Life goes on

Daily tasks on a dairy farm are a great reminder that, no matter what happens, life goes on.

Newborn calf welcomed by the cow

New life

While the floods have given us a good shaking, the circle of life continues to turn. We lost one cow last night because her calf tried to come out with all four feet at once but were delighted to assist the delivery of this lovely little calf.

Most cows manage calving on their own with ease (at least relative ease compared to human birth) and we don’t intervene unless we must for the sake of the cow and calf.

Typically, cows tend to head off to a quiet spot on their own to calve, often pacing around and around as the contractions begin. We look for two front feet first, then a nose. The calf should seem to be diving out of the cow! The whole labour shouldn’t take more than two hours or so.

Wow! After seeing thousands of calves born over my lifetime, it still amazes me.

3 Comments

Filed under Animal Health and Welfare, Calves, Cows

3 responses to “Life goes on

  1. Its always good to see the first pair of hooves facing to the ground, you know there’s problems when they are pointing skywards (breach birth)

  2. clare

    I will never forget the first time I helpped my partner pull a calf, 2 hours to catch the upset cow and then using the chains was an experiance! It was amazing the calf came out alive as it had been a very big calf and so much trauma. But then as I was heavily preg my daugter came 10 days early the next day. Fortunatly no chains required.

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