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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 04 2015 :  10:22:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens

maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 04 2015 :  12:44:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Charlene,
I've been allowing 10 days prior for lots of routine checking (night and day) and then about 5 days prior enclosed at night but out during the day in a smaller enclosure so I can check every couple of hours during the day. Once they get really close, they stay locked up and with the last couple of cows, Sally O'Mally and Miss Daisy, I stayed with them during the night. I know, I know. But I actually enjoyed it and was right there when they delivered. I found it easier to stay with them on a cot than get out of my bed repeatedly and walk all the way to the barn. I've never had any complicated deliveries yet which makes me think that the first time I let my guard down, I'll have problems. It's that Murphy thing.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 04 2015 :  5:04:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh please don't mention Murphy! We asked him to move out of our house! Lol

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Aug 05 2015 :  09:31:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know that we penned Elli up too early, but then she went overdue as well. MaryJane's advice seems like a doable timeline. Poor Elli spent a month and a half in the pen because I worried she would go early. It's that newbie thing again.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 05 2015 :  10:57:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do Jerseys ever deliver early? I guess I only have my goats as experience and they have never come early ... either on their due date or 1-2 days later. It sure helps when you know the exact day of breeding!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 05 2015 :  11:15:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Etta Jane came 10 days early with her first calf. Her second calf came three days late.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 07 2015 :  08:20:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you! I have noticed that Betsy is still trying to nurse on one of Clover's teats and is succeeding. This is making Clover a bit more touchy about her udder (not a good thing this close to delivery and us milking her). With that information, should I try to separate the cows ... they would still be able to see one another. And, perhaps I should pen Clover up on the earlier side?

Now, I can tell I am getting the jitters about this calving stuff! I have butterflies in my stomach.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 07 2015 :  11:37:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If it were me, I'd separate them. That behavior is going to be problematic once baby comes. Does Clover try to deter her with her leg? Plus it's a good way for Clover to get dry mastitis. Or instead of separating them, maybe you could spray her teats with some of that deterrent vets give you to use on dogs so they don't lick a surgical wound. Sorry Charlene. That's a bother.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 09 2015 :  1:42:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your advice, MaryJane. I think we'll be setting up the portable pen tomorrow. Both Ethan and I feel like Betsy wouldn't mind the deterrent spray as long as she could nurse. She's persistent and loves to be mothered by Clover. We are running out of time to try something to see if it works ... and we know a fence will work. :-)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 18 2015 :  11:31:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, Betsy has been moved to an adjacent pasture from Clover. Betsy was great in moving ... just give her the feed bucket and Ethan and I think she'd follow him just about anywhere! She seems to like her new space ... lots to eat and she can see and talk to Clover easily. We moved Clover into a smaller paddock to keep a closer eye on her. It's getting closer! She seems to be in good condition ... her coat is so glossy right now. I've been brushing her and spraying her with organic anti-fly solution. And, she's eating a lot these days! :-)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10944 Posts


Posted - Aug 18 2015 :  3:20:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's nice when things work out so well. Betsy into her new digs and Clover into hers. I'm getting excited, but guess I've just got to wait. Maternity moo ward sounds as if it's ready. Do you still have the butterflies Charlene?

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Aug 18 2015 :  5:20:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks like Clover's getting close. How many more weeks, Charlene?
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 18 2015 :  7:43:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
September 5 for Clover?????

Speaking of babies, I separate Elsa and Sweet William from their mommas every morning at 6 a.m. until noon so they can nibble on their own hay. I do the same thing when I feed them at 6 p.m. but I let them back in with their mommas around dark. Tonight I'm going to keep them locked up all night with plenty of hay until after I milk their mommas in the morning. I may be up at 2 a.m. if anyone seriously objects. I'm hoping for more milk. I think they reach a point where milk is the lowest hanging fruit if it's readily available all day long. They're eating hay and pasture and doing well with that. I'm still giving Ester Lily a gallon a day until next week after her Bang's shot--just seems like it'll help her process the vaccine better. She's five months old.

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

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 18 2015 :  8:48:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
September 4th is Clover's due date. 17 more days, but who's counting?! And, yes, I most definitely have butterflies in my stomach, Janet. I wish I could just pull all of you out through the computer to come help, advise, cheer, etc with me!

Let us know how it goes with Elsa and Sweet William ... I'm taking notes. :-)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 18 2015 :  8:55:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just came in and all is quiet. Sal Pal and Daisy are bedded down next to them on the other side of the gate.

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

1413 Posts


Posted - Aug 19 2015 :  05:29:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It sounds like all went well with the separation. I'm finally getting heavy cream from Elli again. We had to wean Gus due to a grass cut on Elli's teat and his desire to nurse two teats at a time. She was compartmentalizing her udder to save milk for him after being separated at night. He was getting all the cream and it showed on his round little belly. It took about three days into weaning for her to let down all of her milk and not to save any for him. I had forgotten about cream so thick it will hardly pour off the ladle. It's going to be yummy butter! I'll be curious to see what Miss Daisy gives you when she knows Sweet William is waiting.
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 19 2015 :  05:46:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm about to go down to feed at 6 and then milk at 7. Sally has mooed probably six times in the last 15 minutes, so overall pretty good I'd say. If she can hold out another hour, I'll get her milked. Yes, it'll be interesting to see what Miss Daisy holds back and how much I get this morning from both of them. Their calves are closing in on 3 months.

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

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 19 2015 :  05:47:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Enjoy your heavy cream:) Your just reward. Also, sorry to hear your Quik Milker bit the dust.

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

1413 Posts


Posted - Aug 19 2015 :  05:56:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Me too, but I'm finding I'm faster without it. There's some irony in that. However, it did get me through the part I was worried about. . . training a first time milker. What is interesting is that now that I'm hand milking I've noticed that Elli stands better when she runs out of food. When she is eating her treat and hay she shifts around to get all the good stuff. When she doesn't have anything left, she stands like a statue. Who knew?
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NellieBelle

10944 Posts


Posted - Aug 19 2015 :  06:36:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We learn from our cows everyday. Just have to watch and listen. Have a good day with your gals MaryJane and Keeley. Things are looking and sounding good for you both. Now we get Charlene and Clover going, what a bunch of happy folks. Charlene has been waiting for some time now. Excited for her and family to finally see the fruition of all their cow labors.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 20 2015 :  11:02:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Waiting since Clover's birth, but now I'm getting nervous! Oh how I hope it all goes well. Clover is just looking so motherly these days and so swollen.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Aug 20 2015 :  11:40:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand your nervousness, Charlene. Just remember you have lots of good resources around to help if need be.
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 20 2015 :  10:06:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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? :-)

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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NellieBelle

10944 Posts


Posted - Aug 21 2015 :  04:03:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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CloversMum

3473 Posts


Posted - Aug 21 2015 :  08:41:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; 1 Jersey cow; 1 Guernsey cow; 1 Guernsey steer calf; Oberhasli & Guernsey goats, ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6784 Posts


Posted - Aug 21 2015 :  09:48:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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.

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