Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 24: OB chains

 After 40 hours of labor, I was ready to tell Brent to just go home & get "the chains".  Other farmers are laughing at this reference, as it has been made more than once with expecting farming families.

Since Brent can barely lift his arms today from helping a cow in labor for over an hour last night, I thought today was a good day to talk about OB (obstetric) chains. (And thanks to Miss Ainsley for behaving for 30 minutes while I went out to help at the end!)

Sometimes, cows will have problems calving.  Either the calf gets in the wrong position - calves are supposed to come front feet 1st, with the head on top.  Last night's calf came Ear first, it's head was backwards, and its feet were behind the head....not a good situation.  Or sometimes, they are just too big or the cow is too tired to push, and they need some help. 

OB Chain

So, we attach these chains to the calves' feet.  We use these chains because they don't have any sharp edges, and allow us to securely hold onto & pull the calves' feet, but without cutting or hurting them in the process.  Sometimes we just have to hook onto the chains & pull manually, and sometimes, 
Ratch-a-Pull Dual Action 
we have to hook them up to a long-handled contraption with a crank that allows us to get some better mechanical pulling.  
Many times, we can save cow and calf.  Unfortunately, last night, after a long struggle, we lost the baby calf, but were able to save the cow.
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