I did not see any sign of Granita cycling, no discharge or discomfort from being mated. So made the assumption that we had managed to save her from calving down too early. But how wrong you can be!!
Granita calved last night at around 10 pm a rather large black heifer calf by KP Esquire. Thank goodness for David Hannaford's help as it took him and I over 40 minutes of pulling to get the front legs, head and chest out. But the hips and back legs appeared stuck. I had to get Mark, who had a few too many glasses of wine and was fast asleep, to give us the final help to get this poor calf into the world. David & I just had no strength left in our arms to pull. Thankfully the calf was still alive and was even mooing while half born. Poor Granita was very sore and sorry for herself and did not get up when we put the calf in front of her. She did let me dry of the calf with a couple of towels and even licked my face in appreciation as she was too exhausted to do a thing.
The calf also did not get up as it seemed to have sore front legs, understandable for how hard we had to pull. Poor thing. We let nature take its course, but did get up at 2 am and gave the calf a drink of colostrum we had frozen from our milking last year. She drank 250 ml straight down and then by the time Mark got back with another warm bottle was standing feeding off her mum.
I have put the two of them out in the wash bay area to sit in the nice grass and enjoy the sun. Granita will certainly need some extra TLC and feed for the coming weeks.
And I am making a note to myself -do not let this heifer, who we have named Hobnob, anywhere near a bull until she is fifteen months old. If we need to get her mother in calf, she will be kept very separate.