Monday, November 23, 2009

Mushie Tushies, pinging udders and a new life!

I mentioned in an earlier post about how preoccupied you can become with animals bottoms, or more specifically their 'mushie tushies' when they are due to give birth and when you're not looking at their private parts you're looking at their udders. As if that isn't bad enough for the poor animal 'some people' take photos of said parts and post them on the World Wide Web. Luckily said animals don't have access to a computer and so long as no-one tells them we can spare them their blushes. 'I'm' one of those 'some people' and because I like to share you're about to be shown farmyard porn! If you would rather not see such photos you might want to stop here and go look at something else. Try clicking here instead!

This is Cara from the rear, obviously ;-D the skin around her vulva is looking quite floppy and you can see her udder is getting quite big.

If we look more closely you can see the folds of skin and a gel like substance, this is a good indication that birthing is not far away, maybe not that day but hopefully within that week.

The udder is also a good indicator of imminent birthing. As they get closer to calving their udder begins to fill with colustrum, they produce this for about 4 days and then the milk comes in, it is very important that any young animal gets this in the first fews hours and over the next few days. It is full of anti-bodies and helps to protect the young one from possible infections.
Cara's udder isn't very pretty and you can see quite clearly the four quarters, I'm hoping that will change when she comes into full milk. Her teats are looking quite engorged and they 'ping' when due to calve. It's called springing, the udder fills and the teats 'ping' out. If you get too close I reckon they would take your eyes out!

Cara's due date was Sunday 22nd November and like a very good cow she duly plopped this little fella out, all on her own, unnassisted and in less than an hour!

I had been watching Cara on and off all day, the neighbour dropped his dog off for a few hours and I had one more check and went indoors and did a bit of sewing! I'd been at it for less than an hour and I heard some bellowing, so I went to investigate and Lo and Behold! There he was! Cara had decided to give birth on a ledge in the paddock where there had been a little slip of earth making a ledge, I thought, oh poo, if he tries to stand up it's quite likely he'd fall over the edge. Cara was still in that state of 'What the heck is this thing? But I know I have to protect it!"
Bert the Kune Kune boar was on the other side of fence looking very interested in this large snack and Cara wasn't too happy about him being there and every time she tried to get him away she got zapped by the fence, I took the clips off so it wasn't live. Then decided to shift Bert, but first I had to get the goats out of the way. Did that, sorted Bert and went back to check!
By now he had done what I thought he might and has rolled down the shallow ledge, Diamond the yearling heifer was getting quite agitated and decided she wanted the baby! Now this is where I wished Michael would hurry up and get home, Diamond and Cara started fighting over the calf, the poor little fella was being knocked all over the shop, and at one point I thought they might hurt him or worse! They were in a tight space up against the fence and there was no way I was getting in between, a few hundred kilos of mad cow would knock you flat quite quickly.

I grabbed a fencing standard and trying not to get in between the pair of them I whacked Diamond over and over until eventually she backed off, by this time Isobel had come for a look which brought Diamond round and I was then able to get Isobel and Diamond into the next paddock!
Man she was a pain!

Anyway little fella is none the worse for the wear and was trotting around the paddock that evening. I let Isobel back in as I don't think she's going to go another 6 days!

So the excitement over for one day, and how was that for spot on delivery date!!

Looking for a feed.

Hopefully Isobel will be a little more obliging and I'll be able to get some birthing photos, I don't want to disappoint the ladies at Down to Earth! :D

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