Thursday, December 31, 2009

Waiting for the calf. . .

Last April we bought a Jersey milk cow named Tilly. According to the people we bought her from, she was bred six weeks before we brought her home. Based upon that, I calculated her due date to be the end of December or the beginning of January. She looks to be right on track for her due date. Now, I wouldn’t purposefully have a cow freshen in the middle of winter. Tilly's udderThat just seems like the wrong time of year, but I had no say in when Tilly was bred. By looking at her, I believe she will give birth within the next couple of days. It’ll be nice to have fresh milk and cream again, though!

I moved her to a stall separate from the other cows a few days ago because she was starting to bag up. She’s continued to bag up and looks like she couldn’t get any fuller. I took a couple photos of her late this morning. I didn’t clean her udder before taking the photos, so you’ll have to excuse the mess on it (I still haven’t taught her to not poop in her bed). I put fresh bedding down in her stall twice a day, trying to keep her clean. Most of her manure ends up away from where she likes to lie down, but, like this morning, when she gets up she’ll drop a load right where she is. TillySo, I keep adding bedding and trying to make sure she has a clean, dry place to lie down.

She may be in early labor today. She was acting a little different, just kind of standing there facing the wall. She may also just be uncomfortable. Either way, the birth of her calf is imminent.

Whether she has a heifer or a bull calf, we’ll keep it to raise. I plan on retiring my other milk cow, Josey, this next year – she’s 12 or 13 years old now. She’s due to have a calf in April. It will be a Guernsey-Jersey cross (a Juernsey?) as she was bred to a friend’s Jersey bull. I’d thought about keeping Josey’s calf if it’s a heifer, but I won’t if Tilly has a heifer. There’s no telling at this point. It’s entirely possible that they’ll both have bull calves. If so, we’ll keep at least one for beef.


I’ll let you know when Tilly has her calf. Soon, I expect.


  © Blogger template 'Minimalist G' by 2008

Back to TOP