The Big Question

Nov
10

I live, breathe, and dream this question: Is Glory Bee pregnant? Is she? IS SHE?!


What if she’s not? What if I never have milk and cream and butter again?

Okay, here’s the deal: Glory Bee and BP went to the bull at Sarah’s farm the first week of March. They came home the first week of May. Cows are pregnant for nine months. Except for Nutmeg, who is constantly pregnant and occasionally explodes.

Waitaminute. Wrong animal. That’s a goat.

(I just can’t stop posting that picture.)

Back to the cows. I dug into the CITR vault to when I was having this same Big Question about BP. I posted photos of her here the first week of August, 2010. Glory Bee was born less than six weeks later. I was advised by you, my wise readers, that if I stood at the back of the cow, she should look lower and heavier on the right side if there was a calf in there. This is how BP looked then (six weeks pre-birth).

My. Sometimes I don’t know what to say about her appearance. She tries! She puts on her makeup every day and she combs her hair and she faces the day. We just have to give her a break.

Anyway.

So I sought out my lovely heifer, who looks much better from her business end than her mama, I must say.

Maybe it’s just easier to see on BP because she is so bony, scrawny, and beat up?

Glory Bee is one of the best-looking dairy cows you’ll ever see. Big, beautiful, and healthy through and through.

I CAN’T TELL!

By the way, if you’re new around here and have missed these discussions in the past, a frequent question about milk cows is why they have such a protruding bone structure. People tend to more often see beef cows than dairy cows. Beef cows don’t have this bony structure to them. The reason dairy cows do is to provide the infrastructure to support their udders. Dairy cows produce much more milk than beef cows and have to have bones that will hold gallons of milk at a time. Those humongous bones are doing a job. BP’s bones are much more protruding than Glory Bee’s–BP is older, and she has never had a good appearance. I think she looks better now, actually, than she did if you look back to the first photo above (as opposed to the photos below) since I’ve had her at Sassafras Farm. But. I’ve always fed BP as much as she wants (though she is on better pasture here). It’s hard to put weight on an older cow. Glory Bee, on the other hand, was raised on her mama and has been fed well all her life. She’s one good-looking milk cow! I’m proud of her!

(And no, I haven’t forgotten their new halters. It’s on my list for my next trip to the feed and seed. Haven’t been yet.)

I tried punching on her and I can’t ever feel anything when I punch a cow. I never see anything moving in there, either. I never saw anything moving in BP when she was pregnant. I just don’t have the knack or the surveillance technology or the proper eyeballs. Adam punched on Glory Bee this summer and declared he felt a calf in there. He’s been raising dairy cows all his life, so you’d think he’d know…. Right? Right????

Her teats are still tiny.

But BP didn’t explode in her udder until 24 hours before she gave birth. If she got pregnant sometime between the first of March and the first of May, she would be due sometime between the first of December and the first of February. (I would like a Christmas calf!)

Just for fun, I decided to take a gander at BP.

She was with Glory Bee at Sarah’s farm.

Hunh.

She IS old. COULD THAT BE A TUMOR? Maybe she always looks like that. I don’t take a lot of behind shots of BP on a regular basis.

Adam punched on her this summer, too, and didn’t feel anything. But then the man who sold BP punched on BP and said he didn’t feel anything and she was, indeed, pregnant at the time, as we discovered later.

I tried to call the country preg checker, but haven’t been able to get hold of him yet. People who will stick their entire arm up inside a cow don’t fall off trees, so unless I can get hold of him, my only other option would be a vet (expensive). I will probably wait in that case. I just want to know! Before a calf falls out of one of them! Maybe they’re both pregnant! Maybe neither one of them is pregnant!

Wait.

There’s a calf coming out of BP right now!!!

Shoot. False alarm. It’s just Glory Bee…….

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on November 10, 2012  

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Comments

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  1. 11-10
    10:51
    am

    Poor BP….we all try to look our best but then you know how it is. From the other end BP has a beautiful face. I think Glory Bee is preggers….she’s pretty round there. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if they both were? I can see milk and cheese coming out of the woodwork there! :happyflower:

  2. 11-10
    10:51
    am

    If you base pregnancy in BP on the low on the right, I’d say you’ll have 2 calves before Mar 1!

  3. 11-10
    10:53
    am

    Well, I think I’d keep a close eye on both of them and wouldn’t let them up in the upper wild pasture just in case! You really don’t want to be getting a calf down out of the hillside or that draw that Beulah Petunia likes to hide out in. I think they both look preggers!

