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CloversMum Posted - Aug 04 2015 : 10:22:36 AM
I want to contain Clover in a smaller pen as she gets closer to delivery so she calves where we can see her and give her better support and care. How early should I pen her up? Her due date is September 4th ... exactly one month from today!

My goats deliver within 48 hours of their due date so I pen them up about 3-4 days before but wasn't sure about Jersey cows.

I'd love any advice from y'all, as well! I'm getting excited but also nervous as I want this to be a success. I will be treating the calf's umbilical cord with multiple doses of iodine as I never want to experience another infection again.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
maryjane Posted - May 04 2016 : 05:42:52 AM
Even reading that quickened my pulse. I have to say, you and Patrick did such an awesome job with her injured hoof. And now your vet team knows her and you that much better.
txbikergirl Posted - May 04 2016 : 05:36:09 AM
keep your email open and popping, you'll be the first off the farm to know when something happens ;>
maryjane Posted - May 04 2016 : 05:32:07 AM
Gosh, I wake up every morning and count the days again.
txbikergirl Posted - May 03 2016 : 5:24:01 PM
and here is sally post-vet trip today. in all her pregnant-i-am-due-in-6-days-glory. she truly is bigger than this, she assumed her most svelte pose

in all my motherly sense, my thought was to bring this girl home and let her stay close to the barn enjoying the grass closest while being able to go in/out her normal barn corral - home sweet home. this gal wanted none of that.

insisted on going down stippy-stappy lane and then into her regular pasture. and then turned around and looked at me and pretty much said with a stare, "i have put up with enough today. get that little one in here right now". and turned around and walked away. so i dutifully opened elsa's pasture gate and led her out one gate and in another so that she was in momma's pasture. here's sally's baby bump.

and now we await the calf to be. i have pretty much decided on nanette o'mally for a heifer, have about four choices for a bull calf and will let whim lead me on that one if it ocurrs.
CloversMum Posted - May 02 2016 : 10:28:14 PM
not that it matters much ... but I really think the name Nanette is pretty special. :) But you'll find the name that just speaks to you and you'll know it is the right one!
txbikergirl Posted - May 02 2016 : 06:30:36 AM
thanks mary jane, i'll read up on those tonight. i do have some names we are pondering, lover boy patiently listens but just does that hubby thing of nodding and telling me it all sounds good ;> not much help there.

i love the o'mally name so sticking with that and an irish theme.. at least thats what i think. although finding out recently that my great grandmother had a favorite cow called nanette has moved me in that direction, nanette o'mally.

and then i was looking at sally's parentage and she had a great grandcow called "sulley". so i like sulley o'mally, other than it will confuse the heck out of the farm animals as sulley and sally are much too close. we already have issues calling elsa the cow or ellie the pug - they both turn and try to figure out what i want at the same time ;>
maryjane Posted - Apr 28 2016 : 06:14:55 AM
And this link should be of interest also:
maryjane Posted - Apr 28 2016 : 06:08:09 AM
Cindy, in this thread you can see I let my calves mingle as soon as possible (as long as everyone in heat is locked up).

But I don't leave them with others full-time, just outings to the playground so that everyone can get acquainted, butts sniffed, etc. You'll know when you can let the three of them mingle full-time during the day. Sally will let you know. You'll know. But I would keep Sally and baby separate at night for a couple of months or so. Elsa and baby are going to have a blast together. Names yet?
txbikergirl Posted - Apr 27 2016 : 7:13:39 PM
ok ladies, we are a little over 10 days out and i think we are prepared. the one thing i am not sure of, how long do we keep 10 month old elsa separate from sally and the new baby? just this last week while on vacation we put sally and elsa back in the same paddock and they are both happy as clams (being on vacation we have the luxury of checking on them all day long, and making sure elsa isn't attempting to dry nurse).

i know when elsa goes into heat i need to keep her from the baby for 2-3 days, but other than that how long in the very beginning? or just let sally be the guide of that?
CloversMum Posted - Aug 28 2015 : 08:28:13 AM
How I understand the need for patience and alertness all at the same time! I have to do that with my goats every spring. Only it is much easier, as my goats always deliver within 2 days before or after their due date. Their gestation doesn't allow much leeway which is great for me being "on watch". Cows just have a bigger window which makes for a much longer time being on watch.

