Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Does This Calf Make Me Look Fat?

Siobhan on October 11, 2013
If I ever wondered whether Siobhan got bred back when we had Cash here, I'm sure not wondering now!  Being me, I still have to worry about something, though.  And now I'm wondering if she's too huge for where she is in her pregnancy.

I believe Siobhan was bred about Aug. 14-16, based on my observations of hers & Cash's behavior.  The vet preg checked her on Sept. 9 and could not tell.  (He says he can usually tell by 45 days, so that would indicate she was not bred during a July heat.)  On Oct. 7 the vet preg checked her again and confirmed that she is pregnant.  That would agree with an Aug. 15 breeding.

Macree nursing on November 5, 2013
To fill in other relevant information, Siobhan is negative for chondro.  She turned 3 this November.  I taped her at about 650 pounds, although I'm not sure how accurate that is when they are pregnant.  She is 43 1/2" tall at the hips.  I wormed her with Cydectin pour-on two weeks ago to eliminate worms as a factor in her belly size.

Here are some photos from November 19 that I enhanced a bit to try to show the details on a black cow.

You can compare Siobhan's bulge (sorry, it's a bit hard to see because of Macree nursing) to the photo from October 11, barely a month earlier.

A rear view.
 Another rear view.  I think the huge bulge really shows up clearly here, compared to her hips.  This is probably the best photo to show that "blimp" look that I only remember seeing on Siobhan's dam when she was close to calving.
 Another rear view.
One final rear view.
What I want to know is, does this look like a cow at 97 days' gestation?  Am I being overly concerned because my previous memories of Siobhan are from when she was a first-calf heifer?

Or do I need to worry about all the things I'm worrying about . . . like twins . . . hydramnios . . . or something I haven't even thought of?

The vet has to come give Macree a Bangs vaccine so I can ask him to look at Siobhan, but ours are the only Dexters he treats so he has very little to compare her with.  The only other thing I can do is try to get hold of the genetic clinic (they never answer their phone) to see if I can bring her over for an ultrasound.

Welcome to the world of the newbie breeder who knows each animal by name.  I don't know how those ranchers with 10,000 head can ever sleep at night!


  1. She's not that unusually wide, really. :) That's just a belly full of hay. It's normal for things to stretch a bit with each pregnancy (just like us!), so she may "show" even more this time around.

    1. Thanks, Kim, I really appreciate it! That's one thing off the Worry List! :)

  2. I agree with Kim Susan, she doesn't look unusually large to me either. I course I have no experience in breeding cattle. To me she just seems like how a cow should look if she was pregnant. You are just worrying too much, and everything will be alright.

    1. My experts on the Dexter board agreed with you, Gordon!

  3. In my expert but humble opinion, it appears in two of the photos that it is not a calf she is expecting but a cheerleader! Check 2 of the rear photos carefully. The calf, er cheerleader, appears to be doing the cheer called "Lean to the left, lean to the right." I would definitely call the vet!!! lol

    1. Barbara, you are hysterical! I see exactly what you mean! And I'll bet you that when the calf, er cheerleader, is born, it will be yelling "MOOOOVE it!" to the team! ;D


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