Every day on the farm is one I value, but those days when I can see a new life come into the world are my favorite.
It's the end of April and I would like to be done calving by now, but I didn't get the bull pulled from the pasture as soon as I had hoped last fall so I have two stragglers.
Through the years I've gained skills needed to raise cattle and be able to do it on my own. I have a small cow herd and with small numbers, it is even more important to save every calf. When I get to this point in calving, I tend to expect cows to do most everything on their own, but I do know there are times when they need help.
This morning, a 12-year-old cow decided it was time to calve. I also bring cows to the barn to calve, which may be against some people's management techniques, but this way I already have them in if they need help. This morning was one of those days.
My rule is a cow should have a calf within a couple hours after the water bag breaks. That time came and I decided it was time to help ol' 703. She's a great mom and might've gotten him out if I would've given her the time, but I value a live calf. Another rule on my farm is I don't pull a calf by myself. Yes, I'm capable, but with animals and calving equipment, things can go wrong.
Thankfully, my parents were outside doing yardwork and I told them on the way to the barn, I may need help. Cows are restrained in our calving pen when I pull calves. I did all this and pulled the calf by myself since my dad showed up as the last crank of the calf puller went down and the calf was completely out. A tame cow and a calf that wasn't too big made the process easy.
Dad then called me, "The Amazing Dr. Jenn." He's a fan of Dr. Pol. What comes after the cow is released from her halter is my favorite part of the entire birth. I recorded it to share. It's a good day to be born.