Sunday, April 29, 2012

The guilt of death in farm life.

While checking cows on Thursday evening Jake found a cow doing the "walk" and it seemed she may be calving soon.  Jake thought since she was laying so close to a smaller field right outside the barn, that he would go ahead and run her into the paddock.  He felt positive that she would calve on her own and things would be fine.  Later that night he got her in and checked her and she wasn't dilated, so he was still confident she would calve without his assistance.  In the morning he went up and looked in on her and she seemed to be behaving normally.  By that evening when he went to check on her again, he knew there was a problem.  She was circling and seemed uncomfortable.  He got her in the chute and found a calf breech with the tail coming first and the back legs were under the calf. I guess a simpler way to say it would be they had a butt and a tail.

Or even better than words . . . a picture.
The way this calf was coming! This picture shows why their is no sign of the calf coming out.  She is pushing, but she is unable to push anything out for you to be able to see that she may need help.

That is double trouble. He called in Steve for re-enforcement.  Although they knew the calf would be dead, at this point they hoped to save the cow.  Anyone who has calved cows will tell you, it is really difficult to catch a calf coming backwards.  Still Jake was upset.  This was the first calf he has lost this year that he claims to be his fault.  He told me just today, because I haven't talked to him much about it until today that he was "hoping for a perfect score" this year.

The way you hope the calf to be born.

Jake immediately went out to find one of the twins to get started on this cow.  The most disappointing part of the story comes this morning.  Jake went out to ride through the cows and check the last few we are waiting to calve and he swings by the barn to check the cow and new calf adoption. When he got to the barn, there the cow laid dead.  Jake is angry, sad and disappointed.  He hauled the calf back to it's mom and now has a 1250 pound cow to plan a funeral for.

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