Open Thread Friday

Thursday was one of those surprise days, each moment getting more dramatic.

Updated

Uh oh I've got a problem and it is only 10 am. Snow had just started and only two cows came to move into the day pasture. The pregnant heifer can be seen standing under a tree by the ditch bank. Walk down to look at her and the water bag was just starting to protrude, calf is coming today. I had promised myself no more calving. But an errant bull from the neighbor last spring resulted in two pregnant cows and a heifer, with winter due dates.

Fortunately could watch her from the house with binoculars and stay warm. See a hoof, think there is the second one. Now I can't tell how many hooves too many bare lilac branches in the way. Walk out with a flake of hay. Its been an hour and now only one hoof visible, not sure if it is a front or back leg. A little bigger than I had hoped for her first calf, not good. Will start putting the metal panels back in the corral so I can load her into the squeeze chute and find out what is the position of the calf.

Better eat could be a long day. Finish the corral set up, all the drop pins in place and chute open. Now gather supplies to check her and if necessary pull a calf. She has walked off. At the divider fence, flat on her side. Appears she was trying to reach the older cows. Well it is not breach, two front legs and part of the head visible, tongue extremely swollen and almost ice cold. Make her get up, its less than 2/10ths of a mile walk to the corral. The calf might be lost, but should be able to save her. Calf completely withdrew back into the uterus by the time we reach the corral.

Back into the house to clip nails short, scrub up and get a bucket of warm water. A quick look outside, should of put on my glasses, it looks like a long lump behind where she is laying. It looks like she expelled the calf. Need to get out there quick, maybe I can still save it. Grab an armful of old beach towels and sheets.

Its side is moving, I roll it off the mud and onto a sheet and start rubbing with towels. Mom is on her feet and helping dry the calf. An eye blinks, it is getting air past the swollen tongue still protruding about 6 inches. Roll it again onto dry towel, the sheet is soaked. Snow is beginning to fall again and calf (a bullock) needs to get dry faster. I head to the upper field to get the cows. They might help dry the calf more efficiently than me. He can hold his head up. We might win this battle.

soe calf jan1.jpg

Cows and mom did a good job. Still need to get some warm food in his belly. Mom has not dropped her milk yet and his tongue is too swollen to suckle. I will concoct something from what I have in the fridge. Organic milk, frozen butter from last milking season and yogurt heated together should work. Get the syringe and head back out. He is standing - yeah. Tongue is going down and he can lightly suckle my finger as I squirt milk down his throat. Food in the belly, ready for rest. Set down some hay for him to lay on and mom to eat.

Did bring him in for the night. Low could be 17 degrees or less and after all this success I don't want him freezing. Tomorrow (Friday) will be working with him and Mom so she can start feeding him.

As I finish writing this, beginning to wonder: How do you handle medical events for yourself and pets?

Update
Saturday morning, calf is standing by Mom's side getting a bath, not sure if he is nursing on his own yet. He spent Thursday night in and walked back out to Mom Friday afternoon. Much more dignified than being rolled into a garden cart and hauled to the inside pen. While inside he learned how to drink from a bottle and drank colostrum frozen from a milking 2 years ago.

Not worried what to feed him with now. While busy with him, my milk cow Daisy dropped a beautiful red heifer. Until he starts nursing on Mom, Daisy can be milked for his daily bottle feedings.

Most of my interactions were intermittent targeted to a specific step goal. Prepare, watch how the process proceeds, decide to intervene, then step back to watch how the process proceeds and repeat. The small cow herd and his Mom were as responsible for the success as I have been. Since I did not completely take over they will be in charge of his future care. The hardest part is learning the patience to let things be.

Share
up
17 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

That was hard work and well worth the effort. We, too, used to have a small cow/calf operation. That's been done for many years now, but I told my husband we might want to raise a couple of steers and raise our own beef again. I miss it.

We got snow yesterday. As cold as it is, it will warm to the 50's this afternoon. Crazy weather. Work is delayed until a 10AM start - whoohoo!

Have a great Friday and weekend, everyone! Pleasantry

up
10 users have voted.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

smiley7's picture

glad for the happy ending.

Have a first cousin whose granddaughter helps him on the farm--she's studying ag.--and he so hopes she takes over when the time comes. As my favorite cousin, i hope so too.

