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Calf Birth Caught on Camera

Calf birth caught on camera! What more could a blogger and farm mama want?
*FYI Graphic Picture Warning*

After much anticipation our second expectant mother Tallulah had her baby. It’s another bull calf, jet black and healthy, praise the Lord. Every black calf born on this farm this season, every one whose dad is Randy the Bull is a bull calf. Except for one, Chocolate Sunday. Four out of five. How’s that for consistency? Whether that’s a good thing or not we shall see. Last season bull calves were selling higher and we had only heifers. I figure this is the Good Lord’s way of making it easier for Cornbread Daddy to sell them. If we had more heifers, he’d want to keep them, but we’re not at that point right now. Later, for sure!

Now Cornbread Boy didn’t disappoint in deciding on a name, it’s a very uhhhhh … unique name. Nunchuck. The calf’s name is NUNCHUCK. I don’t believe I need to add to that at’all. I may just call him Chuck. (A friend introduced him to this video and that must be where the name came from.)

During the photo shoot Flossie didn’t understand why she couldn’t be the center of attention. See photo below.

flossie-close-up-tongue
“I’m ready for my close-up Mama,” said Flossie the cow. “Wait let me clean my nose.”

You may be wondering how we know when it’s time for a cow to give birth. What clues do cows give that they are in labor?

  • Firstly we notice they are sometimes off alone. Although that was not the case with Tallulah.
  • Secondly, she gets up and down, up and down, over and over. This is a very big clue.
  • She’ll sniff the ground a lot.
  • She can look uncomfortable, kicking at her belly, straining like she needs to poop, and holding her tail off/out to the side.
  • She may grunt more than usual.
  • Finally you’ll see what we call a water-ball. Which is exactly as the name implies. A ball of water that comes out of her rear end. It can be clear to dark color liquid.
  • After this is the calf. It should come out front hooves first, they should be facing as you would imagine. You’ll probably see both at the same time, one on top of the other. If the hooves are facing the wrong way, the baby is coming backward, breech. OR you may have twins. If the cow has twins, most times the first one comes out breech (this happened to us last season).
  • After the amniotic sac bursts there’s a limited amount of time before the calf drowns. This we try to watch closely. I believe this is the first time we saw the sac fully intact as the hooves protruded. For a minute we thought there were two water-balls.

tallulah-waterball-drawing

There are two cows in this photo, don’t be confused by the one in the background. In the front we have the rear end of the cow in question.

In the picture above you can see the hooves at the top of the amniotic sac. They look like white hooves with black legs attached.

tallulah-calf-head-drawing

Calf’s head is now out and she continues to push.

Calf now almost completely out.
Calf now almost completely out.

Now at this point you’d think it would only be seconds until the calf hit the ground, but you’d be wrong in this instance. We were a little worried as she walked around in a circle with the calf like this for what may have been 5-10 minutes. Normally it doesn’t take this long. Finally she pushed him all the way out and then cleaned him up.

Meet Nuchuck the calf
Meet Nuchuck the calf

It did take him a little longer than normal to stand up and get around, but Cornbread Daddy said it was probably rough on him hanging upside down like that for so long. Today, he’s healthy and happy, running around with his brothers and sisters.

I hope this helps anyone who is curious about calving and what to expect. It’s a very scary and exciting time around here. We know so many things could go wrong, but thankfully this season is going well.

One thing that helped us is having this book. We it bought last season, it has really helped us understand so many things about raising cattle. Nothing can substitute for the hands-on experience that Cornbread Daddy has, but this book helps even him with some things he had forgotten about over the years. I HIGHLY recommend this book! {Yes, this is one of those affiliate links & if you purchase from this link I will make a little commission. I will never recommend something I have not tried or would not try.}

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