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 Meet Sally O'Mally and Sir Anthony
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Posted - Jul 01 2014 :  11:22:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Words cannot describe how much I love this girl, Sally O'Mally. Almost two months ago, she convinced me she wanted to be alone for her birth. Once I got her all settled into a smaller pasture with a shelter, she rewarded my ability to "listen" to her by becoming very happy and perfectly content to be alone. No room mates for this gal! It seems that all my other cows need to either be with the herd or have a companion steer with them.

Every day during the last week, I checked her for signs of imminent delivery but nothing obvious was happening. But last Saturday she seemed preoccupied and her vulva was more swollen so throughout the day I dropped by frequently, deciding also that I would need to start setting my alarm to get up in the night a couple of times to check on her. She was still 5 or 6 days away from the standard 283 days.

Around 2:00 in the afternoon, June 28, hubby came in off the tractor looking for a late afternoon cup of coffee, so he and I went upstairs, me for tea. I looked out the window at her once and said "She's rocking back and forth. That's a sure sign."

At 2:35, hubby left and I decided to take a quick nap and then go out and brush her. I went out at 3:20 and there was Sir Anthony! He'd just dropped out only seconds before. Immediately, Sally turned around and started licking him everywhere. Licking serves to "liven" them up and get their circulatory system going. (My book has photos of one of my cow births, start to finish.)

Within 45 minutes he was up.

Notice his umbilical cord. Someone asked me if you have to cut it. It almost always severs during birth but it's a common place for infections so I filled a 1/4 measuring cup with iodine and while the calf was standing, quickly gathered up the wet cord into the iodine, eventually lifting the cup up to where the cord is attached to dip (drench) that entire area in the iodine. I dipped it a couple more times over the next few hours. Until the cord that's hanging down dries out, it can still harbor bacteria, using the cord to travel into the body. CloversMum, you can attest to that! Your girl, Clover, nearly died from an umbilical cord infection, which is the reason she was orphaned and eventually ended up in your care, right?

She hadn't yet passed her afterbirth. It's important not to pull on the cord. She'll pass her afterbirth soon enough.

He kept trying to figure out where her teats were but at 5:30 he still hadn't nursed. I wasn't concerned ... yet. A calf has 24 hours to get colostrum for absorption of vital immunities diminishing down to nothing at 24 (I explain all this in my book). Ideally, the sooner the better.

He kept trying.

And then he'd get exhausted and sleep for a few minutes.

It's also important for momma to lick his bottom to stimulate his bowels to help him get rid of his meconium.

Clean, fresh water is important. In this photo she's drinking from a BarBarA waterer that is non-electric, non-freezing in the winter, and self-cleaning.

He finally latched on a little after 6 pm. Perfect.

Within a few minutes after he nursed for the first time, she passed her afterbirth and started trying to ingest it, coughing and gagging. I disposed of it for her. My vet said it can cause serious digestive problems and that it's a instinctual hold-over from when a birth mom wanted to get rid of it so it didn't attract predators.

The remaining blood on her tail and udder is about to get washed off. Soon she'll be good as new.

So very sweet. Life is good! The next day, I thought she'd finally want to be with the herd so I took her and baby into an enclosure surrounded by my other girls, thinking I'd leave them there for a day while they all got reacquainted through the bars of the gates (otherwise, there might be some skirmishes as they re-establish a new hierarchy). Also, it would be handier for me because I needed to start milking her every day. After two days, she had made it very clear to me (gentle head butts) that she missed her old digs and did not want room mates. So I took her back. She happily walks back and forth to the milking parlor with me every day now. If anyone comes close to her baby (other than me), she starts acting agitated and is very protective so you'd think she wouldn't want to leave him to walk with me so far away from him for milking, but this gal KNOWS why I'm doing it (she does walk a bit faster going back because she's anxious to make sure he's okay). I love our time together. I'm going to call her the perfect backyard milk cow!

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~


3486 Posts

Posted - Jul 02 2014 :  3:03:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations! He's beautiful and Mama looks beautiful, too. Thanks for sharing such great photos!!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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11033 Posts

Posted - Jul 21 2014 :  09:38:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just read about Sally O'Mally and Sir Anthony. Great reading and love the dairy along with pictures. I wish I would have seen and read this before Nellie delivered Pumpkin Moonshine. I probably wouldn't have been so nervous. What a beautiful cow and calf, Sally O'Mally and her offspring Sir Anthony.
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3486 Posts

Posted - Jul 22 2014 :  10:55:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh yes, it is critically important to dip the umbilical cord! My Clover was so very sick from the infection...but she did end up with us due to all the extra care she a very sweet ending, but an experience I'd rather never go through again!!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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