Small Beef Cattle Farm


Beef Cattle Calving Assistance

      A knowledgeable beef cattle breeder will always be ready and prepared for calving assistance wen the need arises.

         Normal delivery in cattle should be completed within 2 hours after the water sac appears. If prolonged, the calf may be born dead or in a weakened condition. Since timing is vital to providing proper assistance, frequent observations are a must. Assisted deliveries should not be attempted without proper preparation of facilities and equipment. A clean, well-lighted maternity pen and clean pulling chains and equipment are desirable to reduce bacterial contamination.

     It is always best to first check with your veterinarian for advice on when to assist the cow alone and when to call him. Since cervical dilation is completed in Stage 2, assistance can be given too early. However, since final dilation is quite rapid, assistance is often given too late, which is much more serious.

     Cleanliness cannot be overemphasized. Introduction of bacteria by equipment or arms of the person assisting with the calving may reduce fertility of the cow by delaying return to estrus and lowering conception. Equipment needs are two clean buckets, soap (for cleaning the cow), disinfectant, obstetrical lubricant, paper towels, calving chains and handles and plastic sleeves. Have water in both buckets -- disinfectant is added to the second bucket. Place the calving chains and handles in the disinfectant solution.

     Restrain the cow with head catch or halter. Tie the tail with light twine to the neck of the cow. Scrub the perineal area (around the anus and vulva) and the tail with soapy water. Pour water from the bucket to rinse the area. Do not dip dirty towels back into the bucket. When the area is clean, dry with paper towels. Use the remainder of the water in the first bucket to wash your hands and arms. If possible use plastic sleeves on initial examination. This may prevent contact with abortion-causing organisms that can infect humans. Apply an obstetrical lubricant to the sleeves. If extensive manipulation of the fetus is needed, the gloves may be removed since they tear easily.



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