Birth

“I no longer want to eat that big ass steak I wanted seeing your pictures last week. I think it’s the poop and the blood and stuff together. I mean, I can blow someone’s head off in a video game and be fine, but this makes my stomach turn. Which means that you posting this is a good thing, because I feel like the reverse should be true”… – James Wall

I’m glad my friend James agrees with me. Again I think as a society we are removed from all things gross, unless it is in the movies, on TV or in a video game. Since we dealt with death last week, we deal with life this week, here is my Wordless Wednesday.

Again – if you have questions, please leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail. I will answer anything you want to know.

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Cattle sometimes need help giving birth or “calving”. This happens for a variety of reasons – from using bulls whose EPD’s are too high, or simply a baby calf gets twisted around. Often time heifers or – cows that have never given birth – need the most help. Remember the blog post I did a while back about how we check if a cow is pregnant (https://megraeb.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/how-do-you-know-if-a-cow-is-pregnant/), this heifer is from that same herd.

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This heifer needed some help giving birth because the calf was twisted all around. My Dad is a champion calf puller – he’s been doing it his whole  life.

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He reaches in and adjusts the calf. Then he affixes “calf pulling” chains to the calf’s front legs. If he didn’t use the chains both he and the calf risk more injury. When the cow has her next contraction and pushes, my Dad pulls and the baby is welcomed into the world.

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We place the cow in the squeeze chute for two reasons. The first being it keeps the cow still so my Dad can help her, without getting killed. Second is the pressure from the chute calms the cow. The cattle are not being mistreated here. This is standard industry practice and if we didn’t intervene chances are very high both Mama and baby would die.

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Concerned Mama waiting for her baby to come out of the chute.

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My Dad picks the baby up and places her in the pen with her Mama so they can bond.

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She loves her baby!

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Right before my Dad starts dry heaving (one would think that after 50+ years he’d stop that).

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Hi!

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The nursery field. Cows that have new babies are all put in a field with short grass (so we can see them), that is not being irrigated (so they don’t get sick) and they are all together so we can check them easily. It’s probably one of the cutest things ever – a whole pasture full of racing, Angus babies.

Photos from Sharon Brown

9 Comments

Filed under Ag, Beef, food, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized

9 Responses to Birth

  1. Great work once again. Whether people agree with your practices or not, I think you are doing the most important thing we can do with social media and that’s being completely transparent. You are doing great work for the whole industry!

  2. Katie Mae

    This is great! Glad you are teaching others about the industry!

  3. I love that one of your tags for “Birth” is “gross.” I’m glad you share what farm life is like…though some things may be “gross,” they are also real.

    I haven’t added links yet to my page, but when I find time to do it, yours will be the first!

  4. Gideon

    Hey there Megan! I’ve been there to help my uncle do the same thing. My family had a small ranch and when it came time for the cows to give birth, we’d do the same thing. Way to go! 🙂

  5. Gideon

    By the way… where is this ranch? It looks like it’s up by either Susanville or Butt Valley…

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