Dear Lillian was due to calve on June 2nd at the earliest, based on when she was first put with the bull. A couple of weeks ago, very bad Tipin was actually nursing on Lillian, and that is very detrimental to a pregnant heifer. So we took Tipin and Mary Frances to Paonia, while leaving the two pregnant ladies here with me.
I thought that Lillian bagging up so early, two weeks ago, was due to Tipin nursing on her, but she continued to get very big.
The evening of the 11th, I noticed some mucus, and her tail head was very sunken in on the sides (pin ligaments softening before birth) and I just knew it would be that night. Of course the man was not here, and I of course could not slope for all the checking, but no calf.
The next morning I was to bring appetizers to a ladies lunch. I thought it would be fine, as perhaps her pin ligaments were not completely gone, and she probably had a few more days. Two hours before the party, she started spraying milk and more mucus, so I knew I could not leave. So the party came out here, to celebrate seeing dear Stephanie, and Lillian’s first birth.
I cannot post all the amazing pictures that my talented friend Francie Ivy took, but here is the album of her pictures on Facebook.
Luit made it home right when two little hooves started showing, and we waited for about 1.5 hours after her water broke, and he decided to pull the calf. It is a darling heifer.
I have had a feeling all along that she was having twins, and her stomach was still very big, and the calf was small. Inside for some champagne and lunch, and I had to go check on the “other calf” with my friend and helper Coleman.
The little one was drying off, but sure enough there was another little foot trying to come out.
Luit felt and realized that one leg was turned backwards, and if he did not reach in and pull the foot forward, then the calf would never make it or be able to come out.
He rubs it all over to get it to breathe well.
The little things could not stand or walk by themselves, and Lillian was very sore and would not let them nurse without help. After a lot of struggle and holding up dead weight to try and get them to nurse, we gave them a bottle last night, and put them under a heat lamp with a wool blanket, as they were shivering.
Today has gone much more smoothly, even though she is very swollen and tight, making it very hard to milk her, and after much holding up by Luit, they are finally able to nurse on their own. Mama is doing well and is the sweetest thing.
The only disappointment is, that when cows have twins where one is a bull calf and one is a heifer, then about 90% of the time, the heifer is called a free-martin, meaning that the bull calf’s testosterone interfered with her hormones and she would be infertile. I found out today that fewer free-martin twins are born to Guernseys, so I am hopeful, and we will have her tested.
Now, off to milking one more time and getting those babies to nurse.