Getting ready for Holly to freshen

I’m not 100% certain when Holly will freshen as T-Bone jumped the fence several times (little monster accepts the bite from the electric fence), but I have bought her up to the top paddock to keep a close eye on her until she calves.

I am guessing her EDD is actually on 2nd November rather than 12 October for her third calf (first with us). She was bred to our black Dexter bull so I am hoping the smaller size will help avoid any potential difficulties with labour.

We have had three dexter calves born here without any problems, but Holly’s impending calving is really stressing me out. I had planned to be so much more organised and prepared, but G’s life threatening illness has been unpredictable for most of this year, he’s been in and out of the hospital every few weeks since August (needed an emergency flight to the city for acute care last month) and is facing an extremely difficult surgery in the near future so I don’t feel like I am mentally prepared or ready to deal with any complications with Holly 🙁

Her udder is developing nicely and so far the injured teat doesn’t seem to be causing any issues. Our vet has said that she will probably freshen with mastitis, so I already know that is going to be a problem, which seems pretty typical with how the rest of this year has played out so far with all the dramas we have had to deal with all year.

We dried Holly off around May as her production had dropped to almost nothing, she has only been on hay and pasture since then and is in really good condition so I haven’t been feeding her anything until this week. She’s now getting hay (but more interested in the pasture), chaff and oats with a glob of molasses twice a day, mostly so that I can get her used to being handled again and re-introduce her slowly to grain before she freshens.

Still, I am excited and looking forward to milking her again and having beautiful creamy Jersey milk for fresh cream, home made butter and cheese 🙂

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