  4. 11-10
    10:54
    am

    Ah, forgot to say to expect the birth during the next bad rainstorm, power outage or snowfall, because that’s when they always go into labor. *sigh* :moo:

  5. 11-10
    10:55
    am

    You’ll know for sure when they start knitting booties.

  6. 11-10
    11:03
    am

    Four cows! You’d have a whole herd! Let’s hope that if both are pregnant one of the babies is a girl. Two rambunctious young boys–and I speak from experience–are a lot of work.

  7. 11-10
    11:50
    am

    Oh my goodness, I am laughing so hard right now I can hardly see!! That is hilarious! That shot with GB’s head. Oh, I so hope they are both pregnant. BP sure does look pregnant according to the theory that they are lower on their right side. She’s about dragging the ground right there. Wishing you 2 nice healthy calces real soon and LOTS of milk!

  8. 11-10
    11:51
    am

    Hmmm, sounds like you’ll need to spend a lot more time staring at your cows’ backsides when they’re not preggers, so that you can see the subtle differences. Won’t that be fun? :devil2:

    Have either BP or GB shown any signs of estrus lately? If BP is old enough, I guess she might not anyway, but GB would have by now if she weren’t pregnant, wouldn’t she?

    Too bad you can’t just run down to the feed store for a home pregnancy test for cows. Unfortunately, pregnanat cows don’t give off a hormone equivilant to the one people do in their urine. OTOH, collecting a sample would be no fun, anyway, so maybe it isn’t too bad after all. :moo:

  9. 11-10
    11:58
    am

    Can’t she just pee on a stick or something? :lol:

  10. 11-10
    12:28
    pm

    I think BP definitely looks pregnant! Don’t know about Glory Bee though. If it’s anything like human mamas, you hold in tighter on a first pregnancy (since you still have your tummy muscles!) :P

  11. 11-10
    12:39
    pm

    I think both are pregnant, but I can’t even tell on my own Bo-Bo’s so don’t take my word for it! :cowsleep: You can come take pictures of Bessie and Buttercup and compare. :) I’ve already put a call into Farmer Wayne for him to come down and check Buttercup out. I don’t want another incident of losing a calf because the cow has it farther away versus down near the barn.

  12. 11-10
    1:35
    pm

    Hope you have two beautiful calves!! GB looks a little lower on the right in one pic, to me & BP is for sure. You’ve done a great job with them!! :sun:

  13. 11-10
    2:06
    pm

    Ok. Showed the pics of GB to the hubby. He’s raised cattle all his life. He said her back end (there under her tail) is getting swollen and she is “bagging up” (udder is filling) He said she’s definitely pregnant and “damn close” to having her calf, not more than a few weeks. Next time you take pics of GB’s hinder, lift her tail out of the way so we can see her back end. Often, the closer they are to delivery, the more swollen it will be. I would check her often, especially if the weather is bad. Heifers can have problems on their first calves. If you see her standing around with her tail up, she’s in labor.

  14. 11-10
    3:24
    pm

    ‘K, showed the pictures to Farmer Wayne. He says she’s bagging up and springing. Get yourself ready for a calf. Keep her close and keep checking on her. I see you’ve already been told this in post 13. :) Good luck! :moo:

  15. 11-10
    4:08
    pm

    This is exciting, you just had two experienced people confirm GB is getting close! :snoopy:

  16. 11-10
    6:32
    pm

    I agree that GB is pg, is starting to bag up and her backside muscles are starting to loosen. You may get your Christmas calf wish. If you want to learn to recognize the signs of the relaxing of the muscles and bagging, I would get Morgan to help you and take weekly intimate pictures of GB’s parts. Then you have a photo reference guide to what the changes look like.
    Now BP, she looks like there might be a calf in there. Can’t get a good gander at her privates so can’t say if those are looking a little loose. Given she is older, has had multiple calves, and GB is half Brown Swiss so she was larger than the typical Jersey calf, BP may just desperately need some Zumba classes, or Pilates or a tummy tuck. It is possible she has a growth/tumor which could explain why she didn’t stick when she was cavorting with the bulls. Of course you haven’t mentioned seeing BP show signs of heat so she could be preggers. Only time will tell, hopefully of baby calves stories.
    Jeanne.

  17. 11-10
    6:41
    pm

    Dang! BP looks a lot, lot, lot like she did just before she birthed GB! Almost exactly, except for her being a bit heavier all over. (She’s been lying around eating bonbons more the past year, after all!)

