Calving intervention

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jgn

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On average what is the maximum time everyone would allow a cow to try and calve before taking action to help her out? What about a heifer? Calf in correct position,just maybe to large for unassisted birth.
 

Bez

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Well, I have left them too long at times and assisted too soon at times.

When I see the cow has broken her water, is obviously pushing and feet starting to come out I watch closely.

Time I find is not the complete answer - I watch her. If she goes flat on her side - head down on the ground - and pushing comes at longer intervals - that is a sign to me she needs help.

If you wait too long, you have a dead calf.

Fortunately that only happens around here about once every two to three years - and usually with a first calver.

Wht do you other folks use as your signal?

Bez
 

TheBullLady

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If a mature cow isn't progressing fairly rapidly after her water breaks, we'll put her in the chute and see if there's a problem. I would guess 30 -45 minutes after her water breaks. Of course, that's in a perfect world.. assuming you having nothing better to do all day then to watch your cows calf!

With a first calf heifer we try to run them up at the house pasture so we can at least keep a better eye on them.. they love to walk in anticipation of calving, and it seems I've chased one for miles if they aren't in a small pasture. With heifers we give them more time.. they tend to get up and down a lot, sometimes without a lot of progress. If she's laying on her side and really in hard labor with no immediate results (no toes coming out) then we run her in the chute as well. I've had heifers go for a couple of hours before actually calving, and still have a viable calf. It's really a judgement call. The longer you do this, the more feel you'll get for if she's having a problem.
 

txag

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time of day also affects our decisions. if it's morning or early to mid-afternoon we may let them try a little longer. if it's getting close to dark, we'll sometimes go ahead & help them out (if they've been trying) so we're not out there in the dark or at midnight trying to pull it.
 

dun

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Once they go into active labor, really starting to push and or the water breaks, we wait 1 hour, if they haven't made significant progress we go in and check. If we see the feet and the calf isn't on the ground we wait around 45 minutes, if the calf isn't on the ground by then we go in and see what the problem is.

dun
 

txshowmom

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After they start hard labor we give them 1 hour. Ifd they haven't had the calf by then we pull it.
 

Texan

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txag":php7b18r said:
time of day also affects our decisions. if it's morning or early to mid-afternoon we may let them try a little longer. if it's getting close to dark, we'll sometimes go ahead & help them out (if they've been trying) so we're not out there in the dark or at midnight trying to pull it.
TXAG, sounds like you need to try out my principle of "Natural Selection for Daylight Calvers." PM me and I will be glad to share more info!
 

Beefy

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our cows are used to being watched, so general rule of thumb is to wait an hour after the water breaks, then depending on how i've seen them progress i may allow for more or less time. Dad gets mad when i call a breach and then we actually have to pull a breach. lol.
 

txshowmom

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We have some cows that we never even check because they just seem to spit them out everytime. Others we watch a little more carefully. If we have to pull more that one calf on a cow she's gone.
 

Cattle Rack Rancher

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The whole problem with this working/farming thing is quite often I have no idea how long a cow has been straining for. From the time I leave for work until the time I get home is about 11 hours out of my day.I lost two calves this year. The first was a malpresentation with head down between the legs. By the time I realized there was a problem and things weren't normal and the vet was 8 hours getting to my place, it was much too late. The only consoling factor was that he said he never would have gotten the calf out alive without a ceasarean and though I am an adventuresome sort, surgery is probably not something i would attempt. The second calf was hip locked. Checked her in the morning before I left and there was no sign, by the time I got home, the calf was dead and hanging half way out of her. Just lucky I didn't lose the cow as well. It was pretty hard on her and it took awhile to get her bred back. I do my best to keep a close eye on them when I'm home. Two came out with bags over their heads and I just happened to be watching and caught them in time, and i had to pull another one. He's a little slow, maybe oxygen deprivation. Just one of those years I guess.
 

TheBullLady

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That kind of situation can be very frustrating, especially when you have problems like that. We had two ranches up until February, and it was driving us crazy going back and forth all the time. And like you mentioned, sometimes by the time you get there you have no idea how long the cow has been trying to do something.

I feel your pain! Selling that place was a Godsend for us.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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According to University research study done on about 1800 Longhorn cows, 99.7% had unassisted, easy calving.

Hybrid Vigor? Longhorn Blood? Pelvic structure of Longhorn cows?

Whatever it is...they calve easily with low birthweight calves.

Know there are other easy calving breeds out there too.

Just some thoughts....
 

dun

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It's generally those malpresented calves that cause the problems for us. This year was an aberation as far as calving problems went. After not pulling a calf (even with the same bull) for a bunch of years from our herd, we had 3 heaifers that had huge calves, 2 of which we had to pull.

dun
 
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jgn

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Dun, that was the problem I ran into the other day. Had a older cow that has calved in the past without any problems, came home from work the other day to find her layed out on her side pushing as hard as she could.It looked like she had been at it most of the day. Pulled a large bull calf that she just couldn't get the head past and out. Same bull she was bred to last calf and it wasn't anywhere near this size. Seems he has started to throw a few here and there that are much larger than the others. I think some of these were due to it being a larger cow but don't know about the other ones. He had bred several heifers that calved this year and they all calved without any assistance.
 

sidney411

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Do you think the greater incidence of large calves this year could have anything to do with there being so much rain and a mild summer, I know our pastures are more lush and thicker then they have been in years?
 

dun

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sidney411":curooold said:
Do you think the greater incidence of large calves this year could have anything to do with there being so much rain and a mild summer, I know our pastures are more lush and thicker then they have been in years?

Since we calve in February and March it didn't have anything to do with it. I talked to the vet and he said it's been a strange year. Some areas seem to be having larger calves, but most places there is no difference. Just the luck of the draw I guess.

dun
 

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