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Thursday, March 21, 2013

A cow named Zipper

Probably the most exciting thing that has happened since I last wrote was the incident of the “Zipper” cow.  One Saturday night I stayed up watching Snow White and the Huntsman (a terrible movie, I would not recommend it) and got to bed at about 10:00pm. Two hours later I got up and did my night check. Fairly uneventful, I just put a heifer that was starting to calve in the barn. The protocol for calving heifers is to stay up until they have calved to be sure there aren’t complications. I waited for her to do something for about an hour or so and when she wasn’t even showing feet I knew something was wrong.  I got some help, saying that we needed to pull a calf . . . if only it had been that simple.  But what we found inside was very strange. Was it backwards? Was it in a curled position? Bunched up? Twins maybe? For three hours they tried to figure out what position the calf was in.  The calf was not going to come out; everybody was out of ideas and ready to put the poor cow down.  In a desperate attempt to save the cow, they decided to do an emergency Caesarean section.  Quickly, back into the house to grab needles, freezing, razors, scalpels, pliers, liquid myosin, oxytocin, warm water, iodine and a tail block (to stop her contractions).  The incision was made, kept as clean as possible, and the calf lifted out. It was dead by then. Just as they were beginning to sew her uterus up, she lay down. This is a very bad when you are trying to be hygienic.  I was holding her tail, which had been wrapped around the side of the chute to keep her still. Therefore, I basically had to hold up this cow by her tail. I am here to tell you that this is not the easiest thing to do, even when leaning my whole body weight on it I could barley make it stay.  However, soon I had help and we managed to chain her tail to keep her up.  By the time everything was said and done it was 7:00 in the morning and I was starting to fall asleep on my feet. The cow was put in a pen, shot up with drugs and was not given a high life expectancy. After that eventful night/morning, I went on to work for the rest of the day, finally crashing in the late afternoon.  But, I am pleased to announce that the heifer is doing very well; the surgery was almost two weeks ago and she is on her third dose of long lasting liquid myosin.  I always knew she would make it!

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure, Olivia! Farming surely is a tough life.