    No opinion whatever about GB, but have no reason to doubt what others have said. Looks like at least one calf, good possibility of two, before Thanksgiving! Hurray!! :snoopy:

    Then again, BP could just be having a sympathy pregnancy. (Can cows do that?) These two are awfully close, after all.

  18. 11-10
    6:54
    pm

    Yee haw, don’t we have fun on the farm! Looks like they’re both pregnant and due before a month passes. Guess the fun-filled romantic get-away did ole BP good.

    Maybe she didn’t catch the first time ’cause she wanted more lovin’ up… ;) And didn’t she deserve it after all those hard years in the dairy?

    Best of luck with your bovine mamas and the babies. Y ou might want to get a couple of feeder pigs to take on some of the extra milk. Just a thought!

  19. 11-10
    7:25
    pm

    Look at Glory Bee (that bad baby) when Suzanne is walking her down the road and having book pics taken. She looks a whole lot heavy on the right.

    Ahh BP..I understand the ‘getting older’ belly :P You still look pretty durned kissy missie!

    I think you just might become a repeat Mama and first time Grammie within weeks! Wondering who comes first :)

  20. 11-10
    7:26
    pm

    I think I may be able to help. I learned last year how to Artifically Inseminate our miniature Jersey’s and they taught us how to do a pregnancy test. It is actually easy. You just take blood from the underside of her tail. There is a large vein that runs close to the surface of her tail, close to her rectum. I will look and see if I can find you a you tube video. You raise the tail, feel for the vein( it will be throbbing) then you take a blood sample. I will be glad to send you a 2cc tube and syringe with needle ( I have a vet that will supply it to me) After sample is collected just mail it to the testing lab (CFLA) along with a check for $ 2.60. The blood sample must be collected at least 32 days post heat. I will also send you the form that you fill out to send along with the sample and money. Then, as soon as they run the test and get results, they will mail or e-mail you the results. It’s that easy! No guess work and you will know if you will be getting a Christmas calf or not. Feel free to e-mail me personally if you have any questions [email protected] I know you can learn to do this! It is no more scary than that awful lye, and you can do that with ease now!
    Rachel

  21. 11-10
    8:28
    pm

    I guess you’ll just have to wait and see until you can get them checked. But for what it’s worth, I think BP’s new picture looks just like her old one, except she is in better condition now. Maybe that’s all it took was for her condition to improve before she could get pregnant. Hopefully they both are. Can’t wait!

  22. 11-10
    10:02
    pm

    OMG, I won’t get anything done with Suzanne dragging two baby cows and their mamas around! If the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree like they say, she’s gonna have her hands full with Glory Bee’s baby! :shimmy:

  23. 11-10
    11:10
    pm

    I bet this is going to sound silly to all you experts, but from this city gal, can’t you listen with a stethoscope for 2 heartbeats ??? :wave:

  24. 11-10
    11:34
    pm

    Suzanne, only you could write a blog entry making pregnancy (or lack thereof) hysterical!

  25. 11-11
    7:09
    am

    I say two babies on the way… BP before Glory Bee! There should be a calving date contest!

  26. 11-11
    2:13
    pm

    Have to admit, not knowing much about dairy cows. BP looks the same to me, as she did just before GB was born. So like others here- say yes, she is, and it won’t be long. As for GB and her ‘belly bumps’……is it possible for her to have twins in there…and that’s why she’s not as lopsided? Talk about a herd explosion in the near future. OMG, I personally, would be on the phone right now, to get some help lined up for the midnight / storm / flurry / etc. Just because I’d feel safer and have someone else to take the pictures. Can just imagine, that (first timer) bad baby, calving in a most inopportune time. Maybe if BP goes first, GB can watch and take notes from the pro!

  27. 11-18
    7:35
    am

    Hi,

    I always want to leave a comment but since I’m in password hell a lot it seems like a bother, just the password part. Anyways……….
    I know nothing about cows let alone their bee hinds…but what I do know and I’m hoping a loving relationship could possibly occurr from this. IS…
    I’m from Findlay OHio, originally, and I know at the University of Findlay has a Pre-Vet study program. http://www.findlay.edu/campuslife/Pages/EquestrianPre-vet-Farms.aspx I think this could possibly be useful in some way to you and for them.
    My brother used to run the Western horse area, and I got to tour the place, it’s since been updated even more…I don’t know how it could help Glory Bee’s bee hind right now..but who knows.

    Thanks for your never ending hard work and entertainment.

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