A few days ago I was quite excited by the fact that May, our Dexter cow, had come into milk. That is one of the indications of impending birth. The next day she wouldn't leave the barn, wouldn't eat, and was being generally grumpy.
Afternoon found her in what appered to me to be the beginnings of labor.
We spent the evening and the whole of the next day running to the barn every few hours to check on May. Nothing!
Now, about a week later, she is still looking huge, being grumpy, and finally back on pasture. (I'd kept her in the barn to facilitate separating her from her calf. Now I suppose I'll have to do it the hard way.)
What have I learned?
1. I don't know nearly as much about cows as I think I do.
2. One cow is much more difficult to manage than 100 cows. With 100 you turn them out with the bull for a set number of days, walk the herd during calving to help with any problems, and get rid of anyone who doesn't fit the system. With one, you have to be aware of all the intimate details of a cows life, keeping track of them, and try to manage what nature would take care of in a normal herd. Much harder.