I had big plans on doing monthly updates on my pregnancy along with one of our favorite cows, cow #120, Telegram. You can read about the pregnancy announcements here. But then I started another part-time job and well taking care of a toddler and managing a farm took over and I had no time! My apologizes!
Well about 3 weeks ago Telegram got put on her pregnancy leave. That means she reached her dry period where she leaves the milking herd as her milk production decreases and is not milked until she has her calf. This allows the cow to rest a bit before calving and reentering the milking herd. This dry period starts between 6 to 8 weeks before the cow’s due date and she is placed in a different pen with fellow pregnant cows which we call the close-up pen or maternity pen. This group of pregnant cows eat a different feed, are not milked and get to relax until their babies arrive. This resting period allows the cows to prepare for calving and to produce colostrum for it’s calf. Colostrum is the mother’s first milk after calving which provides the nutrients and antibodies that the newborn calf needs much like human!
Telegram stands at left with fellow pregnant cows in the maternity pen, and at right, a calf kisses my belly bump!
So for the past 3 weeks I have been busy working on the farm caring for our animals, working my part-time job, canning and freezing vegetables from our garden for our family to enjoy this winter, and preparing for the babies arrival (ok let’s be honest, I am no where near ready but I did buy a box of diapers and have two meals in the freezer). I have also been wondering when my pregnancy leave begins! 🙂 My weeks have also been filled with doctor appointments and making sure I am taking good care of my body and the baby!
For Telegram, we will continue to monitor her, care for her, and give her all the feed she needs while she is in the close-up pen or maternity pen. We check these pens and the cows several times each day to watch for progress calving and to see if any cows need any special attention. When a cow begins to start labor we watch her even closer and usually no help is needed as they give birth. If help is needed, we will step in to assist and sometimes the veterinarian is needed if we can’t help her.
As for me and baby #2, we will continue to prep our house to make room for this bundle of joy, dig out the baby clothes and accessories and wash and put away all of the things we will need, continue to try to fill our freezer with meals for post baby so that we have food to eat, and try to prepare physically and mentally as much as I can for an easy transition for Nora, Clayton and myself with the added addition. As for my labor, we will NOT be calling the veterinarian no matter how much my husband jokes about it!
You might also remember that Telegram and I are not the only ones pregnant on the farm and due in September. We acutally have over 25 cows and heifers due to calve in September and I think I saw a pregnant cat or two wandering around this week!
I’ll update you soon on the progress of both these pregnancies and in the meantime if you have any questions about either one let me know!
Nora and Clayton visited the pregnant ladies and posed for a picture!