Calving Season 2016, Featured

Twins or Problem Children?

December 4, 2016

Making a difference… There’s no better feeling.

For these two calves, life would not have sustained without human intervention. These twins were born on the ranch about two months ago with what we call “contracted tendons” (I blogged about this topic previously here).

A calf with contacted tendons cannot stand and therefore cannot nurse (problem #1 and #2) which as we all know is vitally important to survival. We brought these two calves and their mother into the corral and began the process of fitting their splints to straighten out their legs. A few adjustments to height and length of the padding and the PVC and these twins were ready to roll.

To ensure that the calves received necessary colostrum, we quietly loaded their mother into the chute and pointed them towards the liquid gold. Below is the whole reason I wrote this blog post. Get ready.

Was that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? I mean, they were nursing at the same time! Heart. Melted. Back to the point… Success! You can’t tell but obviously us humans were stoked. Having to teach calves how to nurse is NOT fun so when they latched on right away we knew they were one step closer to not needing our help.

After a careful assessment, my Mom decided to let this cow raise both twins. This particular cow has been around awhile and her resume proves she is fully capable. We kept her up close and supplemented her nutrition with alfalfa.

Fast forward about six weeks and there was more drama with these two. My Mom noticed one of the twins eyes watering heavily and for a second time she knew we had to intervene (problem#3). Back to the corral they went.

We found a foxtail embedded below the one twins lower eyelid that we were able to quickly remove. We treated the injury for infection and this calf was back with his mother and brother in a matter of minutes.

I’m happy to report that today I saw these three and they are thriving. Thanks to a careful watch and the ability to judiciously use antibiotics these calves are alive today.

P.S. Day old calves are stronger than you think. These dudes gave me a run for my money.