Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Due dates and bovines

You know, the new cow shed still looks pretty much like this:

It is further along, but not much. The big difference is that there is snow everywhere. When it snowed a couple of weeks after this picture was taken, we decided for our safety, we would make due with the current shed. We thought we wouldn't have a calf until April, which would mean probably at least a couple of windows to roof the new shed without the slipperiness of snow.

The problem with the old shed is that it gets wet, especially in the spring. We were building this one with the intention of not having another calf confined in the wet shed. We even filled half of that shed with chickens, so there isn't really all that much room in it at this point for a couple of cows.

Last week, as I followed Violet out of the paddock, I noticed her nethers looked extra big and swollen. I glanced at her bag, but it looked completely flaccid. When I said something to Jason, he reminded me that we weren't expecting a calf until April.

Then, my dear friend was visiting from Colorado, and she said something about the view of Violet from the rear, and I mentioned how Violet isn't even bagging up (swelling associated with milk production). I glanced again at said bag, and I thought it looked more swollen than a couple of days before.

Monday morning, Jason said, "Did we get the dates wrong?" as he followed Violet out of the paddock.

We double checked and sure enough that April calf is due March 15. There's still a lot of snow on the ground. There is no chance of roofing and siding that new shed in the next week. And maybe, the calf really won't come until April; the last two calves were born pretty far from the due dates. But Violet sure looks ready. All her girth has settled closer to the ground. She's cut way back on how much she's eating. She just wants someone to stand beside her and brush her. Then there's all that swelling.

I'll keep you informed!

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