Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Calf Pulling

This morning my neighbor who raises cattle came to our door needing help ASAP. He had a cow down and her calf was stuck. My husband was in the middle of a phone meeting and could not leave to help. So I jumped in his vehicle and we zoomed off to his place. There was a huge cow on the ground with a dead calf stuck halfway out of her. The large calf could not breathe and got stuck sometime during the night. We both took turns looking for the front legs of the calf inside the cow. After several 2 arm attempts, I was able to find a shoulder to the leg stuck inside the cow. I pulled a slipknot under the calf pit using bailing twine. With that we were able to pull out the 2nd leg. Next, we tied the calf legs to the owners ATV and pulled slowly. The dead calf came out whole but the cow did not rise. The calf was too big and her uterus was prolapsed with the placenta. We left the cow to put the calf in the dead pile away from the herd, buzzards were attracted to the scent of death. We came back to get the cow up but she was in pain and needed a vet. If a cow does not move for several hours, gas builds up in their gut and they can die. Also some deliveries can paralyse their back legs. The vet came and stitched up the cow. Now we are hoping she will stand up soon and walk. She will be put in the barn overnight. She can no longer be bred if she survives. This was a day of learning for me.

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