Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A bit broad in the beam

Matilda is finally pregnant. The last time she gave birth was back in 2013 when she had Amy.

But when Amy was born, Matilda's massive udder was so pendulous and enormous, it dragged nearly to the ground and Amy couldn't nurse. I milked out the colostrum and we bottle-fed Amy for the first few weeks until Matilda's udder assumed more normal dimensions and Amy could nurse directly.

Matilda is getting older -- we estimate she might be around fourteen years old -- and she missed two seasons of breeding. But I distinctly saw the bull nail her on August 16 of last year, which would make her due date around May 25. Sure enough, she's been rounding out.

A few days ago I put my hand on her belly and could feel the calf roiling around inside.

Poor Matilda gets all bent out of shape in the latter months of her pregnancy, culminating in the week before when she's positively enormous, with a swollen beach ball between her legs. But she's a born mother, loves loves loves having babies, and I'm looking forward to milking her again.

So now it's a waiting game, with dear Matilda patiently growing new life inside her.


  1. oh boy, are you sure she isn't having twins? she's huge, with another two months to go? she must be a member of the family, if you haven't been able to milk her for a couple of years, i applaud you for keeping her.

  2. I hope there are no complications and everyone remains healthy.

  3. How wonderful. Praying for a safe and easy pregnancy and delivery for Matilda and her calf. My heart ached for her when the breeding didn't take.


  4. I'm wondering if you could fashion her a "cow bra" of sorts, to take some of the weight off. That udder looked positively painful with her last calf!

  5. Nice looking milk cow. Lucky you for having a milk cow. Just got your book in the mail today, I actually found it on ebay, from a goodwill store. I read most of it today. Love it! We pretty much live the same way. We manage a ranch in the middle of no where. Just my husband and I . Sometimes my son. I can most of our food. We butcher a steer a year and also deer, elk and antelope. We love our life, and I love your website. read it all the time. Good job, keep it up.

  6. Copper deficiency can cause sagging belly and udder. Something you might want to look into. After giving our goats MORE copper (they already had minerals and kelp) the saggy bellies and udders on all our older goats really improved and gave new life to my old saggy belly buck I thought was going to die. I now have started copper bolusing them.


  7. I have a 14 year old milk cow who looks the same, but she is a such a sweet cow. I love her so much. Sending good thoughts to your sweet cow!