Just newly registered and wondering if anyone can help me. I have 10 beefie heifers that I purchased in October last year when they were 15 months. One black girl has in the last two weeks started bagging up with a significantly full udder and is much fatter than the others. She appears to have swelling under her belly too. Is this just fatness and can an unbred heifer develop a significant udder without being preggers? Wanting to avoid the cost of a vet unless everyone thinks it's necessary? Would be grateful if you could have a look at photos and let me know what you think. Thanks heaps!
I've had 17 months old heifers calve. They came from out of a big mob that obviously some of the steers were not steers. The person that we sell our 6 month old pure Hereford heifer calves to insists that they have the abortion injection soon after she gets them, at our cost.
Because you do not know the sire and the size and shape calves he makes, inform your vet .
Yes, she's in calf alright. By the swelling under her belly, do you mean the line of fluid stretching from udder and including the umbilicus.
If so, that is quite common in a first time calver and usually goes away after calving and as a result of milking. If she's quiet, you might have a good house cow. Otherwise you do have some options. Sell with calf at foot to a lifestyler for a house cow, either privately or through the yards, or, let her rear her calf for you as a bonus. If milking or feeding a calf, she will need good feed.
Are you able to keep a close eye on her over the next few days? If the calf is large, you may need to call a vet to assist her calve and the sooner you do that the better, if she isn't making good progress on her own. Presumably you've not seen a cow calve before?
Has she calved yet? Cattle pregnancy is usually about 282 day but can be up to 290 days. If she, or any of the others, was mated on 30 October, birth will be between August 4 to August 16. But earlier if she was mated earlier, so anytime soon for her, and August 16 for the last one to calve.
Watch out for her standing away from the herd, especially early morning. She is then likely to have a streamer, or will soon have a streamer. When the water break (at the same time as the streamer) an easy birth will happen in about 20 minutes. If there is no action after an hour, talk to your vet, especially if the feet are showing and no progress is being made. By this time she will probably be lying down, pushing, getting up to see if it is out yet, lying down again, etc. We would get her into the yards when this has happened more than a few minutes.