Ups and downs of calving

This weather reminds me more of April than March. It is certainly good weather for those who are just starting to get calves. The little drizzle that we received last night has softened things up, but it didn’t leave a bunch of puddles. The barn yard is sticky, but it isn’t gross – yet!

I had another exciting week on the farm. I was working on my computer and did look at the barn camera, but couldn’t see much. For some reason I felt that should go look at my last few cows. I hadn’t been in the house that long.

I found a very small calf. A preemie, out of my last heifer. She and the other cow were busy trying to get it moving and I was shocked that it was breathing. I quickly picked it up and brought it in the barn. It was maybe 40lbs.

The heifer came in with me, but she was not sure what was going on. It was too small to stay in the barn so off to the house we went. I called Dr. Stacey and told her what I had. He was the cutest little thing. The lungs are the last thing to develop and if she was bred on the last day the bull was pulled this would put him three weeks to a month early.

We dried him all off, gave him a steroid and decided we would have to tube him to get some colostrum into him. It was a guessing game if he would make it or not.

I ran to Emo to see if I could get something smaller to tube him but there wasn’t anything. The tube you use on a regular calf pretty much plugged his small esophagus, but we tried.

At one point I thought he was improving but by that evening it didn’t look good and he passed away just before midnight. I felt bad but gave it our best effort.

The heifer was sad and confused. Maybe there was more going on than we knew but it is hard to not put in some effort when you see the sweet little thing.

I had some success on the farm as well. I had a calf that was just not 100 per cent. She had been treated with a respiratory issue and that seemed to be fine, but she just didn’t have the get up I wanted her to have.

I had her in the barn and out of the barn. Finally I was wondering if her stomach wasn’t working properly.

I ended up giving her a few probiotics that I had left over from my Black Bettie and plain yogurt and we have her fixed up! We were thinking that maybe the med’s affected the rumen. Either way, she seems to be back on track.

There is never a dull moment on a farm, and it seems to offer challenges in so many ways.

Maddie and Marlee welcomed a new bundle of joy to their home! A female chocolate lab puppy joined the family over the weekend. The girls had done multiple presentation to their mom and dad in hopes of convincing them they should have a puppy! The last one must have been a good one as “Berkley Bliss” has joined the family!