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Lisa,

I really enjoyed your post.  Here is how my month with cattle has been.  Our
Registered Hereford heifers (beef cattle) calved this past month and it was
a month full of complicated deliveries, including

1.  The alpha female of the herd had a Cesarean birth for a dead breech
calf.  I assisted the vet with the cesarean under local anesthesia in a
poopy corral with flies going into the incision-I had a little trouble with
the less than aseptic conditions!  We tied her legs to 2 posts...it was
awful but she is fine now.  Nothing like what I am accustomed to in the
hospital.
2.  a heifer with pneumonia who went into labor 3 1/2 weeks early delivering
a dead calf and then dying herself last week from complications r/t a
retained placenta for 10 days and pneumonia
3.  pulled four of our five live calves
4.  had 2 uterine prolapses

We had a hard time this time around because these heifers (first time
calving)were bred to a large bull.  I understand that calving the first time
is hard enough but the large bull factor complicated things even more.

I was in the middle of all of this and didn't not work much last month so I
could keep an eye on every one while my dh provided for the family.  I would
bait them into a pen behind our house so I could check on them in the
afternoons to see if they were in labor.  To be honest, I liked his
homebrewing hobby a lot better!

We had a few calves that had difficulty nursing at first (all that
intervention perhaps!? : )  and we taught ourselves how to milk a cow by
hand and feed the calves with an esophageal tube if they wouldn't nurse.
None of them would take the bottle! We even milked the two cows that had the
dead calves froze it and used their thawed colostrum for some of the
difficult feeders.  DH wanted to use the powdered colostrum stuff first and
I had to put my foot down for the real thing.  He actually listened.  Of the
5 live calves we have, all are doing fine and playing about the pasture
behind our house.

As for the roughage and minerals, it is the same  for our lactating beef
cattle.  We have had to increase their hay and minerals since they have
calved as they need to have a really good body condition to be bred once
again in just a few months.  JMO, I'd assume sell them and use the money to
go back to school!

OK, back to lurking...  again interesting post for me Lisa!

Maurenne Griese, RNC, BSN, CCE, CBE
Manhattan, KS  USA
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http://www.networksplus.net/griese

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