Friday, July 22, 2011

How-to Friday: How to help a cow miscarry

This is going to be a pretty weird post. Warning upfront - the pictures could be considered gross. They don't really bother me at all, I mean obviously, I took them. Generally I like pictures of pretty things, but how often do you see a cow miscarriage.

So this situation started when we saw a cow giving birth in the field by our house. We waited for a little bit and realized that the calf was not coming out, it was hanging part way out but was making no more progress after 30 minutes.

Apparently the cow was having a miscarriage and the calf was stuck. Also we were told this can be very dangerous or the cow. By the way this is not our cow and we barely know the owner. This was a neighborly situation.

The boys began by throwing a rope under the cow and tying the back legs together.

Next step was to push the cow over onto the ground. Or what we in the midwest call cow tipping!

And then the cow will pop back up. Who knew cows really hate to be tipped?

Add one more guy and push the cow over one more time.

Cow on the ground someone needs to hold the rope tying the legs so the cow cant pop back up.

This is where it gets gross. Next step is to grab the dead fetus and start to pull.

Keep pulling

And you have successfully helped a poor suffering cow! The calf was buried right in this field... which does not belong to any of us.

Dont forget to untie the cow.

- Kels


  1. this is the weirdest post yet...


  2. this reminds me of when I learned about how to deliver calves from James Herriot novels when I was like 11, and shared with all of you that laboring cows can birth out their uteruses, which then have to be shoved back in, and you have to put the cow's back feet on a ramp so it doesn't come out again!

  3. so glad you posted this! I have a potentially awkward situation coming up and I think this will be useful!

  4. Hahahaha Joanna, of course you do.

    Becky that is one of the most vivid memories of my childhood. Sometimes when a cow gives birth the uterus comes out and then you just shove it back in, commence uncontrollable laughter. Wasn't Ruth Skoko there?

    - Kels

  5. Surprise! I have a couple of thoughts/questions on this cow. I've really been thinking a lot about it. Apparently, I'm not a farm girl. Do you think this is a miscarriage or a still birth? I wonder what the difference is for a cow. Do you think the cow mom was sad? I'm not sad, just curious. It is nature... These things happen. I also noticed that a woman pulled the dead fetus from the cow. Is that typically a woman's job? Just wondering. I'm not trying to be offensive. I figure if u r going to post these pics, I can ask anything.

  6. I love your questions!

    Apparently a man or a woman can pull out the fetus, this was actually the woman who owned the cow so that is why she did the honors. A still birth is close to term right? The fetus was definitely under developed. I didn't ask how many weeks ti was but it was too small and you could visibly see that all the parts had not developed yet.

    I dont think the cow mom was sad. I think she probably just felt better when it was over. She was mooing a lot before they got the fetus out.

    I wasn't sad either, I thought I would be but you are right its just nature.