Censored: Cow calving photos

"Springing" Tuesday, 5/24/2011

First fluid sac Friday, 5/27/2011 1:30pm

Second fluid sac, 2pm

Front hoof appears, 2:30pm

Second hoof, 2:50

Finally, a calf! 3:00

Abby, Mary's new heifer

First steps

Mother and baby worn out

Mary's second birth did not go as quickly as it should have.  She stalled out for quite a while after the first hoof was showing, and I had a neighbor on call to help if she did not progress.  As you can see, Abby was born covered in yellow fluid, which is not normal to a healthy birth.  My best guess is that the calf passed her first BM in utero (this can happen to human babies) as a response to stress in the birth.  In hindsight, I wish that I had left Mary to calve outside in a place of her own choosing.  Cows in the barn are easier to help if necessary, but cows outside are more comfortable.  I wiped as much of the yellow off of her face as I could before Mary took over the task.  Abby was a little slow to nurse that afternoon and didn't come clean until after the next day.  In contrast to all my close (and possibly detrimental) observation of Mary's birth, Martha had her bull calf in the pasture the next day before I knew she was even close!

Mary with Martha and Asher just hours after his birth 5/28/2011

Asher was born just a white and beautiful as any calf could be.  He was dry and bouncy long before Abby was full recovered.  Now, a month later, both calves are healthy and curious.  They play chase and king of the hill equally well.  Abby is still a few pounds bigger than her brother and is more interested in me than he is.