To the Pool

    We bought bred cows some time back and the last one just calved, three weeks this Friday.  Well, things didn't go as planned and she hasn't gotten up since.  We found her the next morning covered in afterbirth sprawled on her side with a HUGE bull calf behind her.  Bull calves are usually a lot larger than their counterparts.  We addressed the situation at hand which was to get her back upright. Dad and I figured out real quick that we couldn't get her upright by ourselves luckily, we had friends, neighbors and family to help! Once we got her upright, I went to move the calf.  Now, I have already said bulls are larger than heifers but that also relates to me! I couldn't get that calf moved to save my life so I called in the reinforcements, my DAD!! As farmers, we must be resourceful.  Our vet is our biggest resource, we have two actually.  He called us in an anti-inflammatory steroid to start giving her because she has swelling from being on her side.  After giving it to her we looked for the hip lifts.  We hate using them because, although a cow has a tough hide it still rubs them raw after awhile.  That being said, we started thinking about alternatives.  I am a student at the University of TN and we have a float tank at the Vet school, now the tank is a good hour drive.  Since the cow couldn't walk but our vet gave us a great prognosis we knew we had to try our hardest.  The big question was "how are we getting her there?" My dad suggested we lift her into the cattle trailer, I suggested we lift her into a pickup. Now, my idea was genius but going down a popular highway....that could turn bad.  Misinterpretation could hurt the cow and us very badly.  Anybody that would pass us would pull out there phones, see her raw hips and bed sores and call animal rights/activist.  There would be a lot of ohhhs and ahhhs but nobody would know how hard we worked to get her to this point, how much money and time we put into her well being; by-standers would only see the worst.  The bill we will receive will go to us, not the animal rights supporters, I give her two injections each day, I cried over her, I slept next to her.  I skipped class to help her.  I am a farmer foremost and I will do anything for the well-being of my livestock.  Fast-forward to today; I am standing on the bus going to class when my dad calls! He has her standing, supported by the hip-lifts when he goes to lay her back down and she stands ON HER OWN!  Just the other day, the vet stopped by to check on her progress and gave us the same verdict...she'll get up eventually.  Two days later, she is supporting her weight all on her own!  Our gut told us to not give up on her, both our veterinarians agreed and almost three weeks later, she's almost back out to pasture! 


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