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A diary of our farm

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Calves' started by cjc, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Aug 2, 2018
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    Hi All!

    I just wanted to make a place to put all my updates on our farm. This year we have done something different. All of our mama cows from previous years are no longer (except one) and this year all my pregnant girls are heifers. I did something new for us and I raised Holstein X Black Angus heifers I got from a local dairy. They are all pregnant with a Red Angus bull. He is the first bull we have ever owned. We got him real cheap at an auction that no one showed up at :celebrate. We now rent him out to neighbours and its turning out to be a great little gig for him!

    Here he is:
    bull.jpg
    We call him "Big Boy"

    As some of you know my only remaining cow from my previous herd just had a calf last week. He is a real beauty. He's a large calf! This is my cow "Little Red's" second calf. She is a FANTASTIC mother! She's a real ugly and small cow but man does she raise a good calf. We named him "Rusty"

    Little Red.jpg

    A few months back I sold 4 of our cows to a retired farmer couple who just wanted some pets. Um, could I have got anymore lucky?!?! I had 4 cows that were some what "rescues" and it was such a relief when I found them a home they could grow old at. One of the cows I sold was my nurse cow "Lucy". She was also bred to my bull before I dropped her off at her new home and she just delivered a little heifer calf yesterday! It was hard to let Lucy go but her new owners called to let me know her calf was here and not only that the cow was born completely breach. With help she got the calf out in breach position. Maybe there was a reason I sold Lucy right before her due date haha. Here is the calf. But the good news is so far our bull has produced 2 healthy calves.

    Lucy.jpg


    My next cows aren't due until November/December (I think). We will pregnancy check them again in a couple of weeks.

    Oh and, this is my son learning the family hobby (cant call it a business because we never make money at it! haha)

    Tractor.jpg
     
  2. Aug 4, 2018
    Nifty

    Nifty Herd Master Administrator

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    Great pics! Also congrats on your bull setup.

    Keep us posted with more pics and info!
     
    cjc likes this.
  3. Aug 7, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Was it a true breech or just backwards presentation?
    If the back hooves were the first thing visible, then it was just a backwards presentation, and the momma can give birth from that presentation, sometimes without help, especially if it's an older cow that has had several normal calves. Heifers will almost always need some assist in a backwards presentation.
    If the tail/rump was the only thing visible, then it's a true breech and is very dangerous.
    breech.jpg
     
  4. Aug 7, 2018
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    The hooves were visible. And interesting enough its head was twisted in such a way they said it wasn't just the position of the body that made it tough it was also the position of the head.

    I did have a calf last year that was full breech with just the butt visible. That's what first indicated to me we had an issue. I couldn't see feet...just this hair patch. I called the vet, a C-section was given and both the momma cow and the calf died. Very sad and very expensive ($3,000) day.
     
  5. Aug 7, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Which hooves? Were the hoof bottoms facing up or down?
    Usually, in a backwards presentation, the head is not an issue, (the butt and hips are) as long as both rear hooves and both rear legs go out 1st.. The head is going to follow the shoulders out.

    No, not a good or productive day for any involved.
     
  6. Aug 7, 2018
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    That I’m not sure they just told me the head was twisted on the way out and caused major issues. I know the calf had a bit of recovering to do from the strain on the neck after the fact. They first told me the calf might not make it then next day said it was doing well.

    Do you think the calf was beech bcs it was too big for her? First time I bred this cow to an Angus. She’s a jersey.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Head twists are almost always a problem only on normal presentation, where the head is curled down between it front legs head is curled back toward one side..

    In breech position/presentation, all you can do is attempt between contractions, push the calf back, try to get the rear hooves out first or call the vet for a cesarean. I'd opt for the phone call over trying to get the legs straightened out, unless I had reason to believe the calf was pretty small.
    There's not much room in there to work to even get a leg straightened out in a normal presentation but I have been able to do it the only 2 times I saw it.
    Yes, a calf can just be too big to fit thru the canal. It's often part because of genetics, part because the momma was fed too much in the last trimester.

    breech3.jpg