We’ve been watching this heifer for the last few days. I went out to check on her and found her under the trees. I could see part of the water bag and a foot inside. She was straining, starting to push out the baby. However, the other heifers in the field with her came over and began bothering her. She got up and began walking around. Everything slid back down.
I took note of the time. We give birthing cows about an hour from the time we first see a water bag to make progress. Too much longer than an hour and you risk losing the calf if things take too long.She paced around and around through the field. Finally she settled back down and began pushing. I could see a little more of the feet but once again the heifers interfered. Mama was annoyed and got back up. I was fed up with this nosy ladies so I penned them up in the corral. A mama needs her privacy. About 15 minutes later, I visited mama in the field and found this. Actively pushing!
Once I caught a glimpse of the calf, however, I was concerned. The calf was in obvious distress. Her tongue was hanging out and her face and eyes were bluish purple. Time to help out. The calf’s shoulders were the problem. I simply grabbed the feet and began pulling steadily.
Once the shoulders were out, things went better. The membrane was still intact, so once her face was clear, I pulled it aside. Happily, she responded to the cool air by shaking her head. I was glad to see some life was still in her.
Mamma was, understandably a bit stunned by the ordeal. I began rubbing the baby and firmly pushing on her ribs to stimulate her to breathe. I also turned her around so she was more uphill so getting up to stand would be easier. I was glad to see that the calf was perky and energetic. It didn’t take long before she was flopping around, trying to stand.
After a few minutes, mamma got up to see what all the fuss was about. She was in love! She’s a really great mamma, very maternal. An hour later, I came back out to check on her. She was standing as still as a statue, allowing the new baby to nurse. By the way, it’s a girl.