The birth of a calf: how to prepare and take birth in a cow


Responsible and joyful process - giving birth to a cow. Each owner is experiencing that the animal is well tolerated calving and a healthy calf was born. We will talk about how to prepare a cow for childbirth and what to do to help the cow before, during and after calving.

How to prepare for childbirth?

First of all, the animal must be under constant surveillance. When a cow gives birth, she begins to behave differently than she always does: she is worried, changes body position, and can even run away into the field to hide from everyone. If you already understand that childbirth is about to begin, you need to wash the udder and back, including the threshold of the vulva. For these purposes, a solution of potassium permanganate is used. Obstetric veterinary care is usually not required, the doctor is called only if the birth is with complications.

Healthy animals usually cope on their own, but it so happened that a person is present when a calf is to be born. This does not happen every day and forethought in this matter will not interfere. Most often, childbirth is held standing, less often - in the supine position. Next, we will look at how to prepare for the birth of a baby and what actions need to be done even before the beginning of calving.

Room preparation

The room is prepared for calving to minimize possible calf infections. The floor, walls and all inventory, including the feeders, are disinfected using caustic soda solution (2%) or creolin solution (2%). The litter is usually changed to fresh a little in advance, so that it warms up and smells like a cow. The best litter is straw, but it is better to refuse sawdust in the room where the bed animal is located. The following video shows the help of the cow at weak attempts - useful material for those who are faced with weak contractions in an animal.

Special diet

A week before delivery, the cows begin to give legumes or cereal hay, and the concentrates are cut to a kilogram per day or removed completely. Argued that juicy food harms before calving. This belief is due to the increasing likelihood of edema and abortion. Hay and silage diets are the most favorable for the future cow mother. Food from udder edema, unfortunately, does not save, but regular long walks - yes.

Signs of upcoming childbirth

If the birth is close, it can be perfectly understood.

  • The first sign is maturation, that is, the beginning of lactation. Milk appears in the udder, it happens at least one day before the birth of the calf, and even 2 weeks. If the udder nipples begin to stick out, this is a sure sign that everything is about to begin.
  • The second sign is swelling of the vulva. It softens, forms folds and is well visible to the eye.
  • The third sign - lowering the tail.

  • The fourth indicator is the nervousness of the animal, attempts to kick its own belly. The cow is unpleasant, because the process of labor is painful in itself. She moos and changes body position, clogged in a secluded place in the barn or goes to the corner of the pen.
  • The fifth sign - the selection of a transparent color from the vulva. This is the mucus from the cervix and vagina, which facilitates the process of calf discharge.
  • The last signs are the descending sides (which means the fetus has moved towards the exit) and the discharge of fetal waters. Fetal bag or bubble moves in front of the cub.

The following video will help to more fully present the generic process.

Calf Birth Process

Normally, calves are born naturally and the cow itself cares for them. But if the fetus is large and does not come out, then auxiliary manipulations from the side are required. Next we offer you basic information about natural childbirth and the process of childbirth with the help of a person.

In a natural way

Important! To begin with, let's say that before a responsible day a cow should be shown to a veterinarian. This will help to know the condition of the fetus and the mother, as well as to protect against possible complications!

In the process of uterine contraction, the calf moves along the birth canal to the exit of the vulva. Contractions last about 12 hours, after which the amniotic fluid. The second stage - the removal or birth of a calf. Contractions are lengthened, and the intervals between them are reduced.

If you see that the animal is relatively calm, and the process is normal, do not interfere. A calf will be born, a cow will lick it dry and then everything will go naturally. The following video demonstrates standard hotel assistance.

With human intervention

If a pair of calf limbs appeared in the birth canal, and from that moment half an hour or more has passed, then there is cause for concern. It is necessary to help the cow to give birth. Here it is important to prevent a major mistake: you should not pull the calf along the axis of the cow’s torso. Proper stretching of the fetus is carried out in the direction of itself and upwards, otherwise you may damage the knees of the baby. To make it easier to pull, the legs of the calf tied with a thick rope, not less than a centimeter in diameter.

After extraction, the baby is cut the umbilical cord (if it does not disappear itself). The umbilical cord is tied at 15 cm from the calf's abdomen, and cut 1.5 cm from the site of the knot. Next, slip the calf to the cow so that it licked. This natural process is beneficial to both: mucus, getting into the stomach of the mother cow, stimulates secretion.

But the calf in the process of licking leaves urine and fecal masses, it warms and feels care. If the animal refuses to lick the cub, wipe it dry with a ironed cloth and then sprinkle with wheat bran to attract the cow.

Care of the calf after calving

After calving, cows are given fresh, high-quality hay and warm water. The next day, they begin to give feed concentrates, and from 5 days they feed them with green or succulent feeds, gradually forming the ration according to the yield. The edema udder is massaged, and so that the edema is more likely to disappear, the animal is often milked (up to 6 times a day).

If the hotel has passed without complications, for 2-3 days the cow can be let out for a walk. The room where the calf lives with the mother is constantly cleaned, since the cow has postpartum discharge. The remains of the afterbirth, the placenta and the membranes of the fetus usually come out as a reddish mass immediately after calving or within 12 hours.




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