Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birth Announcement

Before I even got to post about being on calf watch, Bella had her baby. She was due on the 18th, but had already begun bagging up, so I knew it was imminent. This morning around 9-9:30 am the event occurred, and I missed the actual birth by just minutes. Baby was on the ground by the time I arrived, and mama was cleaning it nicely. We had a light dusting of snow yesterday, but it was a nice, warm sunny morning with relatively little wind.



I quickly fed the pigs so we didn't have a mutiny, and then ran inside to get Bella some warm molasses water. Blackstrap molasses provides energy, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and other useful vitamins and minerals. I give it to all my livestock after they give birth. Bella gratefully sucked down two canning pots full in between licks to clean off baby.



Baby was up and standing within the first hour, wobbly but strong, and has nursed a couple times already today, and Bella passed her placenta with no problems about 3 hours after giving birth. We had a healthy little heifer calf, and we're still trying to settle on a name. We won't likely be keeping her, but we'd like to halter train her and enjoy her a bit before we try to sell her.




I was able to milk out about a quart of colostrum from one of Bella's quarters, but she was a little fussy about the back teats. I froze the clean bit I was able to catch, then went back out to try to milk some out of her back quarters to give her some relief. I was able to milk some by hand, but she's so distended at this point that it's hard to get my hands around her teats. I'll milk her out fully, hopefully, tonight with the milk machine, which should give her some welcome relief. I'm hoping the milking will go smoothly so I'll be able to freeze some of this colostrum as well, but I'm not counting on it.

More later....

15 comments:

Madeline said...

Yay Bella!! I'm so glad that it went smoothly. What will you do with the colostrum, dink it yourselves or save it for the calf?

Steilen said...

Hey there!! My name is Adam and I've been following your blog since early January (my mom, Teri, showed it to me after she found it- we're both hooked). I just wanted to say congratulations, how exciting!! We've had our fair share pf excitement recently as well- My uncle brought us sixteen chickens Friday night. I believe four are already laying- the others are still pullets. This was great, because our entire flock was killed off in December by a pack of coyotes and a stray dog.
Again, congratulations, hope you have fun!! I can't wait until we have a cow of our own!

Gina said...

How sweet! She's a lovely calf! My Bella (Irish Dexter) is due in early April. Her daughter Maggie in late April. We've missed having calves around!

Christy said...

Woo hoo! Good job Bella. A girl even, how great.

Carolyn said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwww.....too cute

Woody said...

Congrats...Happy to hear that all went smoothly.

Rebecca of Sunny Morning Farm said...

Congratulations!! A heifer too!! I am so envious of all that milk coming your way now ;-) I really want a Jersey cow but I will settle for 2 Nubians for now.

I just found your blog last evening and have enjoyed lurking around and can't wait to have some real time to read all the posts. You are really an inspiration.

Thanks,
Becky

Steph's Road said...

Woohoo...we're so excited...and we can't wait to see the newest addition!

lizzylanefarm said...

:) Congratulations!!!

Dawn Anon said...

congrats!

There's not much that is better than calves in the spring!

Alex Polikowsky said...

Congratulations!!!!!!I heard you said something about a calf and I came to check!

Danielle said...

Thanks to all for your well wishes! Things are going well, and I will try to post some updates tomorrow morning before I head out to milk.

Madeline, frozen colostrum is basically like an insurance policy: it's just good to have on hand in case something happens during a birth. Obviously, the mama's own colostrum is best for babies, but in a pinch, real colostrum is better than milk replacer or powdered colostrum substitute, and it can be used for multiple species, not just cows.

Sarah said...

Oh, that's so wonderful! It's so nice when things go smoothly like that. I'm glad to hear the tip on blackstrap molasses - I'll try that with my goats this spring. She's a darling baby. My little girl is oohing and aahing. lol

mommymommyland said...

Oh Yay! a new baby heifer! What a joy!!! Glad things went so smoothly.

underthebigbluesky said...

thanks so much for the post.

it brought me pure joy this morning to see that delight.

though we are not farming, it's lovely that you are doing this and sharing it with people like myself!