When I arrived at work this morning Ben, Charlotte and Adam were in the barn, having just brought in a female cow that was about to calve. Adam has been working on the farm over the past few months, he is currently doing 25 hours a week and helps Ben on the farm with feeding etc. He is very keen and hard working and this morning helped deliver his first calf.
The hooves were already showing, however this had been the case for over an hour and it was obvious she needed some help to deliver her calf. Hence the reason she was brought inside.
The cow was becoming understandably aggitated. She was moved into a smaller pen head first and a chain was attached from the wall to the gate behind her. This made it safer for Ben and Adam to help with the delivery and made sure the cow did not back out and cause injury to herself and calf.
Once Ben had assessed the situation they tied a rope around each leg and began to pull gently. When the nose was appearing a tool called a calving aid was set up. The tool itself has a ‘U’ shaped top with a ridged pulley system on the pole. The ‘U’ shaped end fits around the back of the cow and the rope from each hoof is attached to each pulley, these are then wound back helping to pull the calf out.
Each contraction the cow had along with the calf being pulled by Ben and Adam, showed more and more of the calf and eventually the nose and most of its head was showing.
Eventually the head came out, which meant that the ropes could be taken off the hooves and the aid taken away. Ben Supported the calfs head whilst Adam cleared a path for the calf to be laid.
Together Ben and Adam pulled and the calf slid out looking quite healthy. Ben tapped it on the chest as it had a build up of mucus in its airway, it coughed and started to shake its head. It can take up to an hour for them to stand up, so the mother then frantically started cleaning her new baby.