Thursday, June 23, 2011


So a while back I wrote a post titled "Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day". I never really went into detail about that day, but I will tell you it had to do with working cattle.

FYI: Any time a farmer is having a Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day it will almost always involve one of two things...Either every piece of equipment they touch that day has something wrong with it or it has something to do with cattle. These two things will make up 99.9% of the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day's on a farm.

Ok now that we have that cleared up back to what I was saying.

Back in March when this happened I really didn't want to talk about it and I'm not gonna say a lot about it now but just that it involved, pulling a monster calf, the calf dieing, chasing cows, and poking a heifer's eye out.

A short synopsis, but that's what made up our day that wasn't soo good. So why am I telling you this now and why is this post titled "Lucky"? 

Well they all fit together. Ya see that heifer that lost here eye, there is more to her story. 

They eye, how did we poke it out. Well actually there was no we, it was just me. We were trying to get her in to load her up to take her out to pasture. Well I was trying to hit her on the nose to turn her when she wasn't doing what she was suppose to be doing and some how I managed to get her in the eye.

Ok so I never played softball in school....why...well because you could throw a 100 balls at me and I might hit 1.

Well unfortunately for Lucky her eye was the one.

Oh by the way we named this heifer Lucky and her eye was strike #2.

(I felt terrible after this happened, it made me sick  to my stomach and not because of the the blood. She ended up loosing the eye as a result of it)

Strike #1 was the fact that she was a teenage pregnancy.

We were planning on keeping her for a replacement heifer, but now that she is missing an eye we were going to sell her, but only after she has her calf...

Umm looking back we wish we would have just sold her as soon as her eye healed up.

Ok so all of this brings me up to last Thursday. We have been out in the wheat filed all day and the guys were still there finishing up. I was headed home, it was about 8:20, and I drove by the pasture where are heifers are and that's when I see it...

A heifer on of the heifers off by herself with a little discharge hanging out her back end...

Which means she's tryin' to have her baby. We will usually give them an hour than go back and check on them and if they haven't made any progress then we will get them in and pull the calf.

So I called Caleb and told him what was going on and an hour later I go back an check on her. There really wasn't any progress so I called Caleb up once again and told him he had better head this was so we could get he in and to bring the pullers cause we will probably need them. By this time it is dark, but we go out there with the trucks a push her in and you know she was the easiest cow we have ever had to get in...

But that's where the easy part ended.

We got her up in the corral and got her penned behind a gate and Caleb started to work on her. He reaches his hand in her to find the feet and that's when things got a little weird. One foot was coming out strait while the other was at a weird angle. When he felt the head it was also weird feeling.

If you think of someone diving into a swimming pool well that's what a calf is suppose to look like coming out of it's momma....

front feet, then the head, then the body, then the back feet and it's back bone is suppose to be parallel with the mothers.

Well this calf was more or less laying on it's side. They always tell you to call the vet if you reach in a feel something weird so we do and of course our vet is out of town at the time and can't come help us, he suggested for Caleb to try and push the calf back and then turn it...

umm yeah right. he tried, but that didn't really work so well. He also recommended another vet to call for emergency. So after finding the number for the vet...thanks to my smart phone...we give them a call but still don't get anyone, so we leave a message and go on messin' with Lucky. Well after trying for a little bit longer we decide there really isn't any more we can do and we will have to wait till morning.

So we head home and by now it is 11pm. between the long stressful day in the field and this we are beat. about 11:30 we finally hear back from the Vet. He said we would need to bring the heifer down there so he could do a c-section. Well their office is at least a 40 minute drive on top of having to go get the trailer and load her up and get going. Well by the time we did all that we wouldn't get there till about 1a.m. and wouldn't be home till 3am or later and then we would have to still get up and at 6am and get going in the wheat field.

Well by this time the calf was already dead, so we opted to wait till morning and take her down.

So the next morning we go and check on her and still no progress...

It's never good when you see feet hangin' out. (Don't worry that's the worst picture you will see.)

So I take Lucky down to the vet and at first he tries to pull the calf out in pieces...

