;

That Darn Dumplin

Jul
14

Dumplin’s been doing her job–too well. I started watching for signs of heat, ahead of giving Glory Bee the shot of lutalyse that was scheduled to be given on Sunday morning, to throw her into heat by Monday evening or Tuesday morning. Then the vet would come back and she would be inseminated. There was a chance Glory Bee might go into heat naturally, before the shot, so I started watching for signs of heat right away.

A cow, male or female, will respond to another cow in heat by riding up on them. It’s one of the simplest and most obvious signs of heat. So I separated Dumplin and Glory Bee, only putting them together for 30 minutes every morning and every evening to see how Dumplin would react.

Wednesday evening, no reaction.

Thursday morning, no reaction.

Thursday evening, no reaction.

Friday morning, no reaction.

Friday evening….
IMG_2594
Dumplin?
IMG_2597
Dumplin????
IMG_2598
DUMPLIN!!!!
IMG_2604
Then she rode up on Glory Bee three times in a row.

So. It was Friday evening. The worst time possible. I couldn’t order bull semen on the weekend. She was supposed to have the shot on Sunday, I’d order the semen on Monday, and be ready for a Tuesday or Wednesday insemination depending on when she went into heat.

I called Dr. Mason. She gave me several options, and I chose to wait until Glory Bee goes into heat again, naturally, in three weeks. A cow goes into heat approximately every 21 days, and a natural heat is more fertile than an artificially induced one, so now that we know her cycle, we can be prepared to hit her up on the next one.

But it was disappointing. I didn’t even get to be all tough and everything and give her the shot!

Comments 1 Comment
Share: |    Subscribe to my feed Subscribe
Posted by Suzanne McMinn | Permalink  

More posts you might enjoy:


Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter



Dumplin Finds a Job!

Jul
10

Mobile veterinarian Dr. Clara Mason and her technician pulled up to Sassafras Farm yesterday afternoon to check out Glory Bee.
IMG_2528
They’re getting out the long gloves. They’re going in! I got Glory Bee in her milkstand with her headlock. Not that she cared. Once she’s digging in to her big feed, she really doesn’t give a hoot what’s going on back there.
IMG_2533
Which is probably a good thing since there were people in her privates.
IMG_2536
The main point yesterday was to make sure she wasn’t currently already in heat. And she’s not! She’s somewhere else in her cycle, but just exactly where can’t be so easily determined. So Dr. Mason made a plan with a head-spinning number of options depending on what happens next. Because Nature isn’t easily wrangled. But if all goes according to human plans, this is what will happen.

Step 1: I’ll give Glory Bee a shot of lutalyse, which Dr. Mason left with me. I’m to give the shot on Sunday morning, to time her heat so that we will have next week, on business days, to deal with the insemination. (Trying to avoid the weekend.)

“You can give a shot, right?” she said.

She must have noted the freaked out look in my eyes.

“You can do it, Suzanne!”

Her technician said, “I was giving shots like this when I was 10.”

Oh, sure.

Dr. Mason is a good teacher, and she spent several minutes showing me exactly where and how to give the shot to Glory Bee, in the muscles in her neck.

I can mow! I can drive a tractor! I can do this….

Step 2: Watch for signs of heat.

Step 2 is also Step 1a, by the way. I’m supposed to start watching for signs of heat now, in case Glory Bee goes into heat before the shot on Sunday.

To watch for heat, she told me to separate Glory Bee and Dumplin. (Glory Bee can be with her calf, but not Dumplin.) Dumplin has a special job. Since she’s a full-grown heifer at this point, she can be used as the heat tester. Both male and female cows will react to a cow in heat by attempting to ride up on them. Every morning and every evening, I’m to put Glory Bee and Dumplin together and watch them for 30 minutes to see if Dumplin tries to ride up on Glory Bee. Then separate them again. Heat can also be detected by watching for a swollen vulva and other physical signs, but the “riding up” is the most obvious and impossible to miss.

With the shot on Sunday morning, which incites heat, Glory Bee should go into heat by Monday evening or Tuesday morning. In that event, then the semen will be ordered to be delivered on Wednesday and Dr. Mason will make a return call for–

Step 3: –the insemination.

