Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's Deja Vu All Over Again...

Yesterday we were out feeding our cattle like we usually do and we happened to see one off in the distance who was definately in labor. (erm... something's definately familiar here.)

Anyway... there she was with her tail in the air, and a foot sticking out of the place where feet usually stick out when this sort of thing occurs. So we went home and ate lunch, giving her plenty of time to complete her task. After a couple hours, we came back to check on her progress, and there she was, foot still sticking out. Not a lot of progress and that can mean only one thing. Trouble. So we take a closer look and can tell that she's a first timer. The other glaring oddity is that the foot was upside down, which means even more trouble. Because that means that the calf was backwards, also known as breech.

The biggest trouble with a breech birth, is that things aren't designed to work like that. I've been told that the calf only starts to breathe once the umbilical cord is severed. Usually, they come out head first, so when the cord tears they already have access to the air outside. When they're breech, their head is still inside the body cavity when the cord tears. Unfortunately, that means they can inhale a bunch of amniotic fluid and drown. ( I swear, it seems like I've made this post before.)

Well to make a short story long... we went out and got the heifer, brought her up to the corral, and then I went elbow deep in her to get ahold of the feet, put the OB chains on 'em, and pulled the little sucker out as fast as I could with the calf puller. (Ahhhh! Now I remember!)

An update since we last spoke of this... the last heifer was injured internally in our last little tale and though she tried her best, she died two days later, but the calf lived and we've been feeding him with a bottle.

This time, the calf came out dead. Sometimes the strain of birth is just too much, especially if it's backwards. The good news? I've now got a calf without a cow, and a cow without a calf, so we put them together last night and are hoping for the best...

7 Comments:

Anonymous BC said...

That is sooo sad. I hope it all works out for the best.

2/19/2006 11:04 AM  
Blogger LL said...

'Tis sad, but that's the way it goes.

2/20/2006 7:50 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I started reading and thought, didn't I just read this the other day? And then I realized whose blog this was. :P

May calfless momma and mommaless calf find love and harmony. And may calf never grow up to resent momma and hate the grass on this side of the fence.

2/20/2006 8:44 AM  
Blogger LL said...

" I started reading and thought, didn't I just read this the other day? And then I realized whose blog this was."

The more things change...

"And may calf never grow up to resent momma and hate the grass on this side of the fence."

Projecting a little bit are we now? :P

2/20/2006 2:49 PM  
Blogger mr. schprock said...

Your story moooooooved me, m'lord.

2/20/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger LL said...

Udderly predictable, wasn't it.

2/20/2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger trinamick said...

"Projecting a little bit are we now?"

Not at all. I wasn't born with the help of a calf puller.

2/21/2006 8:57 AM  

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