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 Pulling a Calf
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maryjane

6883 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2017 :  10:36:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With two calves due this week, I'm boning up on how to attach chains to a calf's two legs. Here's a good video about how to attach the chains.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aIcnLBXdL0&list=PLFNau6BgthzxIIvTeyR_qefRVpj-6prq0

I have two chains (one for each foot) and two handles, the idea being my cow would probably already be laying down, so I'd find someone else to assist me (hopefully), and we'd sit on the ground behind the cow and gently pull. Hopefully, we'd be getting some contractions to help us. If we had a wall or something rigid nearby, perhaps we could brace our feet against that or maybe even the hind end of the cow. I've watched it done here by a vet and that is how she and her assistant did it.



If it's just me and I felt like I could pull better with both hands on only one handle, I would hook the two chains together with this. I have two of them in case I feel like I need to shorten the chains by doubling back on them.



I purchased my two chains and handles from my vet. The chains are called 30" twist link OB chains.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~

maryjane

6883 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2017 :  10:48:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a video of a woman my size pulling a calf with assistance from a device that would be a good idea to have on hand. Notice that she didn't attach the chains the way they were attached in the above video. I like the idea of the double wrap shown in the first video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxjj1Ue-aXE&index=3&list=PLFNau6BgthzxIIvTeyR_qefRVpj-6prq0

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Apr 22 2017 :  2:45:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
a good refresher. i am thankful i got all this stuff when sally was approaching her due date, but now it is just in a rubbermaid in the barn to hopefully never be used.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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NellieBelle

11033 Posts


Posted - Apr 24 2017 :  10:44:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've had to pull and assist in 3 of the five births. I don't have the chains or handles to pull with but twice I've used rope and once my hands, towels wrapped around ankles of calf for grip. (slippery). It would be nice to have the equipment on hand if you needed it. May invest in them. A couple of times it took everything I had. It would be nice if someone with arm strength were present. Nellie is the one I have to watch. Hoping she breezes through this next time.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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NellieBelle

11033 Posts


Posted - Apr 24 2017 :  11:17:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the double wrap maneuver better too. Wouldn't the 60" chain be enough to wrap both legs at appropriate areas and pull from the middle? I may get some rope and make the loops and see if that would be plenty long or if a person is better off with two chains.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - Apr 24 2017 :  1:53:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the only thing i can compare it to janet is when i had to try to pull Bea up when she was caught under the gate.

the vet was on the phone attempting to explain to me how to take a rope and wrap it this way, and that way, and up around the head, and around the hose, and around again, and then make bunny ears and loop them, then around the rose bush, etc, etc, you get it... and i finally just asked, "can't i just put a halter on her and pull with the lead", and he said, "oh yes, most cattle people don't have that. that is a better option".

anyway, boy was that hard to pull and i felt that i was literally at the end of my strength before i even felt her assisting a bit. i can't even imagine what pulling a calf might be like, but am always better prepared with you gals around here.


Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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NellieBelle

11033 Posts


Posted - Apr 24 2017 :  2:08:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know. And the adrenaline is pumping like crazy. I have learned to breathe and try to stay calm. That's easier said than done most times, but calm is good. So preparation like you have Cindy with things ready in your rubbermaid container is the best. It never fails whenever the vet comes there is something he has left in his car or dropped, so it's good to have your own container full of the needed essentials, near and at the ready.

To laugh is human but to moo is bovine. Author Unknown
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maryjane

6883 Posts


Posted - Apr 26 2017 :  4:24:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Connie was here when Ester Lily went into labor. Both of us were kneeling on the straw behind her when two feet emerged (Yay!), then a bit of the nose (double Yay!) but then she had several good contractions and nothing happened (in the births I've been around for like Miss Daisy's recently, that part happens super fast). Then we saw Lizzy's tongue hanging out the side so we each grabbed a leg and pulled whenever Ester Lily pushed with a contraction but it wasn't happening. So I put a gloved hand in and gently lifted the vulva up over the forehead and pulled the foot I had with one hand while Connie pulled her foot with both hands. At that point we felt like we were running out of time so we were getting nervous and pulling as hard as we could. Two more pushes and pulls and out she popped. Yes, the adrenaline is amazing. I called the vet once when one of mine went down with bloat and my voice was high-pitched and squeaky (geez). Cindy, your ordeal takes the cake. Holy cow, what they don't put us through.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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