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signs of impending labor?

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Anonymous

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Howdy. I'm new to cattle. Trying to learn as much as I can as quick as I can. I just have 6 head of registered polled herefords. One was vet checked to be due to calf "within the next 30 days" on Nov 15th when we bought her. On Saturday she began to show signs of increased milk in her udders. Yesterday she seemed to be "dripping" a bit from her vaginal area. I have her where I can keep a close eye on her. She's currently acting normal and healthy and is showing no signs of strain or tension.

Based on the signs she's showing, any idea how soon she'll begin to calve? Any other signs I should be looking for?

This will be our first calf (although it will be her second), so I'm trying to make sure I get the first one right...

thanks in advance for any help you can provide.



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A

Anonymous

Guest
Give the attached site a read

<A HREF="http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/beef/g539.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/beef/g539.htm</A>

dun

> Howdy. I'm new to cattle. Trying
> to learn as much as I can as quick
> as I can. I just have 6 head of
> registered polled herefords. One
> was vet checked to be due to calf
> "within the next 30
> days" on Nov 15th when we
> bought her. On Saturday she began
> to show signs of increased milk in
> her udders. Yesterday she seemed
> to be "dripping" a bit
> from her vaginal area. I have her
> where I can keep a close eye on
> her. She's currently acting normal
> and healthy and is showing no
> signs of strain or tension.

> Based on the signs she's showing,
> any idea how soon she'll begin to
> calve? Any other signs I should be
> looking for?

> This will be our first calf
> (although it will be her second),
> so I'm trying to make sure I get
> the first one right...

> thanks in advance for any help you
> can provide.



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A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks, Dun. That's a great reference.

In your experience, with increased size of udders and some mucous dripping, how close is she to birth?

I'm keeping a close eye on her...

thanks a ton

> Give the attached site a read

>
> <A HREF="http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/beef/g539.htm" TARGET="_blank">http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/beef/g539.htm</A>
> dun



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A

Anonymous

Guest
sounds like she's probably pretty close. hard to say exactly. you may watch for signs of restlessness, heading off by herself, lying down, getting up, etc.

not sure where you're located but we just got a cold front last night....that always brings the calves.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
Could be hours could be days. The udder on some of these girls gets a whole lot fuller and tighter then you would ever think possible. If the mucus is kind of sticky and hangs it's probably just the mucus plug breaking down and the cervix starting to dilate a little. If the fluid is more watery and doesn't hang, that's a sign of very close calfing. Usually before they get to that point they'll seperate from the others and become very restless.

dun

> sounds like she's probably pretty
> close. hard to say exactly. you
> may watch for signs of
> restlessness, heading off by
> herself, lying down, getting up,
> etc.

> not sure where you're located but
> we just got a cold front last
> night....that always brings the
> calves.



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Anonymous

Guest
If you’re like me every time you think you’re getting good at reading the signs and knowing when they will domino, some old cow will throw you for a loop. It’s not an exact science, that’s for sure.

Craig-TX
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks. That's great insight. The mucous is thick and hangs, so it must be the early stages. I know a lot of you experienced cattlemen (cattlewomen) will scoff at this, but I've got her separated up in the barn and corral, nice & cozy. Plenty of room to roam around and plenty of hay, water and minerals. Out of the wind and cold. I'll just wait her out up there, checking on her periodically.

I'll let you know how it works out...

thanks again.

> Could be hours could be days. The
> udder on some of these girls gets
> a whole lot fuller and tighter
> then you would ever think
> possible. If the mucus is kind of
> sticky and hangs it's probably
> just the mucus plug breaking down
> and the cervix starting to dilate
> a little. If the fluid is more
> watery and doesn't hang, that's a
> sign of very close calfing.
> Usually before they get to that
> point they'll seperate from the
> others and become very restless.

