Bee-hind #2 (Not Even a Pun)


I brought Glory Bee into the barn to the milking parlor today. I’ve had her in there a few times already, so she’s learned how to walk into the stand–and she knows she wants to come, that there’s a treat involved. I just opened the back barn door and she came right in.

My, the stand can hardly contain her girth.

I glimpsed trouble. (That’s BP skulking in the alleyway, wondering why Glory Bee’s getting all the good stuff.)

One must always shut the door to the milking parlor!

Okay, whew, now time to go in.

Finally, in the stand, she let me lift her tail.

Hunh. Is anything really going on there? I don’t see it. Let’s check out the udder.

Now that looks promising! From this view, tail out of the way and from the rear, I do see some signs of early bagging up.

I played with her a little bit. I need to get the milking machine set up so I can let her hear the sound. Check out the cat (Diggy) on the observation deck.

She’s a little kicky! (But not too bad.)


  1. yvonnem says:

    Oh my, she’s bigger than I thought! Maybe your hired hand needs to make some modifications?!

  2. NancyL says:

    She does fill that parlor!!! I think Digger is going to expect a squirt his way every now and then!!!

  3. whaledancer says:

    In that 4th picture, is she starting to hold her tail up? Just asking. I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout birthin’ no baby cows, except what I’ve read on here.

  4. cindyinohio says:

    Looks very promising to me and we are waiting for our two Dexter cows to calve. The folks we bought them from said they’d be due around October. Called them in October and they said well maybe the end of November. The wait is killing me. She said you should see some jelly looking stuff (usually brownish color) stringing from their bee-hind 2-3 weeks before they calve. I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait!
    Have you checked BP’s behind?

  5. emmachisett says:

    Suzanne, you were bang on with your description of BP “skulking”. She does look a touch miffed with those reproachful cow eyes. Maybe a small treat for her too is in order, just a little one, to let her know she is still special in your heart.

  6. joykenn says:

    My father always used to pat the cow’s side and let them know he’d be grabbing their teat. Otherwise the cow would be startled and kick. Don’t know if that’s true or just something he learned on the farm. What about you experienced milkers? Would a novice like Glory Bee need a little foreplay? 🙂

  7. Glenda says:

    I think every cow is slightly different about being trained for milking. I also would ‘ease’ into touching her teats and udder; sort of slide down her flank onto the udder. It is a slow process. We used to just let them calve and bring them into the barn, toss rope up over the back and up under their bellies right in front of the udder, tie it up tight and put the milker on. It doesn’t take very long for them to accept it without the rope. We had too many cows to break them in beforehand.

    I may bring Jewel into the barn a few times first…haven’t even bred her yet but she is such a friendly soul, I hope it will be easy.

  8. ramseybergstrom says:

    I love this thread..I do have to laugh at myself when I see there is a new pic of the ‘Bee-Hind’ and how I am anxious to take a look! So exciting Suzanne and I love to read everyone’s advice. Come on baby!

  9. FujiQ says:

    How exciting! I read something in Foxfire yesterday about calving. Something about the calves head being doubled back. Is someone going to be there to help you with delivery?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      A normal delivery for a cow might take only about an hour. It could easily happen between checks on the barn yard before I even know it. There won’t be time to call anyone unless the cow is in trouble. In which case, I would call the vet, if I can get them.

  10. mintamichelle says:

    Wow! An indoor milking parlor, complete with barn cat. I am envious and excited for you! Of course, I’ve read about the parlor but, this is the first time I have seen it with the expectant Bee-hind…VERY NICE! Good job Suzanne….I have to go search the internet for a pregnant cow…. 😉

    I’ll bet it will be luxurious to milk in a dry barn….


  11. Jersey Lady says:

    Jerseys are easy calvers and almost never need help. We have never had to pull a calf in the 30+ yrs we have been working with the breed. Since GB is bred to a beef bull, the calf might be a little bigger than the usual Jersey baby. But GB looks to be a well-built girl, able to deliver OK.

  12. SwissMiss says:

    I think she looks as though her muscles are starting to relax. There may also be some mucous production. I can’t tell from the photos if it is that or manure on her. If you had started the photo project a month ago I bet you would really be able to tell the difference. I can see a difference in the udder from the last picture, it may just be the angle of the photo but GB looks fuller.
    If you run into calving problems and the vet can’t get there right away many times if you keep a cool head you can help the cow yourself. Some situations a vet is the only answer, such as too large calf requiring a C-section, but others are doable by the farmer. Main thing is to not let her struggle too long on her own and get exhausted. Pushing back a calf with a bent neck to straighten it is doable, not easy but doable. Main points are to be clean as possible and gently (as possible) persistent. GB wasn’t a large calf for BP and many beef bulls are chosen with ease of calving in mind so hopefully a too large of a calf won’t be a problem. For all the many things that can go wrong, there are many more calves born without a bit of trouble.

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