Want some news and then updates, or have you had enough babies already this spring?
My favourite grey heifer is lying flat out, wondering what the hell is going on. I tried to explain. She just looked dolefully at me.
Oh. I think I forgot to check the eyelash EBVs on this season's bulls! Bugger.
Watching my little heifer brings to mind the question often asked: how long is labour, when do you intervene?
If I hadn't looked out the window at 7.55am when she was stamping her hind legs and had her tail out, I'd not have known she's in labour now where she's sitting.
I'm sure she is in labour, from her general behaviour, but I think she really is only just starting and the foot stamping was just early contractions. That she's sitting as StikkiBeek described hers, doesn't worry me yet. I checked and there is only thick mucous at her vulva.
Regular progress updates please!
I'll be checking my photo store for eye lashes!
We have a "streamer" which looks solid enough to be the membrane of a burst bag I didn't see as she just stood up. I was busy delivering coffees to some wood turners. Heifer is up the other end of the paddock, straight out the back door with binoculars.
Not a bad set of figures, just looked him up, no wonder you chose him for heifers!
The calves that my current bull is making are as large as with any previous bull that we have had, but they are being born very easily. They slide out about 10 to 15 minutes after the tail lifting, with the couple that we have been quick enough to view the event. Hence my belief that 2 hours wait before helping is quite enough.
263kg 200 days. They're looking pretty good now as yearlings.
Sue wrote: How have they grown?
I agree most people have that nervous excitment when their pets give birth. I have one left to go. Shes a 5 yr old MG cross that i brought in. Shes not far away within the next few days im picking. Good luck Ruth.
At about noon I thought, perhaps I'd better investigate. I inserted a hand out in the paddock but she wasn't having enuogh of that. Then I thought perhaps I'd have lunch and then take her in to the yards. 1pm, still nothing, so we walked in. Calf was almost upside-down, head at 8 o'clock, feet up at 2 o'clock, no way they were going to engage appropriately. I tried pulling the calf up, figured there is a trick I don't know, phoned the vet. Vet couldn't come for two hours. Thought I'd better have another go. Got the calf up into the pelvis - I suspect that once it's pulled up a bit a contraction rights it. Decided to let her out to carry on, since the feet and nose were all just there and this is her first. 2.40 I helped a bit to get it out, since she might be a bit tired by now. Bull calf, nice and lively, mother doing everything she should so far although not quite allowing suckling when I left her. I'll go check again after a cuppa.
Well done, good call, great outcome!
Have you got calving chains and handles?
Yes but didn't use them this time. The calf was a nice size, just the wrong way up.
She's been feeding it well, all looking good. Just have to get her back from over at the yards without zonking the calf who's currently asleep.
I was taught by a vet that was very experienced is calving cows that for a calf coming the correct way around, to pull downwards, and to pull one shoulder slightly ahead of the other. Lots and lots and lots of vet lube is also very helpful. I have not yet had one upside down, but would suppose that pulling upwards would be better.
Hot off the press: Eva, my annual calving date competition cow, has just delivered an unexpectedly small heifer, unexpectedly early. I'm off out to make sure there isn't someone else being born... Probably not. But I always think there will be.
In the dark paddock earlier, I heard a weird noise, then repeated several times: the incredibly loud slurping of a little calf feeding from his little grey mother. They're doing beautifully so far.
How are the two new arrivals this morning-but wait-are there more?
They both seem fine. Eva's daughter kept trying to suck my fingers but Eva's udder looks like she has fed. I'll watch when she next wakes up and see what happens - and go and see if there's yellow shit.
Otherwise they just continually worry me as they head for the drain, which is the only place there's lovely long grass to hide in.
So far not. Grey heifer is big sister to your (Viki) grey yearling heifer.
Little black heifer seems a bit stupid. I have been helping her find rear teats on her mothers not-so-good 9yo udder, with huge hard rear quarters and bugger all in the front. Calf kept bunting the front and her mother started kicking her away. That would not be a good pattern to form.
Your eye lashes always look more spectacular with loads of mascara to thicken them up!
Of course not!!!!!!
Yours are born with natural mascara- no competetion with my silvers where you can barely see their eye lashes!!
Only as per the list I put on the latest website page. I'm watching out the window regularly. There's one out of sight I'll go and check again in a while. Not in labour yet, as far as I know.
Number 4, to 10yo 613. She has had a 'rumbling' case of mastitis since weaning, so it'll be interesting to watch what her udder does this time. Hopefully it will resolve without problems. It's not a nice udder but she raises fabulous calves. I'd have liked a heifer this time from this mating but one is always pleased with a live, healthy calf.
There's a 2yo daughter in the herd who was too silly last year for mating but I'll reassess her this season.
At 6pm I found 613 standing alone, stamping a hind leg. 7pm there were two feet and she delivered the calf at 7.20pm. That last part of the visible labour always looks the worst but is generally the quickest if all is going well.
Calf #4, who have I missed?
First was the grey 807, followed closely by Eva?
Then who was next, no pictures or mention who was in between-I need to keep track!
Congrats on the speedy arrival of 613's boy.
Today's eyelashes weren't dry when I took a photo, so I'll wait to have a proper look at her: to Jet 777, what must be a tiny heifer, since I saw her head out and then went over to the paddock and she'd gone all the way back in. Haven't seen that happen before. Jet wouldn't get on with it with me watching. I have concluded that they remember a previous year's interference (help, but they don't see it that way) and don't want me anywhere they can see me the next time. This was her third, our second Harry calf.
Little calves are silky on their faces, in particular. They're absolutely delicious to stroke, if they'll let you, which is why I'm enjoying these ones so much: they're staying quiet. Usually mine are quite stand-offish but with the two bulls I've primarily used, they don't seem to have that inclination.
Getting tired now ...
Yesterday afternoon Zella the housecow calved, a bull. Then last evening two in labour, one, my favourite 3yo, pedigree, had a bull just after 10pm, the other seemed not to be really in active labour then, so I went back out at 2.10am, found her presenting a couple of nice feet in a bag, then promptly a nose, then the whole calf was born ten minutes later: the last calf, a heifer, for our lovely old bull. Hopefully she'll grow into a heifer I want to keep.
Shortly we'll go out and milk Zella for the first time, keep all that lovely colostrum in case someone else needs it during the rest of calving.
Good to hear three more successful arrivals-hope you have a quiet night!
Has anyone questioned why your topic is titled "Calving 2019" Ruth?
I just had to check the title of my calving thread, then went back to yours and thought, hang on a minute, aren't we still in 2018-had to check the date on the computer!!!
Only you, Sue. Obviously excitement, exhaustion, or both, were already exerting their influence!
There's a new calf, as of a couple of hours ago, born to a cow who for her three calvings before today's, gave birth on day 273. I was expecting her to calve yesterday. I think it's a heifer, but they're looking warily at me whenever I pass, so I'll let them be for a while. It's jolly blustery here, which will be unsettling everyone.
Ha ha, one of us is going to have to change our heading-or shall we just leave it and keep everyone guessing?!
Glad to hear you have another 'normal' arrival!
I don't think I've ever watched her calve. This morning I was busy with visitors but Ella watched her for me, from the house, one paddock across. She (Ella, 16, regular resident) has been avidly reading the "Essential Guide to Calving", so was pleased to watch another birth in progress, on my behalf.