Friday, January 30, 2009

Cryin in my Crown N Pepper

Well, we lost the calf. : ( Not for lack of trying!! We got her in the headgate and pulled. Then we got out the calf jack. Sorry, no pictures. I was covered in fluid and blood. So no camera, besides we were too busy. This angus heifer just had NO pelvic area! We worked on her for about an hour. 45 min into it, the calf quit breathing. You can coach a woman and MAKE her push. Or you can push on her stomach. You can't MAKE a heifer push, and you can't push her calf out for her. And this heifer just quit trying!!

We finally got the calf out, and along with it came a glob. We took the calf inside the house and worked on it for about 15 min. We breathed for it (yes, mouth to mouth) and drained its lungs (hung it upside down) and pumped its heart. No dice. We worked and worked and worked. Nothing. So, we both spat out the fluid from our mouths and "called it quits". We weighed the calf, only 74.5 pounds. Not that big. Heifer should have had her easily. We took the calf back outside to have the heifer lick her off and mother her (yes, the calf was a nice heifer). The heifer was still laying down. A good amount of blood behind her, uh oh. Honey felt in her hooey, and pulled out two big globs, of FAT. We estimated all the globs (including the first one) to be about 5 pounds. WRONG! Just Wrong! A heifer should not put that much fat into her uterus! That means that she was too fat to calve, and most of our calving issues were due to the fat. Hmmm.

Got her in the barn and she laid back down and started mothering the (dead) calf. Good. Just hope she doesn't bleed out. Honey made a call and we will have a (reputable) bottle calf in the AM to replace hers. We will skin the dead calf and put the skin on the new one to get the heifer (now cow) to mother the new one. Honey has this neat little trick to skin a dead calf and keep the anus intact, so you just stick the live tail thru it and tie a string around the neck (live calf) and into the hide. That way the skin will stay on pretty good for at least a week. I know its gory, but its the truth, and it IS useful info to a cattleman(woman).

So, I hope she(the cow) makes it thru the night. And we can at least graft a calf on her, cause she has a really good udder.

But, that doesn't mean I'm not sad and upset (and feeling my Crown n Pepper, wait I poured a full glass, and still have half of a can of pepper left, oh well, I'll sleep well till midnight check). If it were any other heifer, she should have had this calf VERY easily. And it did look like a good heifer.

So, now that we have gotten that out of the way (loosing a calf) for the YEAR, I'll sign off and go to bed. Yup, at 7pm. Honey has the kids snuggling and watching Hannah Montana.

Thank God for Midwives, Doula's and Hospitals! I'm glad my last 2 children were in the prescence of these! Heifer should have had a C-section, and the vet that does them was at least 2 hours away.


  1. Hi~just out blog hopping and found my way to you....sorry to read about your calf. Hope the mama takes to the new calf. I really enjoyed reading through your blog. Hope you can stop in and visit sometime.

  2. Oh I am sooo very sorry! It never gets easier to deal with, does it? Rubs salt in the wound when you work so hard for them.

  3. I am so sorry to hear that! It makes me really sad when we lose calves, especially to good mommas. It sounds like you did all that you could and more. I hope she makes it and takes on that bottle calf....

  4. gosh Shanen that really stinks!! :( so sorry! good luck w/the bottle calf & I really enjoyed our visit Friday. feel free to stop by anytime!

  5. Sorry to hear about your calf. Huge bummer.That's a tough one, especially when you can't some how,, by telepathy convince them to push.
    Thank heavens for doulas!
    Better luck ahead!