At my house, not only should we be celebrating my wonderful mother, but also the 450+ cows who since February have been giving birth and now raising and nurturing their young calf. I can personally say that calving time is one of my favorite parts of the year. The main reasons are because the majority of all the cattle are home, with the exception of the young heifers. This doesn't happen very often and its a very nice site! Also I find watching a newly born calf try to stand for the first time and then seeing them out in the field with the other calves running and kicking with joy both extremely cute and gratifying. I find it so gratifying because with the assistance and care by supplying feed and water to the mother cow, you are able to see a new generation of birth that is rewarding to yourself.
Sadly this winter my life was on the crazy side and I hardly got to spend time out by the barns. I regret not being able to find more time to watch the cycle of life continue. Instead I plan on just spending quite a bit of time with the cattle this spring and summer, before I go off to school.
Many people are not really aware of all the involvements, processes, and sadly problems that occur at calving time. This year at Lilybrook Herefords we didn't have the best of luck with our calving. The cows pushing the calves out worked out great! It was the afterwards keeping the calves a live. We had deaths for a variety of reasons, both on the strange side and on the normal side.
Today I'm going to touch a bit on a Twisted Gut. I myself would like to learn a bit more on this, because one of my own calves we believe had one after opening him up and examining.
- A twisted gut happens when there is either a blockage or a calf take a sudden movement, causing one or more loops of the intestine to twist over the other one.
- This then leads to the blood supply being cut off, and it can become extremely swollen and painful for the calf.
- Also the blockage of food travel occurs. This causes the food to just sit there and not digest.
- There is really no cure for a twisted gut. With the exception of an operation where you remove the affected loops of intestine, stitch the ends together and hope for the best! This is very expensive and the recovery is not guaranteed.
With looking up at the information above there is evidence of my calf having the twisted gut. I never seen the inside but as my dad described it, his liver and some of his intestine were black-meaning he did not receive any blood because of the twist. And he had large amounts of undigested food just sitting in his stomach. The stench apparently wasn't very pleasant either!
If you guys have any more questions about calving feel free to ask and I will do a blog post on them! I would also love to hear your calving stories. For those that are still calving, Good Luck!