Heifer heavy w/ calf has a stingy discharge--how long before the calf?

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We have three heifers due in 9 days (according to my record keeping). One has a stringy discharge-with some swelling. I have read several books that say this is normal. Since they haven't read the same books, I would like to have know what to look for from now until the calves are here! :)Thanks for any help!

-- Debbie T in N.C. (rdtyner@mindspring.com), January 17, 2002


Debbie, I'm a poultry person, so I can't help you, but wanted to wish you luck. How excited you must be.

-- Wendy A (phillips-anteswe@pendleton.usmc.mil), January 17, 2002.

Debbie, it has been different every year with our cow. The first year, we saw a long stringy discharge and she had the calf about 12 hours later. Next time we saw nothing. Then the next time, we saw a long stringy discharge and she had the calf within the hour. Has she bagged up at all. This CAN be another sign, but some cows, don't even do that very much. Is she agitated. The first year, our cow circled the pasture fence all day the day she had the calf. Look for anything out of the ordinary.

-- Mike & Marci (TheBlubaughs@amazinggrazefarm.com), January 17, 2002.

She hasn't done anything different! She comes up to the fence at every 'check'(we check them several times a day). She eats at her same feeder. She never leaves her sisters(the other two heifers). We can't tell there is any difference. We are keeping a close eye on them and will keep watching for anything different! Next time, I'll read the books to them so they will know what they are suppose to do! :)thanks again!

-- Debbie T in NC (rdtyner@mindspring.com), January 17, 2002.

Watch her teats, both back fills, then the front ones fill and shes close. The real test is to look one hands length back from her tail head, when they are ready to calve, the back will sink in and the tail bone will stand up. It looks as if the tail head is growing and the skin is shrinking. Finally she will kick at her belly.

-- susan norfolk/wy (susan_norfolk@yahoo.com), January 17, 2002.

Other signs are going off by themselves. Laying down and standing up fairly often, often turning around to look behind them after standing up (basically contractions have started).

Heifers need help more often than experienced cows, but stay out of things unless absolutely necessary.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), January 18, 2002.

I've never had cattle, but in horses this type discharge is called the "bloody show" and is the result of the softening of the cervical mucos plug. In horses birth is normally gonna happen in 24 hours once you see this.

-- ellie (elnorams@aol.com), January 18, 2002.

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