating the release from discomfort that you are giving to her.  No wonder, most times she stands so peacefully, allowing you to enjoy this peace as well.  These are memories for me that I hope that I will always be able to bring to the forefront of my mind, at any time that I need that recollection.

It would be so nice to impart to the world (or anyone that would listen), how children could only learn nothing but good with a little bit of nature.  Be it on their computer, actual life experience, or being taught from ones who have been there.

Great day all.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Kev
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2007, 08:29:26 PM »

My understanding is that cow pox is of the same viral family of smallpox. I am not positive on this one, but I have heard that this is why milk maids rarely suffered because of having been in contact with the cow pox.

You're absolutely right! English doctor Edward Jenner discovered that cowpox prevents smallpox in 1796. The maids actually had to get cow pox, though, not just come in contact. He proved it by infecting a local kid with cowpox and then he tried to give him smallpox.

Kev
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organicgrl37
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2007, 12:16:05 PM »

My understanding is that cow pox is of the same viral family of smallpox. I am not positive on this one, but I have heard that this is why milk maids rarely suffered because of having been in contact with the cow pox.

You're absolutely right! English doctor Edward Jenner discovered that cowpox prevents smallpox in 1796. The maids actually had to get cow pox, though, not just come in contact. He proved it by infecting a local kid with cowpox and then he tried to give him smallpox.

Kev

It is good to know that my memory hadn't completely failed me.  rolleyes We would also wash the udders with a beadadine and water solution, I think to help the sores dry up, before using the bag balm. Being a milk maid my self for several years, the only thing I caught was ring worm UUUUGGGHHH!
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2007, 08:39:47 PM »

Oh yes, Bag Balm.  We used that wonderful stuff too.  We still use that wonderful stuff.  It is awesome for humans who have reaaly dry skin.  I apply it to some's feet if they gett too dry in the wintertime, not only is this good for bags (LOL), but skin too.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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