Commander revisited

WARNING: no not read if you’re squeamish.

Normality returned here today after yesterdays shenanigans. It’s a bank holiday for most people in Ireland, but that doesn’t mean much round here. It’s been eight days since commander had her twins. Twins are never good news for dairy cows, and so it has proved with commander. She calved down much thinner than we would like, and also retained her placenta, so it’s nine days later and since she wasn’t clearing herself, I had to play the role of bovine gynecologist 😦 The placenta will usually have detached itself at this stage, so it’s just a matter of making sure the cervix is open and then just pulling gently until it all comes out. Then just try to remove all remaining fluids, and finally insert what’s called a “wash out” to make sure that no infection occurs. Not a nice job but necessary.

Commander after calving

I was down down in the field an hour later, and she came up to me and started licking my clothes. I think that was her way of saying thanks.


2 comments so far

  1. laurie on

    fascinating. i spent a day once following a farm veterinarian around–watched him stick his hand into a cow up to the elbow, and watched him perform surgery to untwist a stuck stomach, and watched him castrate a whole bunch of calves (they seemed angrier at being separated from their mothers than by the little crunch-crunch procedure). it was a great day. what you do is SO interesting.
    (and yes, i realize you’re not a vet. but you’re sort of your own vet, in some ways.)
    hope commander gains the weight she needs.

  2. admin on

    I’m one of the few that has trained to do my own AI (Artificial Insemination). It was a week long course and dealt with everything concerning the cow’s reproductive system from: How it works, to what can go wrong and how to fix problems. So I do kinda know what I’m doing. it is a strange feeling for the first few times, but you get used to it.
    Taking calves away from their mothers at a few months only really happens on suckler farms. Our cows stay with their calves for only a day or so, and then return to the milking herd. It would be too much to manage otherwise.

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