Heifer in labor

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Heifer in labor

Post by nocows » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:08 am

I have a heifer that appears to be in labor how long should I let this go on before intervention is needed? I knew she has been getting close to calving so I've been keeping an eye on her, this morning I went out to check her before I left for my day job. She was in the corner of the pasture laying down it was obvious that she's been up and down several times you can see where she's matted the ground down doing so.

That was about 4 hours ago I had my brother in law run out there to check on her and she's doing the same thing, up and down with her tail out. She will hunch every so often like she's pushing but we never have seen a water bag or anything yet.

I know every case and situation is different but how long would you expect a heifer to be in stage 1 of the calving process?




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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by nocows » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:17 am

She will hunch up like that for a minute then she'll go back to normal for a bit that's why I wasn't sure if she was just having contractions or if she is in full blown labor. I plan on leaving work soon to go keep an eye on her just didn't know how serious the situation was. I read some articles online that stated they could be in "stage 1" for several hours.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by Son of Butch » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:00 am

If you don't have catch facilities nor experience intervening too early is the worst thing you can do.
Keep an eye on her from a distance so as not to agitate her and let nature take its' course.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by M-5 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:51 pm

watch from a distance . once she breaks her water and feet are showing I would intervene after 1 hr has passed.
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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by nocows » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:54 pm

Not much has changed she is exhibiting the same behavior she'll lay day for a bit then get up, she will push or strain like the above picture once or twice for about 30 seconds then she goes back either grazing or laying down. I assume all is good still??

This heifer is special she was a bottle calf that my son raised, she didn't breed in a timely manner with the herd but since she belonged to him I figured we'd keep her and give her a chance. We've been done calving since the middle of April.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by M-5 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:05 pm

anything showing , Bubble, feet ? when she lays down and pusshes you should be able to see something.
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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by Silver » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:08 pm

Humping up and pushing with nothing showing like that would make me concerned that the calf was breech. But heifers are funny creatures and it may be no big deal. But I'd be inclined to reach in and confirm things are lined up properly.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by Nesikep » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:14 pm

Yup, by now I think you should at least be seeing feet.. I agree it could be a breech birth or a leg the wrong way.
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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by Katpau » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Get her in and check now. Every time I have had one in the early stage for that long it has turned out that the calf was in a position where it could not be delivered. Breech which means butt first is the most likely situation, but it could be there are feet or a head back. I would guess this will take professional help, but you won't know until you get in there and feel where everything is. Good luck.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:07 pm

Any new news? Definitely should be checked after this long.
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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by NEFarmwife » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:02 pm

Yep, I would have armed her. Heifers are a pain in the butt sometimes and get you antsy but she’s straining without any progress.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by Farmgirl » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:28 pm

Check her quick. Calf is likely dead. May loose the heifer.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by TCRanch » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:33 pm

I lost one this year because a heifer wasn't pushing, just up & down, wandering around and I thought she was in early labor. Could barely see feet but she'd suck them back in. Still wasn't fully dilated when I got her in & it was a hard pull even though the calf wasn't that big. Did she just quit trying? Had she been in labor longer than I realized even though I check heifers every couple hours? Doesn't matter now. Get her in! And best of luck - please update.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by nocows » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:07 am

I haven't been back online since my last update I spent several hours messing with this heifer, unfortunately we lost the calf but the heifer is doing fine and I think she will be ok. The calf was breach and he was BIG!!

I rushed home and got the heifer up to the chute and called the vet. Time was of the essence and things just didn't go well, I am a little bummed at how things progressed but I'm to blame I shouldn't have waited so long. Once we got the calf out we assumed he was dead, there wasn't any movement while pulling. After messing with him for a bit he was actually alive but barely, momma went to work right away to start cleaning him off.

My wife could tell how disappointed I was and told me to chalk it up to experience. That's a hard and expensive lesson to learn, looking back to yesterday morning I should've went with my gut and checked her sooner.

I've been around cattle for a good portion of my life but have only had my own herd for the last 3 years, I've been slowly building it up there have been some pretty rough patches and I've had a rocky start to say the least.

My respect for the men and women that raise cattle is very high, it's one thing to go help friends and family with cattle like I had only done up until 3 years ago. Owning cattle and being personally and financially invested in them is a whole different thing, there are so many ups and downs.

Now that we are officially done with calving this time I will focus on the breeding I turned the bull out Saturday and he's been busy. While on the subject of the bull when can this heifer safely be bred back?

Sorry for the lengthy post.

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Re: Heifer in labor

Post by nocows » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:30 am

Hook2.0 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:12 am
Sorry.
If the calf was huge, you need to figure out if it was the bull or your feed program before you put the bull back on her.
As it is, I would wait a month or 2 to let her reproductive tract heal up good
I bought the bull last year at about 15 months old he covered all the cows I had and the three heifers. The rest of his calves from the others had decent BW and all went unassisted. They all received the same nutrition hay, grass, and the occasional treat of grain or cubes just to keep them used to being called up.

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