Lady Astor

Yesterday we worked hard at getting Poppy’s farrowing quarters ready just in case.  Though I seriously think she will be going to her third date which is May 17.

And while we were working hard in the barn I kept getting glimpses of  Lady Astor.  Her behaviour was different yesterday.  She was swishing her tail a lot, moving to and fro, lying down, getting back up. Moving away from the herd. But her tail was not up and her udder is not ready.  Though other areas of her body are.
cows sleeping

She seems perfectly happy. I led her inside the barn last night and as I fastened the gate back she stood next to me with her head positioned at exactly the right angle for my hand to drift across and give her a scratch on the crown of her head.  Even leaning her head onto my hip at one point. As I shut the big doors and filled her water she followed behind me like a really enormous dog. Pausing when I paused. Moving forward as I moved, always putting her head and throat right where I might stroke her.


She was cuddly and content.  Then as I was leaving her focus shifted from me back into herself and walking backwards she  backed her vast behind into a corner and pushed.  She has ten days before her due date but something is brewing with her.  Maybe her baby is shifting down into position and making her uncomfortable.

cow, bull and baby

I looked back to when Naomi was born and from the way I was talking/writing I had no indication that she was ready to calve at all. Considering that I did not have a date for her to calve last year that is not too surprising.   But she did calve very quickly after Elsie. And Naomi was so small.  One wonders. She is all in one piece this morning so hopefully she will hold on for another week.

We will see. It is fun to speculate.  I am ready when she is.

The rain that was forecast held off last night, there is a possibility for a little this afternoon but it is much cooler this morning.  Good weather for working in the gardens.

Lots of love,


34 Comments on “Lady Astor

    • If all goes well is my mantra. Lady Astor is an older Mum so this is help he chances of having a simple birth. But things happen and it is always nerve wracking.. c

  1. Sounds like you might be welcoming another baby soon soon. Hope all goes well for both of you. Laura

  2. You live in such lovely harmony and symbiosis. I love the way animals will place themselves for affection, as good as a question. Our rabbit, as wild as she is, if I sit on the floor with my hands by my sides, will come and scotch under my hand. Impossible to disregard such a request, isn’t it? They expand our consciences. Wouldn’t live without some other living creature in the house. Wouldn’t feel complete.

    • ” . . . such lovely harmony and symbiosis. I love the way animals will place themselves for affection” — Good summary of what I look for here and am seldom disappointed. (Another memorable blog entry, Miss C ! I’m still smiling. )

  3. She’s letting you know the best way she can that things are shifting, changing and perhaps the pressure of tiny hooves inside is not so very comfortable. I think she knows you’re head of the herd, and she’s asking for a little consideration… Fingers crossed.

    • I read once that horses are born with “angel slippers” to make birthing less painful for the mom. I wonder if cows have them too.

      • I’d never heard of ‘angel slippers’. I’m so glad you mentioned it because I just learned something. The technical term seems to be ‘deciduous hoof capsule’. Here’s a link showing what it looks like (STRANGE!) and some info. – such as that the ‘angel slippers’ are rubbery and wear down very quickly so the foal can walk properly.

      • Angel slippers or not… I just keep thinking of the vision of wee Tziki’s hooves when she was first born and thinking, ‘better Alex than me!’ Imagine those, and four of them too, moving around and shifting inside… phew! Poor Lady A.

      • Almost certainly. Nature’s very clever. I didn’t quite imagine a hoof poking through, but can you imagine the knobbly knees shifting around inside? Ouch!

  4. I don’t know if cows are like goats in this regard, but it’s quite common to see a pregnant doe position herself with her hindquarters or her shoulders at a higher level, on a rock for instance, and just stand that way for a while to help the kids shift.

    • I think a ramp would work too, but my goats seem to choose rocks. I’ve got a lot of big rocks.

  5. I predict that you will have a calf over the weekend if not sooner….. Is everything GREEN there? I’m looking out right now and all this rain in Texas has turned the whole world GREEN!!!!! All Shades of green and I love it.

  6. It’s nice that the level of trust and affection is there between you and the animals. I’m sure she will progress as nature intended, but any pregnancy can get uncomfortable. Hope all goes well.

  7. Yes, the anticipation is nerve wracking. Anything can happen and lets hope it goes well. It’s interesting that she wants to be loved on a little as she comes to her time. We are finally getting some cooler days here in the PNW too so I can work outside comfortably. I’ll send it your way. Summer heat in April is not good.

    • As a fellow PNW-erner I will heartily second the happiness that this heat wave is over. April and 89 degrees is pretty ridiculous and each year I find it harder to tolerate. Makes me very lethargic and grumpy to be sure 🙂

  8. Anyone who has been hugely pregnant, human or otherwise, can understand and empathize with Lady A at this point. As someone who has been a doula for many human mom’s over the years, Lady A seems to be nesting and your support is just what she needs 🙂

  9. We’re all excited about the upcoming new arrivals – I hope all goes well. We once had a goat who had twins, which I named Oberon and Fairy. Little Oberon was 2nd and he hit the barn floor hard, enough though the pen was straw lined. I forget if I’ve already told you, but I made him a brace for his leg so could nurse and, after a day or two, he didn’t need it anymore. As you said, you just never know what might happen…. just like when humans give birth.

  10. Sounds very endearing how Lady A. is letting you know how she’s feeling and wanting to be closer to you. It would be very exciting to be there with her and share her excitement and pleasure of a new babe. Heavens, just think of all the extra milk you’ll have to play with… cream and butter and baking and cheese and yogurt and…. drinking too, of course. Oh and let’s not forget ice cream! I’m getting carried away here… heh heh Hope you have a great day! ~ Mame 🙂

  11. ” I am ready when she is.” That’s the best attitude to have with cows! (If there’s a storm, will the baby arrive then? Just curious if it’s like a full moon for human births HAHA)

  12. Now an urban gal just guessing, but – looking at Lady Astor lying down . . . perchance my imagination but isn’t that her bub’s body in exactly the same position in her tum? Somehow I see a body and head and possibly a bony limb further down . . . . well, thank God, they are coming a little apart and you do not have to look after a number of newborns trying to survive at the one time . . . Chickie is already firmly ensconced . . .

  13. Lovely post as usual, Celi. Lots of love, Gayle…never having been pregnant. My kids were both adopted.

  14. Daisy deer has always returned home the month before she births fawns, and she’s quite needy for attention during those last 3 or 4 weeks. She loves to be brushed and waits patiently while I scrub and pull ticks and other parasites from her thick coat. I think it must be a very uncomfortable time that last bit of pregnancy. I love the way you observe your “herd”. 🙂

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