Beulah Petunia has lost her flower. And I don’t just mean this one.

When I went to Skip’s farm to milk BP on Tuesday evening, she had company.

Meet Adam. (Skip does name his cows! Or at least, the bulls.)

Adam is an Angus-Gelbvieh cross. Gelbvieh is a dual-purpose breed, raised for both meat and dairy use, and they’re often crossed with Black Angus, as is this one. They’re on the smaller side for standard beef cattle and make smaller (lower birth weight) calves, which is why Skip thought this bull would make a good match for BP.

BP seemed quite happy with him.

There was a lot of nuzzling going on.

Adam: “Yum.”

I was a bit freaked out. “BUT HOW AM I GOING TO MILK?” Like I was going to go into the paddock with THAT.

THAT seemed a little concerned we were going to take his Eve away and went to work.

Which freaked me out even more and I totally HAD TO WATCH.

And go home and enlarge the photos so I could see if he was getting in there. He was. I know, how much more weird can I get??? 52 (bravely!) went in there and ran the bull out of the paddock and shut the gate.

The bull waited up on the hill.

He had a few other girls for company up there. I figure those were the other girls in heat. His entourage du jour.

We brought BP over to Skip’s farm on Thursday evening, after she started bellowing Thursday morning. The bull was seen checking her out that evening but the bull didn’t try to mount her. By Tuesday evening, they were keeping company and nuzzling, the bull was mounting her (several times), and BP was accepting of him. If I’d been keeping track of BP’s heat cycles previously (as I should have done) perhaps I’d know if bellowing a few days in advance of the full onset of heat was her normal behavior. In any case, I’m glad we took her over there on Thursday as it gave her time to settle down in her new location before she was in standing heat.

I’m assuming that is standing heat. She was standing there for him.

But LIKE I KNOW. When I went over there last night, she came……ALONE. No bull. No entourage.

Calling on the experienced cow people here…. What does it all mean???? Can I go ahead and take her home this weekend? The only reason I was going to leave her there for the next three weeks was because I didn’t feel as if I knew when she was in heat and I wanted to be sure I hit the right time, simply by leaving her there long enough. But if that was her standing heat, then there’s no reason to keep leaving her there. I could just bring her home, count 21 days, and see if she goes into heat again. (I assume if she doesn’t go into heat again, she’s pregnant?) Or do I leave her there to be on the safe side? Main issue with going over there–milking. And I miss her. But I want her bred, preferably in the now timeframe.

So torn! And indecisive! And discombobulated! And possibly BLINDED by the above graphic activity!

Advice would be appreciated! BP and I don’t know what to do!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 16, 2011  

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24 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-16

    Not to be rude, but I looks like BP knows what to do…that just leaves you out in the cold!

  2. 6-16

    I would ask Skip.He’s the cow man.

  3. 6-16

    :happyflower: What a sweet beautiful GIRL!!
    Hugs Granny Trace

  4. 6-16

    Hi suzanne, maybe a dumb question, but wondering why you didn’t chose to have her artificially inseminated? we’re dairy farmers and that’s all that goes on around here :)

  5. 6-16

    At last, I got logged in. I didn’t realize there was a waiting period!

    Suzanne, congratulations, you can bring your girl home and watch for heat between 18-25 days from bred date.

    “Standing” refers to when the cow will stand to be mounted….not walk off. In other words, she allows another animal to mount her.

  6. 6-16

    farmerswife, to do AI, you have to be really good at knowing heat etc and getting it all exact! I’m barely good enough to know when to put her with a bull, LOL.

  7. 6-16

    Glenda beat me to it. :) On another thought, we had an Angus/Gelbvieh cross last year. Might be good for this situation as Skip said. Wasn’t so good at the livestock market. That was the First time we ever got the lowest average price. I thought they stole my calf until I saw him standing next to the rest of the sale barn herd. We sold them at the same age as usual, but they needed another three months probably to fill out those little frames. We are back to full Angus again. For your purposes, I am sure you will get a cute calf and a good enough price or steaks out of the deal.

