Bella had her calf last week. We were getting really nervous for her as we watched her udder continue to expand. What a relief when I walked into the paddock and saw sweet Daisy sitting up and alert. When I checked on her she was quick to stand and seemed strong and healthy. Bella was still eating the afterbirth, so I only missed the birth by a few 15 minutes or so. The two younger house cows - Rosie and Charlotte, were a bit confused about the whole thing (I don't know why, as they had seen calves before), so I had to put the in a different paddock overnight to let Bella have some time with her calf, without the other two getting in the way (maybe because Charlotte was a previous foster calf?).
Bella's udder was huge, and we were worried that she would get mastitis again, so we tried to milk her on day 2. Surprisingly she walked into the milking bales (hastily set up a few days before) and ate her grain while we attached the milking machine. She held up all her milk though, so we don't know if her huge udder is all swelling and not much milk, or if she was keeping it all for the calf (and sometimes her teats don't go into the milking cups when her udder is so swollen). We tried again a week later, with the same result. So as long as cow and calf continue to look healthy, we will leave them alone for a few weeks.
I do want to milk again eventually as we haven't had fresh raw milk for a couple of years now. We just want to let the swelling go down in Bella's udder first before we start feeding her a lot of grain to get milk production going. Lucky we still have plenty of green grass at the moment!
Now here are the baby photos, I could watch her all day :) what do you think?