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First wreck of the season

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Battleriver

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Calving season pretty much seamless unltill today. had a 2 mo old bull calf under the weather, not nursing for a day, wanted to help him along and tube some electrolites after the nuflor med. Ended up going down the wrong hole. one dead calf in 2 minutes. Of course had to be from a real expensive cow with an future sale bull now dead. I guess on the bright side I am still batting 100% but watching him die at my screwup really stung.
 

Soapweed

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That hurts bad. :( A little secret on tubing a calf is to always put the nozzle down the left side of the calf's throat. When it goes the way it is supposed to, you can feel the protective ball on the end of the nozzle through the calf's hide. Even with your gloves on, this ball can be felt if it is in the right place.

Last Friday, I was checking the calving cows early in the morning. The thought came to me, "we are halfway done calving and so far haven't had a backwards calf." Mind you, this was only a thought, and I voiced it to no one. Right after dinner, Sunflower and I had our horses saddled to go sort cows. We were just coming out of the barn when my sister and dad, and a couple of other friends drove up to say hi. Dad said, "Did you know you have a backwards calf coming out in the meadow." No, we didn't, but we got the cow and successfully pulled her nice lively backwards calf. On Saturday moring, Peach and I were headed out to go to the funeral of a long-time neighbor lady. As we drove by the cows, one was calving with only the hind legs sticking out. I called the Kosmo Kid on the cell phone, and he successfully pulled and saved that calf. Monday morning came along, and here was another backwards calf trying to get out. The Kosmo Kid and I put her in the headcatch. This time we weren't so lucky. The calf came out dead, and then the cow wanted to push her innards out along with the dead calf. Fortunately, with two of us on hand, Kosmo played Peter and stuck his finger and the rest of his fist in the dyke, ( http://www.pantheon.org/articles/l/little_dutch_boy.html ) while ol' Pappy headed to the house to get needle and thread. At least we saved the cow. On Tuesday we pulled our fourth backwards calf in just about that many days. It was a successful save.

Stuff happens. :? :wink:
 

Silver

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Ya, sometimes stuff happens :(

At 2:00 this morning I saw I had a heifer calving that we had brought in earlier in evening. Looked like she would have it herself, but it was rather cold out (-12C) and I knew I would sleep better if I brought her into the barn, pulled the calf and settled them down in a nice warm stall. Everything went as planned. I put the heifer in the chute, put a chain on one front foot of the calve and gently pulled it out by hand. I ensured it was breathing well by tickling a nostril with a straw then took it to it's stall. I looked up from the stall to see the heifers uterus hanging half way to the the floor. I gave her a spinal and proceded to try to fix things but she wouldn't quit straining. I gave her another 7 cc's in the spine but to no avail. I got Dad out of bed to give me a hand, even tried rolling her out of the chute and tying her feet up so she was on her back. In the end I put her down as she was going into shock andwe now have a bummer calf on our hands.
That was the first time I couldn't get things put back together, and I couldn't help but think of Northern Rancher during and after this episode with regards to his approach to this type of situation.
 

Big Swede

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I finally learned how to not drown a calf during tubing. Like Soapweed said, once you have the tube in place feel for the ball at the end and if it feels like it's inside of a tube with really close tight rings, don't proceed, you are in the trachea which leads straight to the lungs. I figured that out after an autopsy of a dead calf I had just killed, and haven't killed one since.
 

canadian angus

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Tough luck, read somewhere to lie them on the left side. Know it was posted earlier about trying to put it on the left side, lay them that way.

Had a bid storm a few days ago and had to treat one today.

CA
 

lefty

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last night a heifer had her calf breach all by herself & when she started cleaning it off she inhailed some afterbirth & started choking , she backed up about 100 ft & just about fell over . She finally cleared the cleanings & went right back to cleaning her calf . The next heifer calved & her calf was all in the sack . So I ran in & cleared the sack . All 4 are doing fine . Lucky that time .
 

North Ridge Ranching

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I was always told to lay them on their right side, but I could be wrong. We however use what they call an enema bag for a tube feeder. It has about a 5" long hard plastic end on it with a bulb on the end and you can feel it if it is in esophagus and not the windpipe as it is going down the throat. The hard plastic part isn't as long as most stomach tubers.
 

Soapweed

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I like to straddle the calf in a sitting up position. Then it is easier to insert the tube down the left side of the throat, and with the calf sitting up, the milk flows more freely into the stomach.
 

High Plains

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On the issue of prolapses, a veterinarian/rancher friend of mine that has seen his share of them told me a good pointer. He said that if a cow goes down when you're pulling a calf (perfectly normal and preferable) is to get her right up after the calf is safely out. He emphasizes that you can't get her up quick enough to suit his tastes. Decreases the chances that she'll prolapse, in his opinion. Obviously, it happens to standing cows too so it's meant as a tip to decrease the incidence and nothing more.
 
