Many of you who have visited Daisy Made this spring will have noticed the cows in the field on the left of the farm lane. This is the nursery field where we keep our cows that are due to calve, and some of you will have been lucky enough to witness cows giving birth.
Because it is close to the farmyard and houses it is easy to keep an eye on things and be on hand if assistance is required.
On Tues we had no less than 3 cows calve, all successfully on their own, just how I like it !
Another cow looked like she was going to calve that tues night when I looked around, so I went to bed half expecting to be out again shortly , but all remained quiet.
Early Wed morning I checked on the cow, nothing seemed to be happening except for a trail of slime . She allowed me to get close to her and a quick inspection revealed the slime was infact a tail !Just a tail, no feet .. this was bad news, a breach calf (being born backwards instead of head and front feet first) is bad enough but with both legs back inside the cow it is a very bad situation for both the calf and indeed the cow.
Breach births are more difficult because the shape of the calf backwards first is less streamlined to slide out and of course the last part out is the nose and mouth so it cant breath until fully out .
A calves feet and legs must be presented first , otherwise the cow wont be able to give birth, either forwards or backwards.
So off came my coat and jumper but for the sake of modesty I sacrificed my Daisy Tshirt and kept that on.
Basically my task is to push the calf back into the cow , find the calf's rear legs and try to manipulate the leg and hoof towards me, without damaging the cows uterus lining. All the while the cow is having contractions, pushing the calf back against me crushing my arm and hand between the calf and her pelvis, nice ! .
And as if that isn't bad enough loads of gunk (you know what I mean !) is gushing out .
It seemed a hopeless task but eventually after nearly an hour and with Dan assisting we managed to get the legs into position and at last help pull the calf out backwards.
At this point I had very little hope in the calf still being alive but miraculously as we pulled it clear we heard a gurgling sound and the calf took its first raspy breath.
No pics of the actual birth I'm afraid but we were kind of busy, and a little bit messed up ! But heres a couple of shots just as we have pulled the calf round to meet mum.
The other cows came over to have a look as well.
Then it was time for a shower and a celebration mug of tea :) .
A great way to start the day.
Bye for now.. Farmer Dave :D