Oh those cows-they are always changing our plans! Tonight we thought we would head out to the farm early and finish chores early so we could "hit the hay" early, but those darn cows had different plans. When we got to the farm...we found a cow who had calved this afternoon. She was laying on her side, and appeared to have been laying there for quite some time. Since we were both busy with other activities today, we could not be at the farm to keep an eye on her. Normally cows will have calves with no problems, but this cow had some problems. She was suffering from calving paralysis. Calving paralysis is when a nerve in the back of a cow's spine gets pinched during the calving process. Pressure from calving causes the nerve to be "pinched off" and stops the brain's ability to control that part of the body. This cow was unable to move her rear legs and as a result rolled herself onto her side-and she couldn't get up.
We immediately rushed to her aid! She received intravenous fluids and some pain killers to help reduce the inflammation pinching of her spine. We used the loader tractor and a lift to move her out of the dry cow pen and into a shady corner of the grove. We gave her some water and feed, as well as sprinkled her with some cold water to help cool her down. After we finished chores at 10:30pm tonight we went back to the grove to check on her. While she still hasn't stood up, she looked more comfortable. She also ate and drank-both excellent signs!
Now to the issue of her calf...that tricky little heifer, which we have named "Hanska" was running around in the heifer pen all day, and found herself a corner next to the cucumber patch to sleep. It was so cute, but I was searching for her for over 30 minutes! We also returned to the barn after milking to feed her colostrum. She drank a gallon and wanted so much more, but that will wait until tomorrow morning.
While feeding heifers we also found another heifer that was ready to breed, so we also had to catch her and artificially inseminate her. We chose to use AI, because it is safer than owning a bulls which can kill people, and it is cheaper than feeding a bull on farm.
Phew! I am getting tired just thinking about all of the stuff we did tonight! So off to bed I go....it's another long day tomorrow!