Mystified

My cow Katika was bred by my young bull Duke Wayne September 24, 2011. She was confirmed pregnant last Thanksgiving via a blood test sent to Biotracking. She should be two weeks away from calving, with a due date of July 3. Her udder should be enormous, tight, and shiny.

Katika’s udder is large but slack. In the past month it even has developed wrinkles. She is obviously completely dried off and not about to calve within the fortnight. I am mystified.

Of course if she has a later due date — if she did not fall pregnant until her next cycle three weeks later in mid-October — that is good news for Katika’s udder. Her serious injury, when her foster calf accidentally almost sliced off her teat with his teeth, will have that much longer to heal. After only a few days the immediate swelling popped all the stitches laboriously sewn in by my vet. At the time I was playing Musical Crises and trying to stage-manage her care from my cell phone between trips downstate.

I have been treating the gaping wound with Furazone once a day and the open hinge has almost closed with granulation. The teat feels stiff with scarring. Still, the milk canal had not been cut so my hope is that the teat remains functional. However I will not know until she calves. Whenever, or if ever, that may be.

For there is also the possibility that at some point in the last nine months Katika aborted — slipped her calf, in cattleman lingo — and she is no longer pregnant at all.

I could find out by having the vet give her an internal exam. However that would cost $75 for the vet call, and money is very tight. My alternatives are to Biotrack her once more  (only $5, but I’d need to ask my friend Alison to draw blood again) or simply to wait and see.

Life has been such a tiring rollercoaster lately, I think I may just watch and wait.

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4 Responses to Mystified

  1. Missy says:

    Honestly, cows are such baffling creatures! Have you tried to bump the calf? How soon does she usually bag up before a calf? Midnight threw me with her bag, only filling really full about a day before calving. If you just wait, at least you wont have to wait long.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      It seems to me that Katika usually starts bagging up a month before her due date. But I honestly can’t remember. I am terrible about recalling things like that. I haven’t bumped for the calf and have been so busy on so many fronts I didn’t even think to do it. Thanks! I’ve got fingers, eyes, and toes crossed that she is still pregnant and is going to deliver in the third week of July, instead of the first.

  2. tricia says:

    Molly started to bag up about 2 weeks before calving this year. It was subtle then WHAM about a week before it was HUGE! Older girls…

  3. adkmilkmaid says:

    Thanks, Tricia! That makes great sense. I will watch Katika’s udder carefully!

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