A Tale of Two Calves (Part 2)

Now you know things aren’t always this rosey. During this first delivery, Ray had done most of the work. I was sick for a long time, bronchitis than pneumonia. They put me on some cough meds with codeine first, along with Allegra, since I do have allergies to try to eliminate that additional stress. The following week, I was to take Bactrim, a sulfa mixed drug. Well, unbeknownst to me, my body hated this sulfa thing. I felt odd, couldn’t sleep, was very nervous in my skin, couldn’t breathe, but I thought it was all pneumonia. So about day 9 of this med, I broke out head to toe in hives, and was put on prednisone. Finally sleep.

During this time, in the barn, Erica, a young heifer was doing her thing. She was bagging up, in the calving pen, ready to roll. My night of sleep, was her night of horror. I usually check on them a time or two during the night when they are ready to calf. That night, I slept, Ray made it to the barn around 6:30, 7:00am. By then, we were in trouble.

The heifer had listed onto her side, legs stuck straight out in front of her, and we couldn’t roll her to a more normal position. She was in HARD labor for who knows how long. One calf leg was out the head was too far forward and the second leg was stuck back under the chin: An elbow lock position. We never had this one before. A few calls to the vet. Boys pulling on a rope on the lagging leg, Ray pushing back on the head, and the leg popped into place. Voila, easy the calf came out…a DEAD heifer.

Meanwhile the mom was not well at all. We pushed her as far forward as we could onto her belly and she was in shock. We gave her CMPK tube (Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium), a B- complex shot, and all the warm water she would drink.  And waited, and waited, pulled, pushed, repositioned. Finally, hours later she stood up. We lost the calf, but saved the heifer. She has a beautiful high well balanced udder, milks volumes for a first calf heifer, and will be fine.

Guilt, now why did it have to happen that night?? If I had that night over again, I would have made myself go to the barn. Understand, with animal farming to do it well, you have to sacrifice yourself for the welfare of the animals. Sometimes, giving into your own needs, valid though they are, cause repercussions well beyond the moment.

On a positive note, last evening, we had another heifer calf, Prime LS Porsche TeeHee 🙂  Other than having to break the amniotic sac and warm her up, she had an uneventful entrance into this world 🙂 welcome TeeHee!!

Prime LS Porsche TeeHee, 12 hours old


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