Cow due to calf

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Anonymous

Hi I have a dexter cow that is going to have a calf soon, I have done some reading on how to tell when a cow is going to calf, but this doesn't give good information (just very basic info, like she will move away and sit by herself etc). her vulva has become enlarged (how long is it before she calves when here vulva enlarges) and any other infomtion that may help.

Thanks

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OP
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Anonymous

While I'm no expert, I have made certain observations over the past couple of years.

Most cows will "bag up" 2-4 weeks before the birth, but there are some who don't bag at all until right after the calf is born. The vulva can start look slack and somewhat puffy 2-3 weeks beforehand too. Some cows will show a slime-like discharge beforehand -- but that's not real accurate on predicting when the cow will calve, my Jersey will drag ropes of slime for 3-4 weeks before she calves.

But IMO the real telltale sign is the separation of the pelvis. 3-4 days beforehand the pinbones and the tailhead will start to separate, by 24 hours or so before the birth the cow will usually have large hollows on either side of the tailhead.

Just to show you how accurate this is for me anyway -- I was at my Dad's a couple of weeks ago, mid-afternoon I commented on a cow that looked ready to calve. Now Dad has been doing this for a long time, I haven't -- Dad says to me "nope, not her, she's one of those 4 that didn't take. she's just fat" I had to point out to him that she had huge hollows on either side of the tailhead and I felt that she would deliver within 24 hours. He says "but she's not bagged" Anyway, the cow delivered a nice bull calf that night.

Next day we went to look at the other 3 cows that "didn't take" -- while 2 of them are very fat and if they are pregnant they're not due anytime soon, the 3rd was starting to form those hollows. I told Dad that I thought that cow would go in 3-4 days -- 4 days later, she also had a nice bull calf.

Ann B

> Hi I have a dexter cow that is
> going to have a calf soon, I have
> done some reading on how to tell
> when a cow is going to calf, but
> this doesn't give good information
> (just very basic info, like she
> will move away and sit by herself
> etc). her vulva has become
> enlarged (how long is it before
> she calves when here vulva
> enlarges) and any other infomtion
> that may help.

> Thanks
 

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