Which is not nearly as gross as it sounds.

But after trying for a while with no luck we then had two options...

Put her down or do a c-section, which is expensive and we only have a 50-50 chance that she will make it. We decide that we will go ahead with the c-section since she was still standing and doing ok.

Caleb was mad that I didn't take any pictures of all this cause he wanted to see it, but there wasn't a lot of room for taking pictures and I didn't want to get in the way...but I will say it was cool to watch, but I never want to see it least not on one of our cows.

What they do is clip all the hair back on the spot they will be making the incision in and then make a 12-18 inch cut and pull the calf out. Lucky had to have an 18 inch cut, because her calf was huge!

After they remove the calf they will a sterilized garden hose and flush her insides out with water. They do this in hopes to get any of the "nasty" that might have came off the dead calf out and this will decrease your chance of infection. Then they proceed to sew her up and they have 5 layers of material to sew individually.

After they got her all sewn back up they gave her an antibiotic shot and we took here home.

And there she is, with her stitched up side.

Come to find out the reason the calf was twisted inside her was because she had a twisted uterus. But even if the calf was coming out normal, it was so big I think she might have been paralyzed by us pulling it and that would have been a bigger mess.

I said "I hope her luck changes" but Caleb said "she is lucky to have made it through all these things."

I guess we will see. We still have little while till she is out of the woods, but so far she is doing good.


I told you a while back about our bulls and asked for some help to name our new ones and here's what I have so far.

Far left is: Benny

Big bull on the far right is: Tom

I am still thinking on a name for the middle bull. Hopefully he will have a name soon!

Well I have some cleaning and a millions other things to do, so I had better get back to it but I will have a post soo about Wheat Harvest and Soybean Planting as well as Diggin' Potatoes...




  1. Call the other bull Bill!

  2. Oh no! I would have felt horrible too if I poked an animals eye out!!! OUCHIE!!!! Did she end up losing the eye?

  3. Well, just so you know (I'm sure you already do) but you're not the only people these things happen too.
    I've never seen a c-section, but I think that would be very interesting to see! Even though it would not be a good thing. My father in law could do one himself, and we have all his stuff to do it, but if it came to it, I think we wouldn't be brave enough to try, especially on our own cattle. Usually puching the calf back in and turning it helps in all the cases we've been in.
    Hope she comes out of it a bit more lucky than the other times!

    Have a great rest of the week!

  4. I hope we give birth much easier than she did, and no c sections
    ! lol.

  5. My old boss (the vet) had story after story about calving time, and c-secs. SO crazy!!! Poor Lucky, hope she gets a grip on her name, soon. :P

  6. So can she breed again after something like that? It does sound like she was Lucky even though the calf wasn't.

  7. So with a C-section, you will sell her now, right?

  8. Crazy!! My dad used to calve up to 200 heifers... he has sure gotten in some messes himself!

  9. How about George for the other bulls name?!?!?

  10. Funny, I just read that book to my students a couple weeks ago, they loved it!
    Sorry you've had such a run of bad luck. I'd feel awful if I hurt a calf's eye too but accidents happen, especially on a farm. And usually the silly animals do it to themselves!

  11. DAng, that heifer has been through a lot!

    In high school I witnessed a C-section on one of my ewes. Well I say that, I was holding her (b/c you know they are smaller than cows) and I watched them shave her, no big deal, then I wasn't paying much attn but I knew they cut in to her and I about passed out. ha! I had to go sit outside with my head between my knees for about 10 minutes. Then I went back in and watched them pull the last lamb out of her and helped save 1 of her triplets :)

  12. I watched a cow c-section on the tv show 'Dirty Jobs'. Blew.My. Mind.
    The cow was awake, and stood upright.
    I, on the other hand, was flat out on the couch, peeking through my fingers, and screaming into a pillow.
    Lucky, indeed!

  13. Never call a cow "Lucky" is the moral here. Grew up on a farm and have never seen a C section but all other forms of difficult calf deliveries. Our vet used to get us involved by giving us a tail to hold or the end of the rope he was using. Good education!!! Love your blog! will follow.