cows calving -- for newbies -- pictures

Help Support CattleToday:

milkmaid

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
5,295
Reaction score
0
Location
Idaho
For those who wonder what normal will look like... (and those experienced folks feel free to add more to the info I've given)

Cows calving:
This black first-calf heifer took about 45 minutes, maybe a bit more from start to finish.

Tail extended, she's thinking about it...
12mucusb4calving.jpg


Laying down, front feet showing but enclosed in the sac...
12feetshowing.jpg


Up and sac has broken over the hooves...
12feetshowing_standing.jpg


There's the nose...
12noseshowing.jpg


All out... too fast to catch on camera
12calfout.jpg


Cleaning him off and he's up on his feet now...
12scalfstanding.jpg


Looking for a drink, he's headed in the right direction
12andcalfI_6908.jpg


Whew, that was a long day!
12andcalf_napping.jpg


And another series, courtesy of JerseyLily:
jersey lilly":3jr2w3bv said:
Thought those of you that are new at this might like photos of a cow birthin a baby. I caught this one last year, start to finish. Took all of about 30 minutes.

2006-04-10-007.jpg

Just gettin started when I pulled up.

2006-04-10-009.jpg

Walkin and doin circles.

2006-04-10-010.jpg

Lay down, get up, lay back down. I see one foot.

2006-04-10-014.jpg

Crossed the slough, I see two feet!!

2006-04-10-016.jpg

there's a head.....

2006-04-10-017.jpg

Here we go

2006-04-10-019.jpg

Almost there

2006-04-10-025.jpg

Whewww.....made it

2006-04-10-026.jpg

First bath

2006-04-10-033.jpg

Uhg....I just got here mom, I can't be that dirty.


2006-04-10-041.jpg

Taste Test.

2006-04-10-038.jpg

First Nap

There's a few points that need to be emphasized here:

1) If the cow is in active labor for much more than an hour -- straining, no calf, or feet showing but no more progress -- and the cow hasn't been disturbed (hard to make progress when you're constantly being checked on!) you need a vet or an experienced friend/neighbor/mentor to come check on and probably pull the calf.
2) If the back feet are showing the calf needs to be pulled ASAP. The calf only has about 4 minutes from the time the cord is broken until he dies when in a backwards presentation, and most cows can't spit the calf out that quickly.
3) If only one foot is showing, one foot plus a nose, both feet but no head, head but no feet, etc etc... vet needs to be called pronto.
4) Calf needs colostrum preferably within 2 hours, definitely within 12 hours, and after 24 hours if the calf hasn't had colostrum, you've got a tough battle ahead to keep the lil bugger alive. If you bottle feed it, give a half gallon ASAP after birth, and another half gallon 12 hours later.

Cows prior to calving (pics taken 12-24 hours before):

Older dairy cow -- note udder and teats are full and tight
cows552.jpg


Another older dairy cow -- note the full udder
311beforecalving08.jpg


Same cow -- note the sunken area around tail and hips, also the slab-sided appearance (esp on right side) signifying the calf has dropped into position for birth
home003.jpg


First calf dairy/beef cross heifer -- note the edema on her underline; some have it, some don't, it's normal and will go away in time
12profile6808.jpg


same heifer from the rear
12rearview6808.jpg


Beef heifer before calving -- note mucus and "floppy" vulva
priortocalving.jpg


Dairy influenced cows usually show more signs before calving and they'll have a bigger udder and softer vulva before calving than a beef cow will, generally. A dairy cow usually takes between 7 and 18 days from the time she starts bagging up until she calves. A beef cow may be much shorter. And a heifer, dairy or beef, doesn't follow any of the rules. :lol2:

If the beef folks have some more pics of beef animals that'd be appreciated...
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
11
Location
MO Ozarks
milkmaid":yfm9dzmg said:
2) If the back feet are showing the calf needs to be pulled ASAP. The calf only has about 4 minutes from the time the cord is broken until he dies when in a backwards presentation, and most cows can't spit the calf out that quickly.