  8. 6-16

    You would want to leave her there until at least Friday if she was standing on Wednesday evening. If I am remembering the chart right, she should be in heat (breedable)about 36 hours. Not knowing exactly when she began her torrid affair with Adam, that should give enough time for them to cover all possibilities. If you think that you will remember to watch her closely for the next month to catch signs of an impending heat cycle I would take her home. You could always just plan on returning her in about 3 weeks for romantic rendezvous with lover bull to be on the safe side. Of course no matter how diligent he is about his duties it is never a sure thing that BP will be bred and just like people she could lose the pregnancy very easily in the first 2-3 months. You will need to mark out her expected heat cyles for that time period and watch her to make sure she isn’t cycling.
    It will be interesting to see what happens when Glory Bee is ready for motherhood since she is such a scamp. I had a Brown Swiss heifer that broke the neighbor’s young Saler bull. The bull got a rupture at a critical spot when he wished to continue the relationship and my heifer was so over him and his attentions at that point. Bull went to the stockyards and we got the prettiest and most stubborn little heifer calf out of that deal. A different neighbor really liked that calf and bought her. He kept her for years with his herd of beef cows. Always said she was one of the friendliest cows, a great mother and one of the stubbornest cows he had. Everybody remained friendly, but it was quite the neighborhood tale for a while.

  9. 6-16

    I’d bring her home. If the bull is fertile your girl is bred. Mark the date on you calendar and keep an eye on her, but I don’t think BP will come in heat again for about a year. Which will be a couple of months after her next calf is born sometime next March.

  10. 6-16

    Beulah Petunia is just the prettiest cow! I hope she’s bred and can come home.

  11. 6-16

    Gosh, he didn’t even bring BP a gift or nothing. Lol. I think it is safe to say that she can be taken home now. And like others have said, watch for the next heat cycle, if there is one.

  12. 6-16

    Sometimes I read the comments, sometime I don’t. But I knew i HAD to after that story!!

  13. 6-16

    Wow, what footage! I think BP WANTS to come home! She made the big guy wait until she knew you’d be there to see the deed was done and take her home once and for all. lol. What a dear, sweet cow. I can see why you miss her. Heck, I miss her if you don’t talk about her for a few days. Thanks.

  14. 6-16

    I know cows are only suppose to come in every 21 days, but sometimes I have seen our bull breding a cow about a week after I have seen him bred them the first time. I watch the cow for 21 days after he breds her. If no more love making then I am pretty sure she is bred. If I were you watch her after about 6 to 10 days, but not all cows are same. After you bred her a few times you will start learning her cycle’s better. Good luck and may you be lucky the first time.

  15. 6-16

    I have no idea. Sorry. He’s a pretty boy, though.

  16. 6-16

    Wow, I lead a sheltered life, I don’t know nuthing ’bout a cow’s love life, breeding or birthin’— leave it to the farmers.

  17. 6-16

    I found your blog because I’m a newbie cheesemaker, working my way through Ricki Carroll’s book.

    Little did I know I’d find a comic genius to boot.

    Phew — I haven’t laughed that hard in ages! HAD TO WATCH. You crack me up!

    And your photos are gorgeous….
    Thanks so much,
    Karen (homesteading a tiny, tiny lot in Vermont)

  18. 6-16

    :wave: Welcome, Pyxis55! You are soooooo lucky and blessed to have found Suzanne’s blog! She ***IS*** a hoot and a half! :yes: Most of us visit each and every day to see what kind of adventure she is on…. :moo:

    By the way, Suzanne, I know nuthin’ about cows and lovemaking…..sorry. :bugeyed:

  19. 6-16

    Wow! I’ve read this story several times…’s great…..I have to admit….I want to see the close-ups of the deed….I am soon to have my own cow and I know nothing either….

  20. 6-17

    Well….you can GOOGLE anything….

    Really looking forward to following BP’s progress!!!


  21. 6-17

    Adam: “Yum.”

    ROFLMAO!!!!! You kill me!!!!

  22. 6-18

    don’t they make home pregnancy tests for cows?

  23. 6-18

    Thanks for the welcome, countrydreams64! :D

  24. 6-20


    You are brave to be so forthcoming!

    “By the way, Suzanne, I know nuthin’ about cows and lovemaking…”

    I also know nothing about cows. I do, however, know about the other subject mentioned! ;)

    Pamela Adkins (Huntington, WV)

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