For those of you wondering about cow estrus I should add that my girls' heats last three days. It goes something like this. I write it on my calendar but it seems like it starts one to two days early (or late) some months--anywhere from 18 days apart to 25. The first thing that clues me in is a change in behavior. Thursday morning I was petting Ester Lily and she was kind of aggressive and feisty. It took me a few minutes. Aha! it's that time again. I locked her up. This morning, Saturday, I let her out but she was still a bit flighty and fidgety so I watched my back whenever I was around her. But the worst of it had passed. Here's what her back end looked like a couple of hours ago (Saturday evening). So, on the third day, I see spotting with both her and Miss Daisy. It's a three-day affair for my girls.
This morning when I went to milk Miss Daisy, she wouldn't prance into the milking parlor like usual so I had to halter her to bring her in and she wasn't at all interested in grain. She didn't eat even one bite. So now it's her turn to be locked up except for milking. I'll let her out Monday morning.
MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~