All the indicators

My husband and I bought our first set of cows last fall. Some were set to calve mid-January with the rest following. We were lucky to get the ultrasound dates for calving. The last of them finish up in early March. So far, we’ve gotten 10 calves.

Last Sunday as my husband was readying to go give them their afternoon cake; he said one of them was showing all the signs of a cow ready to calve. Now, I know what the signs are, but I coaxed him into telling me to see if I was right in my assumptions. Without telling him.

The one characteristic that made me laugh a little was his description of what happens to the cow’s tail. She can’t put it against her body as easily when she gets close to calving, he said. They also can get a crook in their tail. You had to have been there to get the full effect.

Now, he’s calved out probably thousands of cows in his lifetime, and these subtle signs have been learned through the years. Trial and error. There was a time when he calved out a large group of heifers and spent hours and hours at night checking these young heifers several times a night. He was cut out for it and never balked having to get out of his warm bed to go do a nightly check. Me, on the other hand had a hard time getting back to sleep.

I’m glad these cows are experienced at calving and have shown my husband all the signs. I made the comment of how "they’ve got it. So far so good." My husband looked at me and said, "Until you lose the first one. Then you won’t feel so good." He’s been there before, and I really don’t want to see it again. I hope we have a good calving season as well as every one else. We’re off to a good start anyway.