A couple of recent odd calving situations, March 17, 2017
This afternoon Brock saw a cow with a calf hanging halfway out. The calf was not extremely big, and the cow sure should have been able to push it on out, but the calf was dead. Brock grabbed a front leg of the calf with a hook and pulled mightily, but the calf wouldn’t come out. The cow ended up dragging him around for a while before he gave up and got her into the barn and in the head-catch to pull the calf. Even with the mechanical calf-puller, the extraction was hard. As the calf was just about out, he noticed that one of the hind legs was pointing forward in the birth canal. It’s no wonder the cow couldn’t have it on her own. The front half of the calf was normal, but the back half seemed smaller and slightly deformed. We are not sure if it is a possible genetic defect, or the unusual way it was laying caused the deformity.
March 10th, 2017 was a chilly day highlighted by a brisk south wind. While feeding hay to a bunch of cow/calf pairs with calves several days old, I noticed a brand new dripping wet red calf. There were cows near the calf, and they were all on the north side of a cedar tree shelter belt, so the new calf was in a good place. The cow that was standing closest to the calf didn’t seem to have normal motherly instincts, but since there was afterbirth hanging out, this had to be the mother. I called home to see if Brock knew why this heavy cow would be out with the pairs. He looked her up and said she had a black bull calf a week earlier, on March 3rd. Finding that calf, and noticing that it was smaller than the new red calf, made us realize that this black cow had twins, but they were born one week apart. Wonders never cease.