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Faster horses

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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NE WY at the foot of the Big Horn mountains
We had a little saga here yesterday that played itself out from about noon to midnight.

While I know I am less than mediocre, a little poetry helps to deal with things sometimes.

This little happening hurt my feelings, so this morning I wrote a little poem.

March, 19, 2003

Yesterday we had a heifer come into heat.
As for quality, she couldn't be beat.
She got out; and up the road she did race
To find a bull that was on this place.
She walked at least a mile to the house.
"What's she doing here?" my husband did grouse.
He penned her up 'til she settled down.
With nice steel panels all around.
About midnight while going into the barn
Our night calver saw what caused him alarm.
Through the bottom "loop" she'd stuck her head.
When he found her, she was already dead.
She was stretched out laying on her side.
I guess you'd call it a "COWICIDE."
Hope your posting doesn't mean someting similar happened at your place FH
That's the saga, I am talking about.

That is EXACTLY what happened here.

After it was all over, we decided we would have rather had her
"bred as dead."

We felt really bad about the whole thing. Just one of those freaky things that happen every once in awhile. She must have laid down, stretched out and stuck her head through the opening in the bottom brace that supports the panel. She would have had to be aligned just right. Who would have ever thought that could happen? tsk, tsk.
well, wrong dates aside, I was sorry to read about the accciudent which must be very frustratingafter all the work you put into tending the herd. if you write a poiem for every mishap you'd probably have a sears roebuck catalogue-sizedcollection by now.

i tried my own brand of cowicide by flying backwards on thursday off a wood chair i was using to reach something in the basemernt. the leg snapped. I came out of it without any major damage (could easily have hit my head on the stationary tub or the concrete floor) but it got hubby and me discussing just how quickly a simple act can go bad. Like it did for you poor cow. :(
We had a cow incident last evening, and the final verdict is still out. Late in the day, we had gathered 37 cows and their calves and put them in a corral on the end of the ranch where Saddletramp lives. These calves were born early but we'd not had the opportunity to tag them. It was a rope and drag affair, but they matched up pretty good and four of us got the job done in less than an hour.

We had told Saddletramp ahead of time, that he wouldn't need to come back to our headquarters when the job was completed. When the rest of us got back home, we unloaded our horses and proceeded to corral the heavy cows as we do every evening so it is easy for the night man to keep watch. Surprise, surprise, while we were gone a three-year-old cow had given birth to a fairly large calf and then prolapsed. The calf had just been born and he was in fine shape, dripping wet but sitting up.

The cow couldn't or wouldn't get up, and she was out in fairly soft ground on the meadow. We got the heavies in before darkness arrived, and then took a couple pickups back to where she lay. Even though the ground was soft, we were able to drive up to her. I put a rope around her neck and tied it to the grille guard of one pickup, so she couldn't get away. We then put ropes on her hind feet and pulled them straight out behind her. We gave her some Lidocaine to keep her from straining, and cleaned off the afterbirth. She had lost some blood, so we rolled her over one time to put her onto clean ground so our knees wouldn't get so "red". We put on plastic gloves and started pushing. A baseball bat also comes in handy on these projects, and we used it to push up the middle of the prolapse (gently of course). Anyway things went back together remarkably well. Our only problem was that we hadn't threaded the needle ahead of time. It was dark, and my reading glasses were in my pocket. Mrs. Soapweed came to the rescue, and with a woman's fine touch, soon had the large white string put through the smaller eye of the needle.

There is a way of stitching a cow that works good and doesn't leave stitch marks. I used this method and there are four stitches across (underneath and out of sight), which hopefully will hold everything in place.

Our son unsaddled the horses, and Mrs. Soapweed and I went back out to drench the calf with cholostrum made from powdered mix. We loaded the calf onto the trailer, so he would be warmer for the night, and so the coyotes wouldn't get him without his mother's protection. We also gave LA200 and Banamine to the cow.

The jury is still out on the cow, but at least her baby is in good shape.
P.S. The cow didn't survive. Everything went together just the way we liked, but she lacked the will to live.

A few years ago, a blizzard was coming on and we were horseback getting cattle into sheltered areas. One cow had calved and prolapsed just before we started to get the cattle in. We planned to come back and get the live calf, and as we drove the other cattle by her in the storm, she got up and followed them to the corral. We put her in the headcatch and put her back together as she was standing up. She survived in good shape. She had the will, and the one last night just didn't. The cards were stacked much more in favor of the one last night.
Oh, Soapweed, I am sorry about your losing the cow.
Doesn't matter how many you have, you still hate to lose one.
I was going to kid you a bit about "why didn't you milk the cow for colostrum while you had the opportunity" (when she was down). But now it isn't funny.