> dun



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A

Anonymous

Guest
For you first few calves it might not be all that bad an idea to get them up where you can keep a really close eye on her/them. Right now you need the confidence that comes with seeing how easy (normally) the whole process is for the cow and how much she knows about the whole deal. Later you can leave them out and just check periodially and feel better, for now, without upsetting the cow, do what makes you feel comfortable. After all these years and all these calves, my wife still wishes she could bring them into the house to calve.

dun

> Thanks. That's great insight. The
> mucous is thick and hangs, so it
> must be the early stages. I know a
> lot of you experienced cattlemen
> (cattlewomen) will scoff at this,
> but I've got her separated up in
> the barn and corral, nice &
> cozy. Plenty of room to roam
> around and plenty of hay, water
> and minerals. Out of the wind and
> cold. I'll just wait her out up
> there, checking on her
> periodically.

> I'll let you know how it works
> out...

> thanks again.



[email protected]
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
> For you first few calves it might
> not be all that bad an idea to get
> them up where you can keep a
> really close eye on her/them.
> Right now you need the confidence
> that comes with seeing how easy
> (normally) the whole process is
> for the cow and how much she knows
> about the whole deal. Later you
> can leave them out and just check
> periodially and feel better, for
> now, without upsetting the cow, do
> what makes you feel comfortable.
> After all these years and all
> these calves, my wife still wishes
> she could bring them into the
> house to calve.

> dun

No crap from here - after only 4 or 5 years of being a cattleman it still exites me to see the newbies and if anyone feels better to put them into a comfortable place, then it shows compassion for the girls. Take good care of them!

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Anonymous

Guest
Update: I wasn't as good at reading the signs as I thought (but I'm learning)... The cow calved at 1pm yesterday (Jan 2). Healthy heifer calf. Calve was slow to stand (so we helped her after 45 minutes) and slow to nurse (so we gave her a bottle of colostrum after 2 hours), but she's now nursing great on her own.

My only problem now is that the cow is now extremely protective and aggressive to anyone who comes near. Not sure how I'm going to get her back into the pasture with the rest of the cows (it about 200 yards from the barn...). I need to move her out by friday...

I'm thinking of taking the calf down separately and putting her at the gate (on the inside) of the pasture and turning the cow out into the other pasture to "find" her calve (so I can get her into that pasture)... thoughts?

thanks for your help.

-E

> No crap from here - after only 4
> or 5 years of being a cattleman it
> still exites me to see the newbies
> and if anyone feels better to put
> them into a comfortable place,
> then it shows compassion for the
> girls. Take good care of them!



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A

Anonymous

Guest
Congratulations. Glad all went well. It's definitely a learning situation. Be patient, the cow will probably be a lot calmer by Friday. We get our cows into a smaller pasture near our barn to calve. After a couple of days, they start bringing the calf with them when they come to the barn to eat. When they do that, we lead them with a bucket of feed back out to the herd in the larger pastures. Be sure the calf is following, too.

> Update: I wasn't as good at
> reading the signs as I thought
> (but I'm learning)... The cow
> calved at 1pm yesterday (Jan 2).
> Healthy heifer calf. Calve was
> slow to stand (so we helped her
> after 45 minutes) and slow to
> nurse (so we gave her a bottle of
> colostrum after 2 hours), but
> she's now nursing great on her
> own.

> My only problem now is that the
> cow is now extremely protective
> and aggressive to anyone who comes
> near. Not sure how I'm going to
> get her back into the pasture with
> the rest of the cows (it about 200
> yards from the barn...). I need to
> move her out by friday...

> I'm thinking of taking the calf
> down separately and putting her at
> the gate (on the inside) of the
> pasture and turning the cow out
> into the other pasture to
> "find" her calve (so I
> can get her into that pasture)...
> thoughts?

> thanks for your help.

> -E
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
> Congratulations. Glad all went
> well. It's definitely a learning
> situation. Be patient, the cow
> will probably be a lot calmer by
> Friday. We get our cows into a
> smaller pasture near our barn to
> calve. After a couple of days,
> they start bringing the calf with
> them when they come to the barn to
> eat. When they do that, we lead
> them with a bucket of feed back
> out to the herd in the larger
> pastures. Be sure the calf is
> following, too.

Congrats! Also if you move the calf make sure the cow can see it. Sometimes if you move them (carry them) its too high and they don't know they've moved...The cow will keep going back to the last place she saw the calf...and it could even be harder to move her out to pasture. Donna
 

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