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Waiting for calves

April 28, 2010

At this time of year, when we finally reach the first due date (9 months after the day Admiral, our  Red Poll bull, walked off the trailer to meet his heifers and cows for the first time) we start to fret and discuss and examine and try to remember exactly what a cow that will produce today looks like.

First due day was last Friday 23 April since when we have dropped smoothly into the same cycle, very quickly arguing whether Pepper or Shiny will be the first.  And will it be today or maybe they all have at least a week.

Pregnant Redpoll cow

Pregnant Redpoll cow at 6am

The period is at least 6 weeks long so we have a while to worry. However, once things start to happen, the challenge becomes more acute and immediate; how is the birth progressing? Is the calf presenting as it should (tiny, white front feet followed closely by nose)? How’s mum? Should they be in a shed rather than out in the field? And then when the calf pops out – has it got all the bits one might reasonably expect? Is it healthy? Has it suckled yet? Is it standing and moving ok?

But before all of that, we wait and watch and worry.

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