I see all of Clover's signs, but, honestly, I think I'm still in disbelief that she is actually going to have a calf. I've waited so long for this! And, can't believe its actually happening!! I would really prefer that she waits to calve until the air quality is better ... but I don't think she can wait months! lol
farmlife Posted - Aug 27 2015 : 4:32:07 PM
Be flexible, too, Charlene. Elli did all of this for weeks. It was really hard to be patient and alert for all that time. You'll do so much better than I did, though, because of your experience with your goats. When it was actually labor I felt like the boy who cried wolf. I didn't recognize it for what it was because she was so calm, went in the house and came back to a calf less than an hour later. Be aware, but don't make yourself crazy. :)
CloversMum Posted - Aug 27 2015 : 08:27:08 AM
I have to laugh ... I think a large part of farm life is watching the hind end of all my farm critters! This spring I was watching several goat hind ends, I have to check my chickens' vents to see which ones are producing and which are not, I watch my chicks for pasty butts (rarely a problem, but I do watch that first week), and now I'm staring at Clover's hind end. lol

All those idyllic pastoral painted farm scenes are not completely accurate! :-)
maryjane Posted - Aug 27 2015 : 12:09:38 AM
Wow, Charlene, her udder is looking fabulous!!! Just watch for a swollen vulva like in Janet's photo. Once those folds start to disappear, she's close.
NellieBelle Posted - Aug 26 2015 : 7:12:21 PM
I remember hearing Nellie first. She was in the barn and lying down, and now and then she would move a little and moan. I could see the calf moving. Even when she stood she would moan a little and push her head into something, sometimes into Sienna. Then she started walking around, almost pacing. So I could tell she was in labor. As much as you've watched Clover I think you will pick up on her changes. Nellie was always interested in food so that didn't change at all. Yes, her udder is quite large. Won't be many more days to wait.
CloversMum Posted - Aug 26 2015 : 7:00:17 PM

Clover's udder looks similar to Nellie's; however, Clover is not yet acting antsy. Today she was lying down but her back leg couldn't touch the ground because of the size of her udder. Poor girl. Obviously, we are getting closer to the big day but who knows exactly when!
txbikergirl Posted - Aug 26 2015 : 5:50:34 PM
i don't have any info, just sending blessings your way and ready to share in the excitement.

if all goes well with miss sally o'mally (we find out next week) then we may be experiencing this early May 2016 ;>
NellieBelle Posted - Aug 26 2015 : 09:09:16 AM
I posted a photo of Nellie in early labor. She was antsy and moving around but not ready to deliver. This was late afternoon and she delivered that night at 11:30 p.m. I don't remember a shiny udder but definitely very large swollen tight udder. I think it would be different for every cow.
CloversMum Posted - Aug 26 2015 : 08:09:01 AM
So, another question for you all more experienced ... Clover's udder is growing daily it appears but it is not swollen or shiny. Will that happen before birth? I know that my goats' udders will get almost shiny looking and extremely swollen right before labor starts and I didn't know if that were similar to cows. I'll try to grab a photo of Clover this morning.
farmlife Posted - Aug 24 2015 : 8:11:18 PM
Good idea, Charlene. A team is always better at the beginning. :)
CloversMum Posted - Aug 22 2015 : 8:50:03 PM
Thank you, Keeley, for your advice and encouragement!

The hobbles came today and my son and I will work together with Clover, working on positive reinforcement while keeping everyone safe.

farmlife Posted - Aug 21 2015 : 7:11:12 PM
Elli tried to mount me just shortly before she delivered, Charlene. Remember that hormones can make them do things they wouldn't normally, and they teach you as you go. I don't bend over in front of Elli now. (I don't even remember what I was bent over to look at.) I concur with MaryJane and Janet. Get right back on the horse so to speak, but be aware. Not tentative or scared, but very aware.

