A Farm Report

I visit my friend Cedo’s farm now and then, and since her family are far from here it is helpful if I post some photos for them. I also learn more every time I go so it’s very interesting for me. I will probably be posting farm reports now and then so feel free to click on by if you are on farm overload.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day last Saturday. If I hadn’t been driving I would have been snapping photos all the way. It was sunny, everything was green, and the mountains looked spectacular. It was one of those days of postcard and tourist magazine photos so we really enjoyed the drive.

Cedo has six cows being boarded at another farm so they have access to lots of grass. She wanted to see them so she called the guy from that farm. While we waited for him to arrive she started checking things on her farm.

Soon, the guy from the other farm arrived in his truck/taxi, and off we went. It is interesting that in Spanish there are three words for cows – one for a calf (tenero/a), one for a cow (vaca or toro), and another for a mid size cow (novillo/a). The cows we went to see were mid size, and will be considered adults once they have had calves.

After the visit to the other farm, we returned to Cedo’s farm to continue making the rounds.

These young cows are growing up and need more grass, so Cedo made some calls to find them a farm with enough grass and a source of water where they could be boarded. She was successful and they should have been picked up on Monday. She is also concerned about the cow who is due to deliver soon. Another went into labor a couple weeks ago with an especially large calf she was unable to deliver. The vet went out to help, but they were unable to save either the mother or the calf. Not only is this very sad, it is also a big financial loss. We are all hoping the next delivery goes much better!

Next, it is off to check the grass.

The other side of the farm is checked and we make our way back to the milking area where the cows are eating lunch. Thankfully the bull is also eating lunch tied to a railing so we didn’t have to worry about him on our outing. When we returned he was surprisingly mellow and didn’t object to our presence.

So, farm visit results – one calf with diarrhea, pigs with parasites, two calves with eye infections, and one cow who doesn’t want to eat. The recommended medicines are on hand at the farm except for one of the recommended meds for the cow who doesn’t want to eat. We stopped by the dairy coop on the way back to get it, and Cedo took the bus back up yesterday to deliver it. She said at that time the cow was eating better and looked like she would be OK.

Farming is a tough job with a narrow profit margin. Food, vitamins, minerals, medications, boarding at other farms, illness and loss of animals, weather, and other factors all affect the bottom line and some farms in the area don’t make it. I asked why she doesn’t just rent the farm to someone. She said she did that in the past and it didn’t go well. Renters just don’t take care of things like an owner, and it took a considerable amount of cleaning up and repairing to put the farm right again after that. So, my friend isn’t exactly kicking back in her retirement years, but that also has its good points. She definitely keeps active and involved with life.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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4 Responses to A Farm Report

  1. Farm life is difficult. Poor mother cow and her calf. I wonder if they can ever do C-sections on cows? I am enjoying your farm reports, Kris.

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    • Yes indeed it is, and it’s too bad about the cow and calf. I have never heard of a c-section but I don’t know much about the care of cows. Glad you like the reports. Happy T-Day!

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  2. Pathway To Portugal says:

    Beautiful scenery. I wondered about C sections too! I really enjoy the farm reports and look forward to more in the future.

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