If the calf is backwards the soles of the feet will be up instead of the top of the feet being up.
 

KNERSIE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
7,058
Reaction score
2
Location
3rd World
When correcting a malpresentation or pulling a backwards calf, make sure you have both front feet or both back feet and that both belong to the same calf!

If checking a cow out that don't make progress and you feel two front feet and a head, don't just assume it is a normal presentation and start pulling, always make sure there isn't backfeet there as well or even another calf underneath the normal presented one.

When pulling a backwards calf don't pull down.

Always use long palpation gloves when reaching inside a cow for whatever reason. (It's a case of do as I tell you, but don't do as I do :oops: )
 

spinandslide

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
1,064
Reaction score
0
Location
Northwest Texas
Ive got a questions..do all cows get up right as the calf is coming out? :D

I saw two photos where momma was getting to her feet and calf was in midair..:) Normal I guess for a cow? Our horses stay laying down til the foalis completly out and then rise..them calves are tough little boogers.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
11
Location
MO Ozarks
spinandslide":1pdx6amb said:
Ive got a questions..do all cows get up right as the calf is coming

Some do some don;t. Some calve standing up some laying down. Had one calve while she was walking to the water tank, didn;t slow down till the calf plopped out.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,674
Reaction score
1,182
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
our cows often calve and stay laying down, though we don't mind if they get up just before it pops out, there is a critical time just as the calf's head pops out is usually about the time the umbilical cord gets pinched off/broken, and if they aren't out, they can't breathe.. so you can end up with a bunch of retard cows (no, they aren't all retards), and then those ones are the ones that have a hard time finding the udder and will frustrate you forever!.. they also have a hard time learning what an electric fence is

maybe next year I'll see if I can get in on film and post it to youtube

you think a calf has it tough being born while the mother stands?? i believe giraffe's always stand while birthing
 

2DM Limousin

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Excellent Pictures. I just love a story with a great ending. That MIRACLE is always nice to watch. Thanks there Great.!!!
 

grand chaser09

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2008
Messages
428
Reaction score
0
dun":xr5bf4sg said:
spinandslide":xr5bf4sg said:
Ive got a questions..do all cows get up right as the calf is coming

Some do some don;t. Some calve standing up some laying down. Had one calve while she was walking to the water tank, didn;t slow down till the calf plopped out.

thats strange. every one we've ever had calving while standing we had to help. but never had any problems with the ones laying down. and we've only had 2 occassions where the calf wouldn't come out due to the head and neck being flipped back over the shoulder.
 

llucy69

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Bear Creek NC
OMGosh..I'm so excited. I just hope Sara's first goes smooth. Its our first experience too! She's a two year old Maine Anjou/Jersey cross..bred back to a Jersey bull. Thanks to all for the pictures. I can't wait!!
 

CCFARMS

Active member
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
If only i would have found this board a few days ago. Actually watched my first cow calf. It was a good learning experience but i had no clue.
 

snickers

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
260
Reaction score
0
Location
southern illinois
we've had several different presentations with calving and it's just awlful anywhich way it happens. we had a heifer with one foot and head no progress called the vet on that one. we've had'em backwards and each and everytime is a learning experience. I did buy my husband a calf puller for fathers day one year.
 

Dr. Lee

New member
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi milkmaid

Can I use one of your pictures for an article in the Georgia Cattlemen's magazine?

Dr. Lee
 

Alan

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
9,515
Reaction score
4
Location
NW Oregon
Dr. Lee":1ku2rxho said:
Hi milkmaid

Can I use one of your pictures for an article in the Georgia Cattlemen's magazine?

Dr. Lee

Oh oh, Milkmaid could be famous, does she need to get a bigger hat? :lol2: :lol2: .

Dr. Lee, you may have better luck getting a response from her by sending her a "private message", if you haven't already. This is a pretty old posting that never moves from the top..... She's posted some great and very helpful stuff that is now a permanent fixture on CT.

Alan
 
Top