Waiting and watching. Watching and waiting.
What are we watching? Our cows are due to calve any day now. We watch their udder expand and fill like a balloon. We feel that the teats are plump and full. We watch the vulva swell and soften (yes, we use words like “vulva” without giggling). We notice the cow’s top-line, hips, and tail dock become more pronounced as ligaments stretch in preparation for birth. We watch for mucus. We watch for animals seeking solitude or acting uncomfortable. We watch.
Then we wait.
Monday 6 am: no signs of labor
Monday 10:30 am: no signs of labor
Monday 12:45 pm: no signs of labor
Monday 3:30 pm: no signs of labor
Monday 5:30 pm: no signs of labor
Monday 10:30 pm: no signs of labor
Tuesday 2:00 am: ???
We’re keeping a close eye on our 2 sheep as well. Watching and waiting. When an animal does go into labor the watching and waiting starts again and continues until the baby/babies are standing and confidently nursing. Occasionally we need to assist an animal, but not often.
We were hoping for a “revisit-day-lamb” but none came. Monday was Revisit Day at Gould. We welcomed many of next year’s students and families onto campus to have a closer look at the school. Prospective students toured the campus, went to classes, met faculty, and learned about our special programs. The prospective students I met during lunch and at the barn seemed like they’d be a welcome addition to the Gould community.
Until next week…