The general signs to watch for are restlessness, laying down getting up laying down getting up, the vulva being very lose and floopy the tail head looks more prominent, the bulg that's been on the right side is gone, Seperating from the others, etc. Could have all, any or none of those signs.
Just keep an eye on her if you see her in labour - often the calf arrives during the night or when you turn your back, but she shouldn't take more than about an hour from the feet showing to the calf landing, if all is going well.
Once the calf is on the ground he should stand and start suckling within a couple hours - you'll need to feed him colostrum or assist suckling if he doesn't. And it's helpful to spray his navel with iodine to prevent infection.
A couple of hours!?!?! :shock: :shock: He/she should be up and sucking within 30 minutes - 15 is better - if not, intervention is required. If you live in a cold climate and you wait a couple of hours for a calf to suck, you've usually got a dumb calf who is too cold to suck(if you're lucky), or a dead calf(if you're not).
Wyoming? I thought I'd seen plenty cold climate... mind you, in Scotland we'd have been calving indoors in winter.
After a couple of hours the suckling instinct tends to fade. That's why I chose that time, not for calf survival because it's never been that critical where I've farmed. For sure, unless there's something wrong (weak calf, contracted tendons, poor udder, first-calver, twin) nearly every calf is feeding within thirty minutes.
Well not sure if you ment she was a cow or heifer. About 2 weeks before you will see her lose her vaginal plug. That will be a jelly like substance from her vulva, It will mostly be stuck to her rump or tail. That is the first indecation (approx 2 weeks) then when you see her water sac, you are real close. Once you see pertrution of the feet put her on the clock. (We give 2hrs) watch for the proper presentation. Front hoves down with nose on top. Let her do her thing and most likly all will be fine. If she had not had it after 2 or so hours, aid her either with your skills or the vet. Let her do her thing, don't bother her and get her to exicited. Lot of times we dry the calf off and rub it briskly to get the blood flowing good. Also helps in cold weather. Get back and let the calf learn to stand and he will hunt for the meal ticket on his own. If he has not sucked.12 to 15 hours later, We drinch with colostrum/electorlites and go from there. Hope I've helped. Enjoy the miracle of birth. Dan.