One of the advantages of an Udderly EZ kit is its potential as an emergency backup.
Patricia has a much-loved elderly Jersey cow named Matilda which faithfully calves each year. However right before calving, Matilda’s udder swells to massive and pendulous proportions. Patricia never gave it much thought – the calf was always able to nurse – until one year when the cow’s udder hung too low.
“Suddenly the baby – named Amy – couldn’t even find the faucet, much less nurse off it,” said Patricia. “The udder hung down so low, it was just a couple inches from the ground. The baby didn’t even see the teats.”
Hours went by without pretty little Amy getting the critical drink of colostrum she needed.
“It was time to intervene,” said Patricia. Armed with an Udderly EZ, she waited until Matilda was lying down chewing her cud. Fitting the silicone inflation over one teat, Patricia squeezed the trigger once or twice and watched the life-nurturing colostrum flow (sideways!) into the collection bottle.
The cow was calm enough that Patricia was able to collect a pint and a half of colostrum from this lying-down position. Then she fitted the nipple over the smallest collection bottle and tried to get Amy to drink.
“She wouldn’t take the bottle,” worried Patricia. “I was afraid the calf was getting weak. Every half hour or so, I’d take the bottle of colostrum and try to get Amy to drink … nothing doing. She refused all attempts to get the teat into her mouth.”
Until suddenly, it happened.
Patricia said it was a magical moment when the calf finally understood what she was trying to do. “You could almost see the wonder in her eyes as Amy started mouthing the nipple, then sucking, then greedily drinking the colostrum so fast that the little eight-ounce bottle drained in a couple of minutes,” she recalled.
Patricia didn’t realize her husband was watching through a slat in the barn. He immediately went into the house, poured the bowl of colostrum into a pitcher, and came out to refill the bottle … and refill, and refill, and refill …
“The baby drank all the colostrum I had milked out of the cow so far, maybe a pint and a half,” said Patricia. “After that, I milked Matilda as dry as possible twice a day, and froze any excess colostrum just in case we needed it for the future.”
Patricia and her daughter took turns feeding Amy for the next couple of weeks. After one or two rough starts, the calf learned who provided the milk and greedily drank from the bottle
“That Udderly EZ kit was a life-saver,” insisted Patricia. “We might well have lost the calf without it.”
Patricia used the Udderly EZ until Matilda’s udder resumed more normal proportions and Amy was able to nurse directly.
“Matilda has had two calves since then,” said Patricia, “and I’ve had to intervene each time. I milk out the colostrum and bottle-feed the calf for a couple of weeks. I love this cow to pieces and she adores having calves, so it’s a small price to pay for the beautiful babies she produces.”
Even though she generally milks her cows by hand, Patricia is committed to always having the Udderly EZ around. “It’s the nature of emergencies to be unexpected,” she notes. “The first time this cow’s udder was too low for the calf to nurse, I didn’t expect it. If I hadn’t had the Udderly EZ on hand, the outcome would have been much different.”