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