Okay I'm finally back to check in. I had to leave her to pick my daughter up from work, and stopped to buy a flashlight (since all mine have mysteriously disappeared) on the way home.
Went out and found her in the field with very little progress over a few hours time. But earlier she wouldn't let me get close. This time I walked right up, and with a little help from the cow managed to finally, with much effort, get the head and half the body out.
I thought when she stood again the calf would drop, but he didn't. She walked clumsily several more paces and practically fell on him (well, just one leg). When she began to push again, I began to pull again, and between her and me we managed to deliver a big bull calf.
Cow and calf are both alive but laying exhausted in the grass. I'll go back out and check on them again before I hit the bed.
Man, it sure is harder to pull a calf than to pull a kid goat.
And, yes, I know it would have been better if I had been able to help earlier. I kept telling the cow I could help her if she'd let me. But that's the thing about pasture cows. She wouldn't let me until it was dark and she was exhausted.
This morning I found the cow up and back in the next field, but the calf still laying where I left them. Still alive but evidently has not gotten up. Cord is still big and attached to afterbirth. I'm assuming I need to tie it off and cut it??
Wishing now I'd had the presence of mind to milk off a little colostrum last night while the cow was down because I don't think she's going to let me now. She was such a good mother last year, I assumed that when she got up she'd start messing with that calf
yes, I know normally that is the case. This was a particularly exhausting birth for both cow and calf.
I've tied, cut, and iodined the cord, and gotten a little goat milk in him. Kicking myself for not milking off some colostrum last night because I can't any way get close enough to the cow now to do it. I just thought since she was such a good mother last year that once she was up she'd care for him.
I still haven't been able to get him up, and can't lift him, so I pulled him over into the shade. (It's blazing hot already this morning in the sun.)
Jury's still out on him.
But the cow seems to be making a good bounce back.
You said the Cow almost fell or did fall on calf's leg, is it possible it could be injured ? Maybe Mom knows some things wrong - strange she's not caring for him. At least the Mom is oky :goodjob: Best of Luck !!
I picked up some powdered colostrum while I was out, and have gotten the first quart down him. I feel better starting with smaller amounts like that. He tries to, but doesn't, get up when I bottle him. Still I am encouraged by his efforts and by the fact that he is at least sitting up instead of lying prone like I found him this morning.
I pulled him over into the shade again, and am hoping to get a son to help me lift him into the garden wagon so I can take him to the barn later.
I don't know where in TX you are, but if you or anyone around has a kids plastic toboggan, you can roll the calf on it and pull him to the barn fairly easily. If you ask what is a toboggan, I'll guess you are in south TX!
Have you got any Bo-Se? It will help prevent white muscle disease and will give him a little boost to get up and move around. The most important thing is the colostrum, and I know you realize he should have gotten it immediately after birth.
Hate to jump on you during a rough calving experience, but you have had difficulty with both of these cows for a while, yet you don't seem willing to part with them. They are't doing you any favors with their poor mothering skills. A cow that won't mother her calf is pretty worthless in my book; I've seen cows have a stillborn calf that they lick and lick and they won't leave it.
Why not get all your calving equipment together (including powdered colostrum, iodine for the calves' navels, OB lube, gloves, Bo-Se, needles and syringes, anything else needed) and keep it clean and handy for the next time. Put those cows in a smaller enclosure so they bond with their calves and don't leave for the back 40); a means of restraining them wouldn't hurt and will enable you to work safely with them if you need to.
I really don't think it should be as difficult as what you've experienced. I'm sorry that your calving experiences have been so heartbreaking.
There are cattle in pastures everywhere around me that live and calve out in the field every year and do just fine. We previously had our fields leased to someone whose cattle did the same.
I think I'm doing pretty danged well with what I have. As I believe I mentioned, the cow that had issues a couple of weeks ago did not immediately mother last year. I got her to take the calf both times and they are thriving.
This cow did fine calving in the field last year and was an excellent mother. The calf was just too big this time, and the birth too stressful. I did save them both, didn't I? And yes, I used an Angus bull that should have thrown low birth weight.
I know I need to get rid of either the bull or these stupid Wagyu cows before we do this another season. I wasn't, though, asking advice on that. It's something my husband and I will decide on.
It sounds like you have a case of selenium deficiency. Gale's suggestion of a shot of Bo-Se is right on.
Check with your county agricultural agent to find out if you are in a selenium deficient area. If you are, you should be supplementing their selenium intake at all times.
Low selenium can cause white muscle disease in the calf, which causes them to be born too weak to stand.
It also causes the walls of the womb to be thick and stiff. They are hard to stretch, so the calf grows in cramped quarters.
At birthing time, the calf is cramped and it's muscles are weak. It has a tough time getting into position to be born, thus a lot of malpositioned presentations. The cow has an equally difficult time getting the calf into position and she has to exert extra effort to send it through the birth canal. You end up having to help.
A good loose mineral program that pays close attention to the selenium content can cure this for future births. You can also put out high selenium mineral blocks, but they are not going to be enough to cure the problem if you have a deficiency.
Selenium deficiency is is a problem in many parts of the US. Read a little more about it here:
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