Monday, October 3, 2011

Waiting for Thistle's Calf

Now that Thistle is here and we've had a little chance to get acquainted, it's time to begin the next big adventure:  waiting for her calf to be born.

All I know is that she is due to calve sometime this month.  She was vet checked on August 17th to be 7 months pregnant.  A cow's typical gestation is about 9 months.  So now we wait and watch for changes in her udder and pelvic ligaments to help give us clues about when the calf may arrive.

I do see small changes in the udder, as it gets just a little bigger and fuller every day.  But I suspect that it has quite a way to go yet, so I'm guessing that the calf won't be born until the 2nd half of this month.

For those of you who would like to wait and watch along with me, here are some photos to document what she looks like now.  I'll post more later, so you can see the changes as she gets closer to calving.

Here is what her udder looked like on August 14:

And here she is from behind, also on August 14:

Now here is what she looks like today:

From behind (also today):

Another photo from today, taking advantage of a moment when she had lifted her leg to scratch, so you can see the whole udder:

And last but not least, a photo (taken today) of her pelvic ligaments around the base of her tail.  When calving is imminent, these will loosen and relax to help enable the calf to pass through the birth canal.

So, what do you think?  Any guesses when the calf will be born?


Nancy K. said...

Having never had any kind of Bovine, I wouldn't dare hazard a guess but Thistle sure is a beautiful cow!

I hope she gives you a gorgeous heifer that looks just like her!

Kelly said...

Oct 24 at 0430. What do calves weigh at birth?

Nancy Chase said...

Kelly: From what I've read, I think the calf will weigh around 100 lbs. at birth.

V.R. Leavitt said...

Wow! She has made a lot of progress! I'd say a couple of more weeks maybe? Of course I have no real knowledge in bovine birth, but that's my layman's guess. :-)

Kate said...

I say she will have her calf on Veterans Day, November 11.

Anonymous said...

I just loved your story of becoming a cow owner. Your perseverence paid off...Thistle is beautiful! We raise Dexters and are anxiously awaiting a new fall calf. What fun. I will watch your blog and keep my fingers crossed for you!

wendywoo said...

Waiting to hear how the delivery went....?