Bovine Caesarian / Calving Advice
Cows calving are generally best left alone to get on with the job, as cows prefer to calve when least activity is going on around them. That said, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on any cow’s progress through the calving process from a little distance.
Pedigree well muscled cows and heifers in particular should be regularly monitored to make sure everything is going to plan.
If a cow is not progressing, then you should investigate the possible causes:
- Can you see feet and a nose protruding?
- Is she straining hard with no evidence of feet or nose present?
- Has she gone well over her due date?
- Is there any discharge from her back end?
- Is she restless for few days but no sign of opening up?
- Have pin bones dropped?
- Is she off on her own and looking uncomfortable but no progress?
Gentle palpation with gloved hand and lots of lube gel, may give the answer to a lot of these questions.
If in doubt or you think the calf is too big or malpresented then call for veterinary advice or ask for a call out for assistance.
Bovine caesarians are fairly commonplace these days and if the decision is made early enough, without too much manipulation of the calf, then a succesful caesarian should lead to live cow & calf and succesful breeding form the cow in the next year. Continuous efforts over many hours of trying to clave the cow with ropes and calving jacks will increase the chances of producing a dead calf and possibility of infection in the cow.
If in doubt, please ask for assistance, 24hrs a day.