Sunday, 07 March 2010
On our farm we artificially inseminate our cows, or should I say a breeder from Select Sire Power does. There are signs to watch for to detect a cow in heat. We have a herd check about every month or so, which is when a vet comes and confirms whether or not the breeding was successful. They do this by reaching inside the cow's rectum (yes, rectum) while holding the wand of an altrasound machine in her hand. And yes again, it usually is a woman and she has to stand on her tip toes to reach where she needs to reach. After a cow is bred, we have to wait at least 32 days til the calf can be detected. A cow carries her calf for about 9 months. We will dry off (stop milking) a bred cow 60 days before due date. We had a cow go into labor this past friday and Dave called down to house wondering if I wanted to take pictures to put on the blog. He thought that it might interest some of you who may have never witnessed the miracle of birth, so here are the pictures!
Her water broke, but part of the sac is still hanging there.
A calf is born head first, with the front hooves emerging first.
The nose starts to emerge with the front legs
then the head
then the body (sometimes with our help)
Yes!!! It is a heifer calf. Everytime a heifer calf is born they become part of the future milking herd. Always good news to hear that a heifer calf is born. Dave dragged the calf up to the mother's head so she can clean it up. She will lick it all over while eating the white membrane that is on the calf (this is gross!). The mom's licking helps stimulate the calf and it starts to perk up and soon will be on her feet trying to nurse.
We do have a birthing pen at the end of the barn where momma cow does not need to be tied in a stall, but this cow was already in labor and Dave decided to leave her tied in. The cow is milked right after birth into a milking bucket and that milk (which is thick yellow colostrum the first milking) is fed to the calf with a bottle. Speaking of colostrum, it is very good for us humans as well. It is like a natural antibiotic. We have already saved colostrum from a fresh (one who just gave birth) cow that had been out on pasture and froze it. This is expecially good made into milk shakes adding chocolate and peanut butter. Only have to drink small amount to get the benefits. Here is the new calf at 2 days old.
We were thankful that this calf was born friday afternoon and not this Sunday morning when it was time for church!
Q: What do you call a cow that has had a calf?A: DecalfeinatedWhat happened when a short cow ran through a tall field of grass?
What does a cow say while walking backwards?
What do you get from a pampered cow?
Until next time...............