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Sunday, January 16, 2011

my luck ..

been watching and attending to one of my 4 yr old Jerseys, Louise. She was due on the 12th. She waited until this Saturday and when I noticed she was passing the plug, I put her in a pen in the barn with lots of straw. Left her to progress with labor. Everything seemed to be moving fine. When I checked her a little later, I saw two feet and lots of pushing. Didn't take me long to check her out and reach in to find just front sign of a nose. She was completely dialated and I could easily feel that the head was flipped back completely along its own spine and heading the wrong direction. I pushed calf back into the uterus, hoping I could fish the head back into the birth canal. While I tried many times, I knew I needed help and started calling on my trusted neighbor. Even while he was at work and they were selling thousands of cattle....he still snuck out and came to help! I can't thank him enough. But still, while I stood and let the Momma cow lick me clean and kept her still, my neighbor was literally up to his neck trying to turn this baby. It took some time, but he was able to get the head shifted and brought it around to be able to pull this calf correctly. Sadly though, the calf didn't make it. This is my first ever birthing mortality with any of my cattle. While I have lost a few bottle calves....and I realize I will invariably lose one while calving...I still feel pretty defeated. Such a perfect little heifer calf from one of my best Jerseys. Sometimes life can just punch you in the face! and while it might take a few days to accept, I've been known to take a punch or two...


  1. Oh Deb I am so sorry to hear the calf didn't make it. You are so good to your animals. Thank goodness that you have someone to call on when you need help. Glad you didn't lose your cow in the process.
    If I lived closer I would help you as much as I could.
    Before you know it there are going to be calves all around your place.

  2. I am so sorry...that is absolutely the hardest part of farming. I am thankful you have such great people near by to help you. Hugs and hang in there~Melodie

  3. I am so sorry. I have two ewes due to give birth soon (I hope, one I can't tell for sure) and its my first time ever with anything other than small animals, so I have to admit I am scared to death of doing something wrong. Hang in there and hug the momma... and a big thank you from me to your neigbor.

  4. I am so sorry Deb :(
    Sending you and mama a big hug.

  5. We've had 2 birthing deaths, at different times, from the same doe, and we take it hard. Sorry about your little heifer. At least you are blessed to have your experienced neighbor. So your cow is OK?

  6. I'm so sorry... all the waiting and excitement only to lose her... I'm so sorry. Be kind to yourself and keep moving forward... I'm thinking of you.