All sorts of other things might happen, however. Glory Bee might go into heat sooner. Or she might go into heat later. A second shot might be required if she doesn’t go into heat next week at all. And those alternatives come with other alternative plans. Including the problem that I will be leaving for Weston’s Army graduation in Oklahoma at some point, which will cause a hitch in the plans if Glory Bee doesn’t go into heat next week at all.

I’m hoping things go just right and she goes into heat Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Dumplin has a job!
IMG_2560
She’s really important right now!
IMG_2566
Know that, Dumplin?
IMG_2565
DUMPLIN!

P.S. I’ve had a lot of questions about Dumplin. She belongs to my neighbor, but she still lives here. All the cows are happy with this situation. She’ll be bred later this summer with a bull from up the road. I’m going to have Glory Bee artificially inseminated because I want a calf earlier than will work out with when I can get that bull, plus I’d like to choose the breed, have her inseminated with Black Angus. I’ve never had AI done before, and if all goes well, I’ll probably do this in the future and stop having bulls over. Next year, Moon Pie will be ready, so I’ll have two to be bred!

Comments 8 Comments
Share: |    Subscribe to my feed Subscribe
Posted by Suzanne McMinn | Permalink  

More posts you might enjoy:


Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter



  1. IMG_2527

    July 9, 2014 - Expectations of Expecting

    Today, the vet comes to check Glory Bee, figure out where she is currently in her cycle so that the shot to throw her into heat can be scheduled. This will be followed up with the insemination, so this is the first step of artificial insemination. Glory Bee and I are so excited!

    Or at least one of us is.

    I’ll be back to report. I’ve … Continued…

  1. IMG_2506

    July 7, 2014 - A More Permanent Path

    Last year, I had this temporary chute of fencing set up to get Glory Bee across the access roads between fields for milking.

    It worked all right for Glory Bee, but anytime I was also moving other cows with her, especially calves, they’d just sprint under the wires and dance off. Calves think they are so funny. You should have seen Moon Pie chasing the chickens … Continued…

  1. IMG_2383

    June 16, 2014 - Angry Baby

    Moon Pie looks a little sullen here, doesn’t she?

    I’ve started milking Glory Bee twice a day.

    When milking Glory Bee once a day, I milk her in the mornings. After she finishes working, she gets some time off with the children. I put her in the field with Dumplin and Moon Pie. Moon Pie gets to eat … Continued…

  1. IMG_2324

    June 3, 2014 - A-Milkin’ We Will Go

    It’s workshop season, and Glory Bee and I are in full milking swing. This makes everybody happy except Moon Pie and Dumplin, who do not like to be separated from MOMMY. Sometimes there’s a lot of bellowing. And crying. And whining. And pitiful cow eyes. But everyone is surviving. I load up my little cart and take it to the … Continued…

  1. IMG_2155

    May 21, 2014 - Maia Has a Mini Me!

    Lizzie is my little goat with the lopsided ears.

    When I first heard about Lizzie, the lady told me that she thought she’d end up having to keep Lizzie because she had this lopsided ear issue. One ear is shorter than the other. Of course, then I said, “I’ll take her!”

    Because I’m weird like that…. Continued…

  1. poster2

    May 6, 2014 - Tutu Incoming

    I will be speaking at the Clendenin library this Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m., and also at the Elkview library on Monday, May 19, at 6 p.m. about farming. Maia will be coming with me, in her tutu, on a leash. I will also be bringing a chicken. Not sure which one. Whichever one is unfortunate enough to fall into my clutches … Continued…

Daily Farm

IMG_2644











If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!

Sign up for the
Chickens in the Road Newsletter




The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



Today on Chickens in the Road


Join the Community in the Forum

Search This Blog



Out My Window

87°F Partly Cloudy

Walton, WV

Calendar

July 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  


I Love Your Comments

I Have a Cow


And she's ornery. Read my barnyard stories!



Entire Contents © Copyright 2004-2013 Chickens in the Road, Inc.
Text and photographs may not be published, broadcast, redistributed or aggregated without express permission. Thank you.

Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer, and Terms of Use

Contact