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signs of calving - tail up?

SRBeef

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I have one of my cows that seemed to be moving very slowly today going to water etc. She also seemed to have her tail up or curled a portion of the day. Maybe just a little dilated (puffy??) also. Udder and teats starting to look like a partially inflated rubber glove.

Any guess as to how long to calving? Naturally I have to leave for about a week! Not the best of calving weather right now. Weather forecast looks much better later in the week, think she will hang on for a few days? I guess I'll see just how "calving ease" my bull really is! Thanks.
 

randiliana

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SRBeef":3n5gakrw said:
I have one of my cows that seemed to be moving very slowly today going to water etc. She also seemed to have her tail up or curled a portion of the day. Maybe just a little dilated also. Any guess as to how long to calving? Naturally I have to leave for about a week! Thanks.

Have you checked her out? Cause, that is the only way to tell if she is a little dialated, looseness of the vulva is just the body getting ready to calve, looseness can be an indication that she is getting close, but some cows hardly loosen up and the next will look like the calf could fall out of her without any help. Some will be loose for weeks and the next will loosen up and drop a calf in about 2 days. The cervix is the last thing to dialate at calving time, and until that does, the calf isn't coming out. And, you can't tell if the cervix is dialating unless you examine her. It isn't common, but we have had an instance or 2 where the cow/heifer was in labour but did not dialate.

Tail up can be a sign that she is calving, could be you are just seeing her when she is going pee or pooping. Could be she is in false labour, or that she is having troubles too. We had one a few days ago, walking around with her tail up, humped up a bit, I was sure she was calving. No waterbag, no other signs, and a few hours later, she is laying around chewing her cud like nothing is going on. She was in false labour, and just calved this morning (4-5 days later).

But, if we have a cow acting off like that for more than 4-6 hours I like to check just to make sure there isn't some sort of malpresentation like a breech or upside down where nothing comes into the birth canal to trigger labour.

Honestly though, to me it sounds like your cow should go a few more days before she calves. Of course, those are famous last words......
 

SRBeef

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Thanks, Randi.

No I have not checked out. Looseness of the vulva is what I meant, should not have said dilating. She sounds exactly like your cow - hunched up for a time, some looseness then munching hay and chewing cud.

I hope, like yours, she is 4-5 days away at least. 283 days from bull in is up on the 15th - 10 days yet.

Somewhere I read that herefords actually tend to take more than 283 days. I appreciate your response. Jim
 

randiliana

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I was just verifying. She could certainly be early, but usually those calves are smaller, and unless there is some sort of malpresentation or twins she should be fine. I think 90% of the time we worry over nothing. But 10% of the time we were right to worry. If you have someone that can look in on your cows once a day even, that would take a load off your mind about leaving.

Hopefully your cow will go a few more days for you. Good luck.
 

SRBeef

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I have a good neighbor, friend and experienced cattleman who checks on them daily. I keep them in a pasture up close to the road for calving season.

Sometimes I think we can intervene too soon and too much. Just need to watch for that 10% or hopefully lower of cases where there is something unusual.

My number one criteria for cow and bull is that they are able to calve successfully on their own and sire heifers who will do as well or better.

Not just because I travel but also because that is the type of herd I want to build. I will try to provide an environment for them then they take it from there.

By the way, as an example of how I appreciate the suggestions posted here, I did put up my cattle rubs this weekend. I noticed a couple of small bare (little hair) spots on one or two today, especially around the tail head. Recalling the winter lice post recently I got out the rubs hung them and doused with permecthrin (sp) and diesel mix. This was earlier than I have done it in the past but that lice post said that winter was the active season for them so put it up now.

Thanks again. Jim
 

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