Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pullin' a Calf

I just realized I haven't posted once in the entire month of February...

It's a good thing I get an extra day this year! ;)

Well I could make all excuses why I haven't been on here, but the main reason is I haven't made time for it. I've been working on some other projects in my free time, but I thought I would drop in today and tell ya'll hi so you didn't think I had dropped off the edge of the planet.

Well Spring is coming and boy am I getting excited and getting ready to plant me some tatters!!!

Another thing that happens this time of the year is baby calves are being born here on our farm. Usually it goes on without a problem and we just show up to the pasture and find a new little one running around but sometimes the cow can have problems and we have to give some assistance.

We try to keep from doing this if at all possible. If we see a cow trying to have a calf, then we will usually give her a couple hours and if she hasn't made any progress then we will get her in the corral and pull the calf. If it's a heifer (a cow that hasn't had a baby before) then we will give them only an hour and if nothing has progressed we will get them in and pull the calf.

Well yesterday morning we had to do just that...

Caleb had been out feeding hay to the cows and saw one of our heifers trying to have a baby. He gave her about an hour and since there was no progress we got her in and pulled the calf.

First you have to get the OB Chains around the calf's feet.

Once you got that you hook the chains to the puller. The puller has a ratcheting cable and you gradually ratchet it back and pull the calf out.

Here in this picture above we had a problem...

When pulling with a puller you either want the cow laying on her side or standing up, so you can get the pullers on the correct position of her hips so you don't hurt her.

Finally after some some pushing around we finally got her to stay on her side so we could start pulling.

Caleb is sticking his hand in there to make sure the calf is coming out correctly and that the head doesn't get stuck backwards, cause that would mean big trouble for momma and baby.

And finally after some hard work (both by Caleb and Jeff and the momma Cow) the baby was out...

And alive!!

now once the calf was out Caleb, Jeff and I all worked hard to get the momma to stand up, cause the longer she stays down the harder it will be for her to get up. But finally after threatening to ride her she finally got up.

Baby was wide awake and doing fine. I love watching them right after they are born. They start moving around and try to figure out what just happened to them.

Fact: I never saw a cow give birth naturally until I was in college helping at the "Birthing Center" at the Ozark Empire Fair. I had been around cattle since I was in 1st Grade and we either pulled the calf or the calf was born when we got there. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen one since then either.

In another note...

Little man is growing like crazy! He is eating rice cereal now and almost 5 months old...

WOW time is sure flying!!

He is very much Daddy's helper. On this day we were out looking at the wheat and helping feed cattle.

He jabbers all the time and and has been able to roll over both ways for about a month now...

And if we could get our arms and legs to work together we would be crawling....YIKES!!!

With that I had better get going.



  1. we have had to pull 3 this year. and one of them had its head back looking at its butt. i love when you can get them out alive and then later see them running around.

    your stinker looks much like his daddy. they grow up way too fast!

  2. Awesome post. There is something pretty cool about seeing a new born calf being born. I can't believe how big your own baby is getting. I hope rest of calving season goes great.

  3. Phew, what a mess! Beats the alternative, though (hauling off a dead Mama...) huh? Your little man is getting SO big! He's such a cutie. Have a loverly month of March!

  4. Everyone I know is babysitting heifers! It's like having a bunch of little kids! lol
    Little mister is getting SOOOOO big! He's adorable, I can't believe he's almost 5 months. Geez. Time goes by fast!

  5. It is a good thing to show this, many have no idea the "fun" that is involved in farming and cattle production. I have helped pull with just cloth around the legs of the calf and even one terrible time we were having, we tied and hooked to the mule and slowly pulled. Each time mom and baby did very well. Need me some of those calf pullers!

    Oh, no, the terrible word verification...

  6. Thank you for this post. You did a nice job of photographing "the event" and educating folks on the how's & why's throughout the process. We had a heifer the other day with a leg down. Guys could not "fix" it. So, off to the vet for a c-section. Sadly, she had kept pushing (the head was delivering) and the calf did not survive. We did pull one that was coming backwards and that one is fine. It is exciting with each birth but certainly is work to keep them all healthy. We have about 30 calves so far. We are expecting about 200 more! Good luck with the rest of your calving season.

  7. Daddy's helper will soon be riding in the combine because I can't believe how big and green the wheat already is. Always a plus to have a live calf!

  8. Hi, I found your blog while browsing another blog and hope you don't mind me stopping by. We live on a farm in southern utah and keep our cattle in Nevada and Arizona during the winter; I sure love the warm weather and having to help fewer mothers with their calving. Good Luck!

    Please stop by our blog anytime at:


  9. Hadn't had to pull any this year (knock on wood!). WOW, she what all I've missed in my absence in blog world. Your lil man is FIVE months old!!

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  11. Thank goodness that baby was alive. We had to pull one a month ago and we were not so lucky. The calf was born dead. It is heart breaking for sure. I just joined your blog and hope you will join me to read about my farm girl life.