Beulah Petunia’s been picking through her wardrobe, polishing her nails, getting her hair done, spraying on perfume. She’s got a date! A very important date! June is her month to get bred!
But when exactly?
Farmers and ranchers take cow-breeding quite seriously. There are whole lists of things to watch for to determine when they are in heat.
1. Cows “riding” each other. (Including girl-on-girl action.)
2. Hair “mussed” or even rubbed off. (Might be a sign of “riding” when you weren’t lookin’.) Another way to catch that is to put chalk on their back ends and see if the chalk gets rubbed off. They also have chin ball markers and heat mount detectors.
3. Following other cows around, rubbing and sniffing and nuzzling.
4. Cows grouping together.
5. Nervous, sometimes aggressive, behavior, including bawling.
6. Clear, stringy discharge.
7. Swollen “flower petals.”
8. Bloody discharge (as a sign that heat is ending).
9. Milk production drops.
10. More peeing. (Really? But cows pee so much, like gallons. Do they measure?)
Some farmers/ranchers even pay the help a bonus to spot a cow in heat, and often assign one person to the job.
The chickens are always keeping a close eye on BP’s back end since snacks come out of there. I wonder if I could offer that rooster a bonus?
Of course, most of the signs listed involve having a bunch of cows. I don’t have a bunch of cows so I’m pretty much going to have to rely on BP’s flower petals. A cow goes into heat approximately every 21 days and is in heat for about 30 hours. The peak fertile period is in the middle of this time and is called standing heat. When they first go into heat, they may not stand for a bull. Which, you know, gives you time to go find one. But you can’t wait too long because before you know it they will be out of heat. We will be taking BP across the road to the hill up by the little cemetery where our farmer friend Skip is going to bring his bull to meet BP. It will be so romantic!
A cow is pregnant for about 9 1/2 months, so if I want an early spring baby (and a winter drying off), BP needs bred this month. July at the latest, which gives me an extra month to try just in case I mess up this time.
I’m watching BP’s flower petals closely.
Are you feeling sexy, BP?
Are you feeling it? Hmm? Are ya?!
She’s hiding it, but she’s really excited.
I check her flower petals every morning and evening to see if anything clear and stringy is oozing from her. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. I wonder if I’ll get a bonus?
There’s nothing like getting all personal with a cow and her flower petals. Her petals are right under certain other parts. Did you know that cows moo from both ends? Really, the things you learn when you start spending quality time with your cow’s flower petals!
If you watched that video (especially if you watched that video with your breakfast), I APOLOGIZE.