Two minuses equals a positive. I’ve heard this saying many times and I don’t think it applies to life. Most of the time. During calving, you often take two miserable and depressing events and make them into one happy one.
For instants, Newt had his first prolapse since 2004. (Well, he didn’t prolapse, the heifer did.) Prolapse strikes fear in the hearts of ranchers and vets alike. What is prolapse you ask? I’m glad you did. When a cow calves, there is lots of pushing and straining. Sometimes the body isn’t able to keep the uterus inside, and ploop out comes the large organ. (If you would like more information on the work involved in putting prolapses back into cows, I will refer you to “All Creatures Great & Small” by Dr. James Herriot, a vet in England in the 1940’s. Wonderful book.) Two threats arise: 1) the organ swells even more, making it more difficult to put and keep back in. 2) The uterus is hanging from a thread, a great weight on a small piece of tissue, SNAP, the uterus breaks off and the animal bleeds out. This is what happened to Newt’s heifer. She was dead in minutes. I’m not sure what Newt did, but I would have cussed and swore and thrown a tantrum there in the lot. OK, really, I would have passed out from the site of blood.
Negative #1: dead mom, live calf, no colostrum (the first milk that is VERY important to the calf’s health).
Negative #2: refer back to “Calving Widow” post, the C-section and a 102 lb bull calf. This calf and cow were placed in the barn away from the cold, wet weather. The calf managed to flop his way through the gate and perish in the mud.
Negative x Negative = Positive. I took math and this was the equation and it works in calving, too.
Live Calf (no colostrum) + Mom with No Calf = One Happy Couple.