The Reluctant Farmer told me this morning that Sasha seemed really uncomfortable, moving around a lot and she was bellowing a little. I thought perhaps she wanted her hay topped up, or let out to eat, but then I thought … no, that doesn’t sound like the “give me food” bellow. That sounds like the “I’m pissed off” bellow.
I was still in bed (I have to sleep extra these days) an hour or two later and realized that the sounds outside had changed. I got up and looked out the window and … yup! Baby calf! She had *just* delivered and was licking him dry.
It’s a boy – I had hoped for a girl, so we could have a second house cow, but this is a half mini-Hereford calf, and I think that we probably wouldn’t have gotten a lot of milk from a Hereford/Dexter cross – though I was willing to try it out. I have other options … and this baby (it’s a “J” year, should we call him Jerky? I think we’ll have to discuss this one a bit) will have two summers and a winter to enjoy life in our pastures.
For those looking for the “signs of calving” pictures – here is her udder this morning … super shiny and hugely full:
I’ll need to help her get some of that milk out and massage her udder to help ease the edema … but that can wait until everyone has had some time to settle.
So yeah, yesterday’s images of a full udder and a slightly sloppy hind end – that’s what Sasha looks like the day before calving. Of course every cow is a bit different … I know dairy cows tend to bag up even more staggeringly (I’ve seen pictures, good heavens, I can’t imagine how those cows cope with such a huge udder swinging under them!) often leaking milk out of their udder just before they calve, and most cows get even looser in the hind end. Sasha had only minimal goopiness, too – so I had actually thought we might be a few more days yet. Guess this is what it looks like for her! I’m glad I got the pictures, so I’ll know for next time.
Time to head back out and see if the calf has found the calfeteria yet. :)