I had to deliver some mineral yesterday and when I got back, my husband said he had made his wages that afternoon. Apparently a 4-year old cow was calving. My husband was working around here close and he kind of checked on her from time to time. (The older cows are in a big lot or small pasture pretty close to the house.) Anyway, he saw her stand up and something was shining behind her. So he got his horse and rode over; she had just had the calf. He hates bothering them and our calves aren't usually big at birth. He went to do take care of another matter close by and then could hear something, so he went back and the sack was still over the calf's head, clear to his shoulders. The noise he heard was the calf trying to breathe and he was about to breathe his last. He got the sack off and worked over the calf for awhile and did manage to save him. Usually those things are beyond help by the time we find them. Sure glad the calf lived, would have hated to lose a yearling and a calf in the same dad-gummed day! He did say this calf was larger than we usually have and the cow had layed back down instead of licking the calf off. he hates big calves, likes the little ones that jump up right away!!

One evening we had put a heifer in the barn to calve. That always seems to slow them down and my husband always gets out of there as soon as possible. He went outside and set in the pickup for a bit and went back in to check. She had had the calf by herself, sack was over the nose, calf was already dead. He was out of the barn no more than 15 minutes.

You just can't save them all.
I found one two years ago completely enclosed in the sac still. I ripped it off as fast as I could, but we lost the calf anyways. Not right away but a couple of days later. It was braindead from lack of oxygen and just never had the will to live despite our efforts.

The last cow we had prolapse was three years ago, belonged to my brother-in-law. My father-in-law found her at 6:00 and called the vet right away, who for some unknown reason got lost and didn't show up till 10:00. The cow was a little rank and that prolapse was swinging every which way till we got her confined in the chute, where she promptly laid down. It was warmer weather and the chute was muddy. My brother-in-law bravely laid down behind her and held everything up but it was still pretty filthy by the time the vet showed up. They cleaned it up as best as possible and stuffed everything back in and stitched her up. By rights that cow should've went downhill and died, but as his luck would have it, she bounced right back! Never showed any signs of stress or sickness.

Wouldn't have worked that way for me if it'd been one of my cows! :(
Many years ago, we had a heifer, calve late, when it was pretty warm. Of course we were'nt watching as close as we should and when we found her she had prolapsed and I mean big time! We got her put back together and sewed up. The next day, she had popped it out again. It was hanging to her hocks. We got a hold of Dr John Ismay who happened to be in the country. He cut a strip of rubber off from an inner tube and pulled it up as close to the cow as possible and tied it off around the prolapse. He told me to wait a week and to take the old one off and to tie a new one on in the same groove. I did and the thing, which was awful smelly and nasty, dropped off at a later date and we had a guarenteed open heiferette to sell that fall. Only time I ever seen it done that way and no one else has even heard about it, but it worked. Of course, she was a hereford! :lol:
Now, now, don't bash the herefords! :lol: The one I told about was a simmental, and as a matter of fact, the father-in-law had a limousin that was famous for prolapsing! For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why in the blue blazes he would keep her over from year to tear!
That should be year to year. Mind you, it would bring tears to your eyes too. Tears of frustration, that is.
No, we tubed it. And it never did stand up, it had no control over it's legs at all, or it's head for that matter. It was like it was made of jelly, just flopped around. It was weird. We've had others born with the sac over it's nose and they were a little retarded because of that, but they all came around eventually.
sure am glad i'm not the only one with these stories!! These prolapses are reminding me how lucky we have been, we had to think, but it was in '96 the last time we had one. It was a heifer, the night calver who was suppossed to be up checking until 4 when I came on, went to sleep. When I came out the heifer was laying there next to her calf, it was 20 something below, the calf was nearly frozen, couldn't get the heifer up so got wifey and we put it back in where she layed. Calf was saved only to die a year later for some unknown reason, heifer just lay there and died. No try at all. She could have had some internal bleeding. This also reminds me, when I was just out of high school and working for a registered outfit, they had a cow that would prolapse any time of the year. I got a lots of practice putting them in. The thing of it is, they thought so much of that stupid cow that they would not can her, and we had 4 of her daughters in the herd and they all prolapsed at one time or another and they would not can them, just keep on breeding the problem in. Hate to say this, but breeding out the tendency to prolapse is like breeding out the white face!!!! :lol: smile shelly

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