Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life Is Not All Roses

Nature Is Not Always Kind

On Monday morning, I looked out my kitchen window to see one of David's (the guy that has our pastures leased) cows was lying down in the pasture apparently attempting to have a calf.

I called David and told him that, to me, it seemed like the cow was in stress trying to calve.  He was already at work, but he and a co-worker came up to check her out.  
By the time they arrived the cow had moved from where she had been and made her way about 1/2 mile to a wooded spot near the farm pond.  They looked her over and decided to do nothing for now.  

I did a search for her after noon over all the pastures, but could not find her.  Later, I found her near where she had been this morning in a more dense wooded area.  I looked her over and saw that she was in distressed and called David again telling him that I was sure the calf was dead and would have to be pulled.
David and his wife came up soon after he got off work.  He drove her back up to the barn where he did a cursory check on her.  He had to go about 40 miles to his brother's to get their "calf puller" tool that is used for that purpose.

About 9:00 p.m. He, his wife and a son-in-law came back and maneuvered the cow to a small pen within the lot where he began the process of trying to find the cause for the cow's stress.  
It was very apparent by the odor that the calf was dead.  The process of "pulling" a calf is to do just that.  A person must reach inside the cow to determine the position of the calf.  This calf was in a "breach" position (hips first).  During the process, the cow was continually trying to deliver the calf.  Her natural tries kept David from being able to attach a special chain in and wrap it around the calf so that the jacking mechanism, calf puller could be attached.  

After almost two hours of trying, it was determined to leave the cow in the lot and call a Vet early in the morning to come and treat the cow.

About 9:00 a.m. the Vet and a helper came up to check things out.  He gave the cow a couple of shots to ease some of her pain and to relax her.  Upon examination, he was afraid that the pulling process would tear the calf apart.  But, after about half an hour, he was able to get the puller chain attached and began to jack the puller.  
Soon, it was apparent that the calf could not be pulled without doing some surgery, he had to cut around her opening to enlarge it.  Soon after that, the calf began to show and soon was pulled out.  The calf was a very large boned one and would have probably been hard on the cow to have it naturally had it been in the correct position.

The Vet had to suture the cow back up, give her several shots for pain and to prevent infection.  He said that she would no longer able to birth a calf.  So, after the sutured area heals, she will have to be sold to the stockyard.
After two days, in the lot with plenty of water, feed and hay, she seems to be in relatively good condition for the shape she is in!!  The cow will have to be able to expel some of the "after birth" and she will have to have more shots of antibiotics to prevent infection.

This is one of the sad and painful situations that occur while living the Country Life. 

(Sad note: I went out to check on the cow to see if she had enough water in the tub and found her dead in the lot.  Sad ending!)

No comments:

Post a Comment