Ruby is Back!

As many of you know, we had quite a battle keeping Ruby alive this last month or so. (see “The Longest Month” in January posts). I’ve been reluctant to give any update on her until I was sure she was okay. Well, she is doing great. The weather really helped … we’ve haven’t been below zero for a couple of weeks. And we had lots of help from our veterinarians, Dr. Hansen, and Dr. Hoops from Valley Veterinary Services right here in Richmond (actually just two blocks east of us).  
We originally thought that, if she did pull through, she wouldn’t produce any milk until she calved again. Although we have not been able to use her milk in cheese making (we did treat her with some fairly strong drugs), we have continued to milk her and we use her milk for feeding all the newborn calves we have been buying through the winter. When she was having such a rough time maintaining her body temperature, and it was hitting minus 12º F, she ended up with frostbite on all four teats.  
So, while trying to get her over her terrible case of pneumonia, and deal with all the damage that comes with frostbite, I decided to keep milking her, just once every two or three days at first. My belief was that the milking would help keep blood flow to the damaged tissue. Maybe I was just lucky, but it worked. She has almost all newly-healed skin on her teats, and shows no discomfort while being milked … that’s a huge improvement in just a couple of weeks. And her production is climbing by the day! So in a month or so, she’ll be back to contributing to keeping us in the black. 
It proves that the strength and resilience of youth (hers not ours), combined with lots of attention and wonderful help and advise from good friends and colleagues, along with unbelievable good fortune, can result in what I don’t mind calling a miracle. We’re once again looking forward to watching Ruby grow old! – PS

About Pete

My wife and I own and operate Rockhill Creamery, a farmstead cheese business in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. We have two children, both married and living in Salt Lake City. We were both newspaper people in our former lives, but decided to head down the agriculture path about 12 years ago.
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One Response to Ruby is Back!

  1. Michelle says:

    What wonderful news! What a long battle with misfortune– I’m so glad that Ruby is well again.

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