When we first started milking Elli she would pull backward on the stanchion when she wanted out. We made a point to never let her out when she was doing that even if we were done. We'd wait until she didn't have any tension on the stanchion before releasing her. Now she knows she won't get her way if she does that and it didn't take long to teach her at all. I would side step Clover and wait until she is calm before giving her any food. She shouldn't associate food with bad behavior. I also would change my tone of voice depending what she is doing like MaryJane said. She should know when you are happy with her and when you aren't.

It will get better. Good luck!
maryjane Posted - Aug 21 2015 : 09:48:39 AM
That's always upsetting. I remember feeling off for most of the day after Eliza Belle tried to mount me. She's so docile and compliant, it totally caught me off guard. But it taught me a good lesson about hormones and now I keep a strict calendar on their cycles so I know to separate them (and watch my back). I had sweet, sweet Ester Lily that my grandgirls touch all over off by herself because she was in heat. Unbeknownst to me, Brian was waiting for Ashley to get done in the kitchen so he walked Adria down to see Ester. Ester promptly tried to mount her and Adria's been a little skittish ever since. But a head butt for no reason other than Clover is probably frustrated about something is a drag. I think Janet's suggestion is good. Get back in the saddle and spend more time with her. Just an FYI, I seriously discipline my girls when they use their heads to tell me something (although I've never been head-butted from behind--how startling and discouraging that must have been). Stern voice does the trick for me. A while ago Sally started banging her head up and down in the old iron headlock I put them in in my washing station before I take them in to milk them. It was making it harder and harder to unlock her head without getting a finger smashed. I put up with it for a couple of months and then one day I stood there next to her with my hand out as if I was going to unlatch it and if she starting banging her head up and down I said, "No." And made her stay in until she didn't move her head and then I unlocked her. The really silly thing is that little course correction only took maybe four days to accomplish and to this day she stands like a statue while I unhook her. Another lesson for me. Don't let your "kids" be in charge. You're in charge. Right now I'm working on Sally's foot movements just before I hobble her to milk. After the horse farrier was here, she and I got into a bad place because I was witness to the power of her kicks for the first time so I started to flank rope her first. She hated that and started using her foot more. So now I'm not using a flank rope and instead working through it with her. This morning she and I were very successful and things are almost back to where they once were. The only word I can think of to describe "keeping a cow" is dynamic. It's a dynamic relationship (one of the reasons I love it so much I think) so there are ups and downs and adjustments to be made along the way.
CloversMum Posted - Aug 21 2015 : 08:41:43 AM
Thank you, Janet, for your advice. I'm feeling fine this morning ... Epsom salts work wonders. And I think I will spend more time with Clover today ... brushing her out and talking with her. I can tell that she is getting closer, has more of a motherly air about her and moves much slower these days (except when she decides to come at me!). Thanks for the reassurance.
NellieBelle Posted - Aug 21 2015 : 04:03:28 AM
Wow Charlene, sorry to hear. I'm no cow whisperer, but I'm guessing that she is uncomfortable and is confused by it. May be seeking comfort and don't know how to go about getting it. I would spend some more time with her, combing, brushing, calming her if you would, it will all help before delivery. And yes, I'm certain her hormones are off the wall, right before delivery. She's getting ready to have her (first) calf. Perhaps she needs one of MaryJane's spa baths. ? Bull or cow, I always keep one eye on them. Nellie and Sienna are as sweet as can be, but they have both come at me, (when in heat). I'm too old to be mugged by a cow. :) Feel better and stay safe Charlene. The good and heartwarming part is coming.
CloversMum Posted - Aug 20 2015 : 10:06:26 PM
Well, Clover head-butted me in the back tonight. Pregnancy hormones? She almost acted like she wanted to charge me. What's up with this? I yelled at her and hit her with the feed bucket which I was carrying and probably part of the reason for the head butt; although, she's never done that before. I went ahead and got her into the head stanchion and side gate, brushing her out and brushing her tail. She tried to kick the first time I rubbed her udder but then didn't later on although I was very careful. I think I'll be very glad to have her hobble which is still coming in the mail.

Advice and suggestions? Besides a hot Epsom salt bath tonight for my sore lower back? :-)