A

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Soapweed said:
I like to straddle the calf in a sitting up position. Then it is easier to insert the tube down the left side of the throat, and with the calf sitting up, the milk flows more freely into the stomach.


Yep- thats the way I was taught to do too...
 

MsSage

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Sorry thoses are hard when you lose the calf.

Soap you know better to even think it.....at work we dont even think, let alone tell the other shift to have a good day LOL Something always happens when you do.................
Good Luck to all yall in the rest of calving
 

ranch77rocket

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lefty said:
last night a heifer had her calf breach all by herself & when she started cleaning it off she inhailed some afterbirth & started choking , she backed up about 100 ft & just about fell over . She finally cleared the cleanings & went right back to cleaning her calf . The next heifer calved & her calf was all in the sack . So I ran in & cleared the sack . All 4 are doing fine . Lucky that time .

Back in '06 during that bad snow storm, we lost a cow for no apparent reason. She drifted over with snow and when we finally got her lifted out of there to drag her off...guess what? She had a bunch of afterbirth hanging out of her mouth and had choked on it. Only time I'd ever seen that happen.
 

WyomingRancher

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My absolute worst tubing wreck was when the plastic tubing broke off in the esophagus :shock: . There was no way to get it out, and the vet couldn't get here, so I euthanized it. No more plastic tubers for me :wink: .
 

Battleriver

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If I remember right the calf was lying on the left side. I will make darn sure to feel for the ball at the end in the future. I have likely tubed 00 calves over the years and never had this happen. my time was up I guess.

As this wreck was no fault of the cows, I am planning on breeding her again. she is a super quiet cow with a lot of bull dam potential so I will suck it up on her for another year.
 

Boss Cowman

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High Plains said:
On the issue of prolapses, a veterinarian/rancher friend of mine that has seen his share of them told me a good pointer. He said that if a cow goes down when you're pulling a calf (perfectly normal and preferable) is to get her right up after the calf is safely out. He emphasizes that you can't get her up quick enough to suit his tastes. Decreases the chances that she'll prolapse, in his opinion. Obviously, it happens to standing cows too so it's meant as a tip to decrease the incidence and nothing more.

Yep
 

JF Ranch

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WyomingRancher said:
My absolute worst tubing wreck was when the plastic tubing broke off in the esophagus :shock: . There was no way to get it out, and the vet couldn't get here, so I euthanized it. No more plastic tubers for me :wink: .

I had the exact same thing happen to me many, many years ago. It was a plastic tube and in the process of drenching a newborn, he chomped it with his rear molars. I stood there spellbound knowing that the end of the tube was still in his belly. That was so many years ago I'm unclear about this, but I think the calf survived and lived to be a yearling. That experience led me to never use anything but a stainless steel tube ever since.
 

Silver

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I avoid the one with the stainless tube because it has a hose clamp holding the tube to the short flexible piece. Too many times my danged finger gets caught between lid of the full bag and the screw part of the clamp when I go to hoist the thing up to insert it down the calfs throat! :x
Guess I should put a different clamp on it I guess, I never heard of the plastic tube breaking off. :shock:
 

3words

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WyomingRancher said:
My absolute worst tubing wreck was when the plastic tubing broke off in the esophagus :shock: . There was no way to get it out, and the vet couldn't get here, so I euthanized it. No more plastic tubers for me :wink: .

Thats the first thing i do when i get a new tubing bag with that plastic piece on the end with the ball,is cut it off and throw it away.I measure how long a tube i want agains't the calfs body,lay the calf down on his side,insert the tube as far as i have it marked.Hold the bag as low to the ground as possable,undue the clasp so the tube is no longer blocked,and watch the bag for air bubbles.No air bubbles your good to go,i haven't lost a calf doing it this way yet,probably will the next one now because i said that.
 

Hereford76

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guess i better get one of these bag/tube deals. i got a little over half way reading this and thought "i've never had to tube a calf"

screwed up and told my old man the heifers are calving great!
 

Kato

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The ball is on the end of the tube for a reason. It's to prevent the tube going down the windpipe, since the windpipe is narrower than the esophagus. We replace our calf feeder every year, to reduce the odds of the hard part of the tube breaking. Plastic breaks down over time and gets brittle. Besides, you start the year with a good clean piece of equipment.

My favourite way to tube a calf is to have it stand up. Next best is lying in a sternal upright position. Never on it's side. Even if you get the tube in the right place, if the calf isn't fairly upright, the milk can come back up the esophagus and drown him anyway.

And if a calf is so down and out that it can't sit up, it's too late for electrolytes. It's IV time.
 

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