My neighbor tears across our pasture in his pick up truck and tells me "There is a calf stuck, I need some help." So I jump in and we go over to this man's farm (my neighbor's friend) who is about 112 (actually 87) and has been knocked over by a cow that cannot give birth to her calf. He had been knocked down already when he tried to get it out.
My neighbor has a ton of varied experience including raising cattle so we managed to get the cow into a chute which is too narrow for the cow to turn around, its head is restrained and it can't get back out because you slide a pipe in behind. In order to get the calf out, which by this point was clearly dead he needed to wrap a chain around the front hoofs and use a winch. In a word, this process was - gross. Gradually the calf emerged, first its front legs, then its head, tongue hanging, dripping mucus, followed by its body, and finally, thankfully the hind legs emerged and it was over.
We let the cow out of the chute and it immediately collapsed, apparently cows have a natural anaesthesia when giving birth. But after a few minutes she was back on her feet and seemed more or less ok.
Afterwards, my neighbor, whose hands had been absolutely covered in blood and cow poop by this operation remarked as we drove away that whats been on a farmer's steering wheel could fill up a book and I thought that would make quite the country song.
1 year ago