The Birthing Process

I attempted to catch a heifer deliver her first calf last night but after four hours of waiting on the animal I was told would be “delivering soon,” I conceded. The calf, which was more than 100-pounds at birth, was too large for the mother to deliver on her own and came into the world with a little help from her owners. The process of “pulling” a calf doesn’t hurt the calf or its mother and in many situations, prevents the death or suffocation of the baby calf. The new baby, being larger than normal and therefore having a little more difficulty getting acquainted with its new legs, received a warm meal, via a bottle, at about midnight. Last night was busy for the farm, not only was the above discussed calf born, but two additional calves made their entrance into the world during the night. It was cold but fortunately for the heifers and their owners, the rain stayed away. Calving is not a nine-to-five jobs and cattlemen are at the mercy of their animals during birthing season. The nights may be long and sometimes grueling, but seeing new calves running, jumping and playing with one another will bring a smile to anyone’s face.

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