2 more last minute questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Christina R., Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    My heifer is due to calve on Aug. 16th. I've read it can come up to 10 days early for 1st timers, is there also a good chance it could come late or would that be more rare? Her bag keeps filling up, but no leaking from the teats. I don't want to squeeze them as it has been muddy (thank God for the last 2 days of sunshine drying things up) and I don't want to open her teats and invite crud in. Is there a chance she can get mastitis before the calf is born? Her teats are swelling up (I guess that is what the books call filling up with milk), but I am unsure if she could already have a touch of mastitis or if this is what the udder and teats should look like before birth. Sorry to be so green, but if I don't ask I won't learn. Thanks.
     
  2. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    It sounds to me like she is just "bagging up"! If her due date is the 16th, she should indeed be starting to make some milk there.

    Yes, a heifer can get mastitis before she even calves for the first time, but I'd place the odds in favor of everything being OK.

    I wouldn't try to milk her out ... for one, you'd be wasting colostrum, and also I have noticed that sometimes the milk in cows just prior to calving will be chunky, as if it were infected, but it clears right up as soon as they calve.

    As long as she looks alert, healthy, content, etc., I'd just leave her alone for now and let nature take its course. Hope she comes through the birth OK, keep us posted!
     

  3. bbmae

    bbmae Member

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    Congratulations!! Your first calf is always exciting.
    When I first started with cows all I could afford were young heifers so I calved out quite a few in the beginning.
    What you are describing sounds pretty normal. Some heifers will keep bagging until you start to worry but rest assured they are probably fine. They have a plug in the end of the teat that the calf will soften and suck out. That plug is very useful in preventing mastitis, although they can develop it prior to calving, that is the exception not the rule.
    If you know for certain her due date is Aug 16th I would be checking on her about 2 days before including 2 to 4 hour checks at night in case she needs help.
    My heifers generally calved on thier due date which I always calculated exactly 283 days from when they were bred.
    Don't be alarmed at her bag or teats unless something really looks wrong. The bag and teats will get very tight, to the point that the skin is shiny, and the teats look like they are pointing straight out. The thing to look for is if the heifer looks like she is sick. Then you may need help with her. Good luck! Have fun. Wish I were there with you.
     
  4. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

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    Well, we're still in waiting, which is good news as today was my first day back at teaching and it would have been the most conveneint for the kids to have a sub the first day back at school. Her bag is tight and her teats are sticking straight down which is why I thought I should check on the mastitis question. She didn't feel like eating a lot of hay last night, but was munching away this am. She ate the grain tight away last night and let me fuss with her teats and udder (Rub my hand gently over them) while she was in the stanchion eating the grain. She has adapted to the stanchion since the first time I put her in it a few nights ago. I only give her grain and put her in the stanchion at the night feeding until she has her calf. I'll keep everyone posted.