Sunday, February 17, 2008

More Cow Problems

After 15 years of virtually trouble free births we had another "stuck" one yesterday.
One cow had given birth early in the morning and both were doing fine but I noticed another was missing. That afternoon there was still no sign of her so I set off in search.
Sure enough there was the heifer under a tree by the creek in quite a deal of distress.
Dr. Bob was quickly on the scene and thought she needed immediate attention. The front feet and part of the head of the new calf was visible but there were no signs of any life.
So we did the "pull trick" once again and it was really stuck. The heifer was trying to help but she was exhausted and eventually fell to the ground. This seem to relax her a little and we managed to get the little bull calf out.

Amazingly there were some signs of life. Dr. Bob weaved his magic and we eventually got the little thing breathing.
The mother recovered enough to stand but her baby couldn't. We had done a little bit of "damage" to his front legs during the pull.
We managed to get some milk from the mother and the calf sucked it down from a bottle.
Bob thought he had a 50:50 chance of surviving. His head and tongue were badly swollen.
Next morning I went down to the yards and he was trying to stand, very wobbly, but at least he was alive.

I mixed up some calf formula and put him between my knees to drink. After he got the first taste he was away!!!!!
At lunchtime he drank another litre.
I tried to get him onto his mother but she just kicked him away.
Post natal depression?
He was still wobbly so had no chance to persist.
At dinner time he drank another litre. We managed to get his mother tied up and encouraged him to suck but I think the formula had done the trick. He just wasn't hungry.
At least she didn't kick this time.

We shall try again tomorrow morning.
The major problem right now is that he thinks I am his mother!!!!!!!!
So it is a matter of urgency to get the mother/son bond going so I am not saddled with three feeds a day for the next 3 months.

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