April 28th, 2016 by Ed Bruske
Recently we noticed something rope-like hanging off our Jersey cow Emily’s back side and feared something might have happened to her gestating baby. Sure enough, when the vet arrived and reached in he withdrew a dead fetus about three months old–meaning it had been in there dead for about a month.
Fortunately, the aborted fetus had already been expelled from the uterus and, according to the vet, cows are equipped to deal with these things better than humans. Emily seems to have suffered no ill effects and continues to wander the pastures with our other critters, feeding off the emerging spring grasses as if everything is perfectly normal. The vet says the fault lies with the fetus–malformation, genetic defect, or who knows what–not the mother.
We’re glad Emily is in good health but this is just the latest setback in our milking program. We jumped through all kinds of hoops last year to get her pregnant–all those hormone shots and whatnot–and we may be looking at more of the same in the next couple of months.
The good news: this means we can get her back on a more reasonable schedule of calving in early spring 2017 rather than in the middle of this summer. But we won’t be enjoying Emily’s fine Jersey milk again any time soon. And that we will certainly miss.