Friday, April 24, 2015

Penny, the very, very, VERY pregnant heifer

Penny is officially due to calve a week from this Sunday.  I surely hope she doesn't have to wait that long.  

Here's what Penny looked like as a baby, back when we had a contest to name her:
That was before the incident that messed up her ear.  The lesson she taught us was this:  NEVER let any dehorning paste get on any part of a calf's body except for the immediate area around the horn buttons.  

Penny can hardly walk at this point in her pregnancy because her udder is so huge with milk (and edema).  I have been keeping her in the big lot for the last couple of days, fearing that she might give birth early; we never want a cow giving birth in the pasture where a new calf can (and often does) fall into a canyon.  Because Penny was raised alone, she doesn't mind being kept by herself, although Grace, the lead cow, protests Penny's absence often.  Cows are herd animals, so Penny's silence seems very strange to me.  I think perhaps she is the first cow I've owned that doesn't mind being by herself.  Just like me, she's an introvert.

I've been putting Penny in the stanchion twice daily, right after I'm done with Grace, so she will adapt quickly to the routine of being milked (or of having to allow calves to nurse her that she didn't give birth to, alongside her own baby).
She has always been very good about letting me handle her udder, but she's somewhat touchy nowadays, what with the swelling.  

Her rear udder is as tight as a balloon.  At least she is going to have good-sized teats for hand milking.  By the way, I have never heard a farmer say "teats" the way it is spelled.  It's always "tits".  Sorry, but that's the truth.  

Poor baby.  She doesn't even want me petting her, lately.  

Can you see the milk dripping from her teats?  This has been going on for a week now.  I guess there's just not enough room for all of it to stay in her udder.

By the way, I realize my header picture needs replacing.  I'm hoping to get a good picture of Penny with her calf when she has it (God willing all goes well), and I will use that for a header picture.


Adirondackcountrygal said...

Penny has grown into a fine looking cow!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Bless her heart. She is obviously miserable. Surely she can't go much longer without calving. Hoping for an easy, uncomplicated birth and a healthy mama and baby. As big as she is I'm thinking it may be a big bull calf, but who knows, it may be a big female. Could it possibly be twins??


Penny is precious pregnant. Fingers crossed the birth goes well.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

She does look very uncomfortable. Hopefully it won't be long for her now.