Ready to calf?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by hayzor, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. hayzor

    hayzor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    AZ
    I have a 5 yr old Dexter cow who is getting ready to freshen. Its her 3rd calf, but the first one for us. I'm trying to determine when the calf is coming. Her teats started to fill out about a week ago, and now her udder has dropped to where you can see it - It was unable to be seen before. Her back end is getting loose, which is noticeable when she walks.
    What else should I look for that will give a better indication of when the little one is coming?
    Also - What do I need to have on hand for assistance or emergencies?

    I will appreciate any help

    Thanks
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    It's probably too late, but if you feed your cattle in the evening, they will more than likely calve during the day. You need to start doing that about 6 weeks to a month before they are due, but you can always give it a try now.

    If you have other cattle, you will notice her going off by herself. They usually do that within a day of calving. That is my biggest indicator.

    Sometimes they get a discharge as calving approaches (a few days to a couple weeks before).

    Once she goes down and really starts straining, she ought to have the calf within an hour or so. It is not unusual for them to get up and down a couple times. You should see two feet, followed by a nose. If not, and the calf won't come...call a vet.

    You should have some thin, but strong nylon rope that you can tie a slip knot in. A come-along is sometimes needed. If the calf is presented properly, but not coming (let her give it a good college try before intervening), then you tie the rope around the legs and pull. Pull as hard as you can. Get the whole family if needed. If that doesn't work, break out the come-along, tie the feet ropes together and hook them through the come-along chain. Pull, pull, pull. Pull with the contractions.

    The calf should be up and nursing within an hour (usually less). Things generally go better if you leave them alone. If you must watch, do it from a distance and interfere as little as possible.

    Jena
     

  3. Kathryn L.Holck

    Kathryn L.Holck Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    When my simmetals calved for the first time, unfortunately we were in AZ on vacation. Hubby's timing not mine. But a friend said when the cows are close to calving (perhaps within 24 hours) they get an indentation on each side of their tail head you can stick a balled fist into. I kept watching the first month and then she finally calved when we were gone. This simmie had an utter like a milk cow. Her calf will soon be bred. The steer from the other will soon be in the freezer. Cannot wait... for some fresh beef...