Now that lambing season is done I get to prepare for calving season. I dried up all of the milking girls back in December so that we could get a much needed break from milking. I sent three girls to a neighbors farm so that they could be bred with his beef bull, while the others all stayed on the farm with my dairy bull.
Yesterday my farming neighbor brought the three back, as one is very close to calving. I decided that I would separate and place all the cows closest to calving in one paddock. My experience is that if the cows are in a 20 acre area, they will calve as far out as possible. Keeping them close to the house makes it easier to keep check on them too.
All three cows are in good shape and I am glad to have them back. They spent some time getting used to the farm again before I sorted them into groups of ones that are very pregnant and ones that have a while before calving.
The alpaca are new since December, so these cows were just being introduced to my new fiber animals. There was quite a bit of sniffing to be done by the cow. The alpaca seemed calm with the “new to them” cows.
I have 2 cows that look like they could calve any day now and two more that look to have about another month. Am I ready to be milking again? I think so. I got all the tubing replaced on the milking pump and pulsator. I cleaned the barn out and I am checking my calving supplies to make sure I have anything here I *might* need, such as calcium supplements and calf bottles.
The weather is warming up too and that is always a big bonus! I will keep posting updates as baby calves start appearing.