Donna is a 2 1/2 yr old Jersey heifer due to have her first calf. She has been restless and pacing for the past two days. This morning she was off by herself with strong indicators that she was in late 1st/early 2nd stage labour. It looked like she would have her calf this afternoon. Then everything stopped and she went back to pacing, tail swishing, and occasional licking her sides. She just looked miserable. We have had beef girls pull this stunt but they always go back to looking normal, eating drinking weeing and pooing. We also had a beef girl with similar presentation and we waited and the calf died. So after lunch we ran her into the yards and I sleeved up. She is roomy and her cervix was soft but not dilated. The calf’s feet were on the rim of the pelvis but I couldnt feel any more of the calf. So its not engaged yet.
So I am reassured but not reassured. She seems to be stalled at this state of readiness. So nothing is apparently wrong but my gut is telling me its not normal.
questions Is this drama a Jersey thing? Anna certainly didnt carry on like this. DH reckons I should be gloving her again tomorrow afternoon. I think thats too invasive and increases the risk of introducing infection. Is there a possibility the calf has died, the feet felt small to me. Is it worth getting the vet out.
It’s all new to heifers so they tend to exaggerate things. Calf moving into position - oh no, I feel funny!
First couple of contractions - oh no, I’m dying!
If the calf is dead, the calf is dead. Nothing you do now will change that. Until her cervix is fully dilated and the calf progresses into the birth canal, attempting to intervene by pulling is just going to cause damage to her.
The most you could contemplate doing is inducing labour but that takes 36 hours. Chances are she’ll have calved on her own by then, based on what you’re saying.
Your description of her actions, paired with what you felt on palpation, Id say the calf turned into position. So she should be slab sided now? I’d expect a labour in 12-18 hours if she is. What do her udder and pins look like?
I think that she is a doing a me when I had Beth. Yes, No, Yes, No. Well and truely *expletives* over it. "Mummy make it stop". Standing at the gate was her way of calling you to complain. Provided she is not down and pushing with no effect and no signs of infection just watch her. You are doing all you can. Does not take away the anxiety and stress though. I'm sorry she is miserable. You are a good mumma
If what I've frequently read is true, that fetal calves do proportionately most of their growth in the last trimester and since the hooves were small, than perhaps she actually needs to keep that bun in the oven a little longer. 1 to 3 pounds a day for the last couple of days of growth is often quoted on the internet for cow fetal growth during the last couple of weeks of gestation. I've had cows look pretty miserable the last couple weeks of pregnancy that had completely normal births. As a matter of fact I have a half Jersey half Brahma that has been slab sided for days with a big pop out vulva, and huge engorged udder. Today I was sure there would be a calf on the ground, and nope, nothing. What little I can see of your most current pictures the cow looks healthy based on skin color and posture. My feeling is not to intervene, glove, unless the cow is restless for a lengthy period or listless for a short period of time. It's possible the stress of gloving slowed things down. It seems they can delay birthing until they feel safe in some cases. I think Jersey's get the drama queen reputations because they look so ready. Some of my beef cows can walk around with a pretty full udder for awhile and not attract any attention.
Thanks nina , having had a couple of close calls and a calf death with my beef girls has led me to be a bit more interventionist. I am very emotionally invested in both Donna and Anna and I dont want anything adverse to happen.
Now if only the transport company would rock up with my milker. Too much stress altogether.
Good news is I have been offered a 3 day old, Jersey freisian cross for FREE. I dare you to tell me I shouldn’t take her.
Post by mommasquilts on Jan 13, 2019 23:27:38 GMT -5
I didn’t realize Tilly was that old. I thought she was much younger. She looks great and has been doing an amazing job for you. She might surprise you and still be productive when this little charmer is up and running. We have one old cow that has gone grey (black Angus) around her eyes and muzzle and still produces a calf each year.
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