Country Living Series

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Zip, zilch, nada

Update on Matilda: nothing yet.


A reader sent in a due date of February 6, according to a bovine gestation table and assuming a breeding date of April 30 which - trust me on this - is accurate.

As you can see, she is still massively bagged up. Grunt, that looks uncomfortable.


Here's Pearly, Matilda's year old calf, giving her mama a kiss.


Boy Jerseys are funny-looking things, aren't they? All skin and bone. But such beautiful eyes and such a sweet disposition...

Anyway, this morning we pulled Matilda and Pearly into the driveway area so the calf won't be born somewhere down in the woods or in the deeply muddy area by the feed bins. It's been bitterly cold and clear for the last couple of days (it was 4F this morning) so we're keeping a sharp eye on things. At least we have no snow on the ground. My preference would be for her to have her calf inside her pen where the baby can be protected and tucked into a nice bed of straw.

12 comments:

  1. February 6th is Boy Scout Sunday. Maybe you'll have a little scout by then!

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  2. Has Matilda signed off on release forms, giving you permission to post those embarassing photos of her posterior regions? And that very racy series of photos with Gimli and Matilda is enough to make Heidi Fleiss blush. Cow pornography, what is the world coming to?

    I'm so glad you don't have pigs.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  3. Our Porky had her calf last spring on a rather cold day on the manure pile of all things!! Hubby just gently picked him up and carried him up to the barn and Mama was fine with that. These gentle creatures trust us and it was much warmer in the barn :-)

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  4. Not make you worry, but I was just thinking that with her having been given the Lutalyse injection, could the calf have died but not aborted? It could even be mummified. In both cases I believe her body would get ready for delivery, but without the final input, which actually comes from the calf, may not pass it. If she goes much past her due date, you may want to have her checked to see if this is the case. This would possibly explain her lack of baby belly this time. Let's pray that all is well and she is just being different this time.

    Paintedmoose

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  5. I forgot to mention my girl, Miss Tilly, also a Jersey, is due around May 16. This will be her 5th but my first calf from my own cow. I was a veterinary technician for 14 years so I saw a few clients animals. I am excited but I am also looking forward to a break from milking for a couple of months.

    Paintedmoose

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  6. I went back and read the article sharing how Matilda was in heat and the males was trying to get at her. I guess I was not reading your blog regularly then. I never knew that you had planned on giving her the abortion shot so as to make life easier for all involved. I wish I would have known that then.

    Thank you for teaching me what you have. I really appreciate it.

    Ouida Gabriel

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  7. February 6th is my birthday! I'd love to share it with Matilda's baby.

    -Nina

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  8. Happy soon-to-be birthday, Nina!

    - Patrice

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  9. Patrice I have a question. We are finally in a situation where we can get a cow. We have a guy locally who buys cows from dairies and re-sells them. He has a Jersey heifer, 6 years old, due to freshen in 6 months, milking right now but two teats dry, for sale at 350.00. She has mastitus he thinks. She can be hand milked because he has done it. She also has some foot rot? He has had her for 2 weeks. You mentioned that your cow had mastitus when you got her. Is it possible to cure? What should we look for and is it even a possibliity to turn this cow around?

    I would love to get a jersey but the vet I talked to said that she would always be prone to mastitus if we got her. We have had milk goats and from everything we have read mastitus is curable.

    Any advice would be great!

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  10. Chloris, DO NOT BUY THAT COW. Had I known the nightmare we were in with Matilda, I don't know that we would have bought her. Because she came off a commercial dairy, she didn't have a calf on her and the mastitis was horrible. It started out mild but soon ballooned into a bloody brown sludge which stank. We had to be uber-careful in handling both her udder and the milk lest we contaminate the other quarters. We gave intramammary injections of antibiotics; we gave intramuscular shots of more powerful antibiotics; we had the sludge analyzed by a laboratory to more accurately pinpoint the nature of the infection; but nothing helped. Eventually the infected quarter died, thank God. We have three working quarters left, and I'm fine milking those.

    If the cow you're considering already has two dead quarters and she still has mastitis, you may lose yet another quarter and then you'd only have one working quarter. That's not much of a cow.

    Matilda will always be prone to mastitis, but having a nursing calf helps immeasurably. Last year when she had Pearly, she got a touch of mastitis, but the calf kept nursing and that's the best possible thing for a cow with mastitis (either that or endless hand-milking; and I mean ENDLESS; at the height of Matilda's problem I was milking her infected quarter eight or ten times a day).

    I have no experience with foot rot so I can't speak on that. But remember, you get what you pay for. Matilda was cheap ($500), but when we got her she had horrible scabs on her teats from the milking machine, horrible mastitis, and she has very, very poor udder attachment. If we ever buy another Jersey, we'll know better.

    That said, I love Matilda to pieces and wouldn't give her up for anything (especially now that we have the mastitis under control). If I were you, I'd go to the dairy personally and choose a cow rather than going through a middle-man who will downplay any problems with the animals he's selling. Most dairies are happy to get rid of cows with one or two dead quarters. Look over the available animals, try hand-milking them to see if they have mastitis, and take a look at their udder attachment. Have someone go with you who has some knowledge of dairy cows to help you evaluate the animals. Be prepared to pay a little more, but you'll have a higher quality animal to show for it.

    - Patrice

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  11. Thank you for the advice, we will take it to heart. I just found some other cows for sale with out the problems so we will look into those!

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