Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Signs of a birth

We have had several calves hit the ground lately. We are almost halfway done now.   And it's tiring, exciting and so many other emotions wrapped up.  Cows are pregnant for 283 to 286 days, depending on their breed.  So once they are close we get them moved to start keeping and eye on them.  Many of our friends have asked how we know when they are going to calve.  So I took a few photos.  I hope I don't offend anyone.

this cow had her calf 5 days after this photo.
sadly we have a cow twice this size and she's not due till April
she did not like me taking a photo of her from behind, poor thing.

this udder isn't ready yet.  each nipple has a quarter and only her back 2 quarters are full
the day she calved they filled out and "rocketed" out, almost pointing out to the sides.

cows have a discharge when they are preparing to calve.
as they get closer that discharge gets heavier and more frequent.

We only have 3 more cows due this week.  Then we get about a 10 day window.  Which will be a nice break.  And then the most precious of girls will calve, Little Mans Simmy heifer he showed last year.  I may sleep with her!  I don't leave the farm unless Mr. M is home.  And then I'm not gone for more than 2 hours.  It sounds like a lot to some, but you wait months and months.  And you only get one chance to have a live, healthy baby.  I hope everyone has a great week ahead. 


Alica said...

Raising beef cattle must be so different from dairy...kind of. Our cows are birthing all year round, so we have a rotating herd and constant milk production. But then, that is, after all what dairy farming is all about. I can identify, though, with the anxious waiting...you just can't leave a cow alone who is calving and assume that all will be well. Hope it continues to go well for you! :)

The Durrer Family said...

The maternity pen is one of the most visited areas on our dairy - next to the calf area. Gotta keep a close eye on the mamas!
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