New births make it all come together. Thanks for this good start to the day.

up
9 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@smiley7

nothing like births and deaths to 'make it all come together'. If only those precious moments can be held throughout the rest of our lives. Thank you.

up
2 users have voted.

happy to hear your efforts furthered the life of the calf and momma.
Sounds intense! Darn wayward bulls anyway.
Good luck.

up
7 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

janis b's picture

@QMS

to bring life and warmth ... and lightness to challenging times.

Darn wayward bulls anyway.

up
2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@janis b

and to make a longer story shorter, I just got off the phone with my mom who called to tell me about the funeral and celebration of the life of her d-i-l’s aunt. We smiled through the conversation and thoughts brought up, which also brought us closer to a realisation of life’s potential, even in its limitation of old age and life-long challenges.

up
2 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

So glad to hear the happy outcome.

Makes these Holsteins dance...(2.5 min)

Have a great Friday y'all!

up
8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

@Lookout
for my son to send from Germany to HI. In it was among a lot of Marzipan a dancing gow. Nuts from my side to do such a thing, but I just thought it might make him smile and would give him a good reason to call me silly and stupid. He needs that sometimes...

Well I got the package back after three weeks telling me I can't send out something with a battery or accu in it. So the package was never sent out of Germany and sat for three weeks at the postal office somewhere.

Now I have a dancing Holstein cow on my window sill and ask myself who is the real idiot here, me or the postal service, who refuses to ship anything in it like a battery. Hysterical in my opinion.

I love me my Holstein dancing cows. Smile

up
2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@mimi

up
1 user has voted.

Wow, this shows what responsibility to your animals is all about. Having only had house pets, this is a dimension that I wonder if I could rise to the occasion. Glad to hear things went well.

up
8 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

enhydra lutris's picture

the end and very worth it. No pets here, though we have sort of wound up being in charge of bird window strikes, nest falls and that sort of thing, because everybody knows we have training in that area and worked at it for a while. Our own medical events are mostly a question of how incapacitated and how long, with the victim requiring various degrees of assistance until better with, usually, a lot of hobbling or limping or one-handing for a while. At our age it is sort of a routine thing since we both generally fail to understand and/or acknowledge our current limits.

Have a great one.

up
9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

janis b's picture

@enhydra lutris

that you make the most of those limits ; ).

up
1 user has voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@janis b

up
1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

That's crazy!

Some Democrats worry that Republicans are trying to smother their candidate with bad headlines just as they used Hillary Clinton’s private email server against her in 2016, though it is unclear such a strategy would work.

“Fair or not, with Hillary’s emails there was already a perception in the electorate that she was suspect or something. There were questions about her and corruption surrounding the Clintons that actually was sticking with a set of the population. And the coverage of the emails fed into that and poked an open wound she had,” said Sams.

“There’s no broad perception of Joe Biden being corrupt at all with the electorate. It’s like trying to convince people that the sky is green,” he said.

up
3 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

I lived in dairy country for several years and have lactated myself, but do cows have colostrum before their milk comes in?

up
3 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Roy Blakeley's picture

I was busy and traveling a lot in Dec. so this may have been covered:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1202784879957729280

In response to a question from a Johns Hopkins student, Nancy Pelosi reveals that, as ranking member of the House intelligence committee, she knew that there was no substance to Bush's WMD allegations in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq. This is somehow used as a rationale for not impeaching Bush. So I am led to conclude that lying to Congress and the world to promulgate a war that left hundreds of thousands of people dead is not impeachable, but asking Zelensky to cooperate with AG Barr is impeachable. While I am asking naive questions, am I the only person who wonders why there was not a massive outcry over why Pelosi did not scream from the rooftops that the WMD crap was a hoax? How can she live with herself with the blood of half a million people on her hands. Maybe that is why she drinks. Continuing my naive questions, how about why Obama's ordering of the assassination of American citizens was not impeachable? Isn't murder a crime?

up
5 users have voted.
janis b's picture

To have the privilege and responsibility of saving a life, how exciting in so many ways. Thank you for relating your experience, for us to enjoy vicariously. I hope all continues to grow well.

up
2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

What fortuitous timing, having the after birth milk for both new calves. I’m sure your experienced and perceptive observations will continue to guide your decisions regarding your involvement or not. Lucky moms and babies!

I've posted this before, but in case you missed it ...

up
2 users have voted.