Jessica finally calved just a couple of hours ago. I've been very worried about her ever since I was certain that she was in calf as I didn't really intend to breed from her again, She hasn't had a calf for several years and was supposed to be retired but I didn't have anywhere away from the bull to keep her so I just hoped that she was too old to conceive.
When I realised that she was in calf I was very worried about whether she was still up to doing a calf well, whether carrying it would be too much for her and whether it would even survive, or be really malnourished when it was born.
Well, I needn't have worried!! The calf is huge and beautiful, and looks as strong as an ox (no pun intended!) and was up and suckling in no time flat! Jessica is a very proud mum and looks pleased as punch about the whole thing.
And the best part of all is that the calf is a heifer (female), so hopefully I can keep both calves to breed from in future.
She's never been the world's best milker so I'll try and get both the calves on creep feed (supplementary concentrates - ie calf mix!) as soon as possible. I also want to make sure they grow up quiet and easy to handle, so I've got a busy winter ahead!
Here she is, about two hours old. You might just be able to see that Jessica only has one eye due to being very ill when she was a calf, which was why I had to hand rear her and has meant she's so tame she's just a big pet really!!
Clover thinking "At last, someone to play with"!
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