NO, NO, NO, NO I am not having twins! I promise there is only one baby is my belly! Yesterday we announced we are 16 weeks pregnant and it’s not just me that’s pregnant, one of our favorite cows, cow #120, Telegram is expecting her second calf within one day of my due date! Now we aren’t the only ones pregnant on our farm there are 150 plus cows and heifers that are expecting babies this year and a total of 25 of us due in September alone! And there is probably a cat or two also expecting. Each month we average between 15-30 cows having calves, so child birth… errr… I mean calf birth isn’t new to us.
All of our cows are bred via artificial insemination (AI) with semen by our AI technician. You can read the complete details of our breeding and about our Herd Health Day here.
We purchased Telegram in mid-December from a local Jersey farmer and friend. She was bred the same day she came to our farm and was bred to a bull by AI semen named Dutch Hollow DALTON-P-ET. This sire is polled so there is about a 50% chance the calf will be born with no horns. At about 38-52 days (we have herd health day every 14 days) she was checked by our veterinarian by a rectal palpation to see if she was pregnant. She was indeed carrying a calf! It was around this same time that I realized I too was pregnant by the use of a home pregnancy test!
While I was starting to feel the basics of pregnancy with slight morning sickness which really hit me in the evenings, the heightened sense of smell (let’s not even discuss the smell of calf manure which I could smell from feet away), and a sudden bulge in my belly, Telegram was just doing her thing, eating her cud and milking away like any normal cow would! For Telegram this calf had no side effects, she is growing that calf just like I am busy growing my baby!
I had my first doctor appointment at 9 weeks to confirm I was pregnant and had an ultrasound the same week. Everything looked good and the baby was growing and healthy and the heart was beating strong! Clayton and I sighed relief and thanked the Lord for a healthy baby.
Between 80 and 94 days or 12 and 14 weeks Telegram had another pregnancy check to verify that she was carrying the calf. We always verify that our cows are carrying a calf at this stage so we are sure they did not miscarry a calf or had a false first pregnancy check which can happen. Once Telegram was confirmed to be carrying a calf we put her in a new pen of cows that are all pregnant. We do this as a herd management tool and it allows our breeder to have less cows to look at for eligible heats and we can put these cows out to pasture for longer periods of time during the summer.
At 13 weeks I had my own second doctor appointment to verify that everything was still healthy and that I was on track! I heard the baby’s heartbeat again.
Telegram and I are both looking forward to our next checkup with the doctor or vet! I have an appointment in about 2 weeks and she will have to wait about 3 to 4 more weeks for her final check up from the vet. We started a late term pregnancy verification just to make sure everything is growing healthy as we had some problems in the past year. This allows us to watch our cows better and be better care givers to them. After that checkup, Telegram will be watched by us and our employees to make sure that she stays healthy but she will not see the vet again unless a problem arises!
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!