Yesterday after a long day and night of anxious watching, I turned Katika out to graze. I snapped these photos while she was still standing by the gate.
Her back legs can barely shuffle around her huge bag. Poor old girl, her udder suspension is getting worse with age.
By the time I’d finished chores and moving the sheep down in Betty’s pasture, the sun was hot and high. The flies came out in droves, so I brought the cows and Birch back into the dark of the barn.
I stuck close all day, digging out and resetting a gate post, hanging the gate, mowing (and breaking the new mower by sending a rock through the mower deck). I checked Katika every twenty minutes as the hours ticked by. Unlike the day before, she was eating, drinking, and chewing her cud placidly.
When I began to put my tools away to go home for supper I checked her one last time. Naturally, now she was straining again as she breathed. Not eating. Not cudding. Looking intently inward. Groaning softly.
I checked her every two hours until bedtime and then again at 1 AM and 5 AM.
Still no calf.
However she is beginning to slime and her ears, which I”ve been groping anxiously at every opportunity, are cooler. (Cold ears are a sign of milk fever, the potentially deadly calving disorder.) I’ve turned her out for a bit of grass while I have breakfast and then return to muck the barn before bringing the animals in again. Towels, iodine, molasses, and milk fever meds are lined up on the grain room counter.