Experienced livestock breeders are very responsible for breeding cows. Any of them knows that calving of the cow plays an important role here. Therefore, it is necessary to approach this process correctly, to launch the animal on time, and also to prepare it for childbirth.
Calving involves not only the birth of the calf itself, but also the time of the cow's pregnancy. This period begins after 280 days from the day of fertilization. But the calving of an animal depends on various factors, for example, on its breed and age, as well as on the size of the fetus and the nutrition of the cow.
According to some signs, it is possible to accurately determine the beginning of calving in a few days. Especially if there is a calendar nearby, as well as the known exact date of the cow's insemination.
One of the most important signs of calving is considered to be swelling of the labia in a cow. They turn bright red, in addition, thick discharge in the form of whitish mucus may appear. If the mucus looks like a curd mass, then this means that the animal has thrush. It is imperative to treat her with antifungal drugs so that there are no complications during childbirth.
In addition, the udder of the cow is poured as colostrum begins to form. During this period, milk begins to be released from the nipples. Also, the abdominal cavity sags and the pelvis expands. The cow becomes restless, some breeds are characterized by aggressive behavior.
The animal loses its appetite, does not sleep well. Its activity is significantly reduced, the cow begins to bellow very often, and also waddles from one leg to the other. Burenka does not want to go to the pasture with others. From time to time, the cow raises its leg and looks back. If, nevertheless, the animal went for a walk, it tries to find a place that will be hidden from view.
In addition, according to some signs, it will be possible to determine the sex of the future calf. For example, if the front part of the udder swells, there will be a heifer, but when the back part, there will be a bull. You also need to know that heifers are born a little earlier than planned. Almost all of these signs are 95% correct.
You can find out the exact date of birth of the calf, which is calculated using a special formula. To the day when fertilization occurred, add 11, for example (8 + 11). Next, you need to divide by the day of the month of fertilization minus 3, for example (4-3). Ideally, the formula will turn out (8 + 11) / (4-3), that is, 17 must be divided by 1. As a result, we will get 17. This means that on this number, 9 months after fertilization, there will be calving.
To avoid using formulas, you can use the calving calendar, where all the dates of insemination are marked. This is the most accurate 4-column table. The first and the third indicate the month and the date of the last insemination, but the second and fourth indicate the month and day, respectively, when calving will occur.
However, it will not be possible to accurately determine the calving period in time according to such a schedule, the error will be within 10 days. Therefore, you must either apply a formula to more accurately calculate how long the pregnancy will last, or watch how the cow is feeling.
Preparing for childbirth
This process consists not only in good care and proper feeding of the cow, but also in its timely launch. Already 2 months before calving, it is necessary to enrich her diet with fiber. In addition, you need to carefully monitor the weight of the cow. If it drops too low, then it is necessary to add more nutritious food to her diet.
You also need to slightly lower the amount of calcium, which can cause fetal prolongation or complicate childbirth. During this period, you should not give the cow any silage grasses.
2 weeks before the onset of labor, the animal's appetite significantly decreases, and some lethargy also appears. After all, the fetus grows and puts more pressure on the internal organs of the cow. At this time, it is imperative to add vitamins to the diet, as well as foods that will be fortified with phosphorus and zinc. The menu of this period should include:
- 55% cereals and silage;
- 21% concentrates;
- 15% rougher feed;
- 50 g of chalk;
- 30 g of salt.
At this time, it is imperative to conduct a gynecological examination of the cow. Thanks to it, the veterinarian will be able to more accurately determine when calving will occur.
A very important point in preparing for childbirth is such a process as starting the cow, that is, the moment when the cow stops milking. This happens 1.5-2 months before delivery. However, it must be started gradually so that mastitis does not appear in the cow. The launch can be done naturally, as well as forced, that is, by injecting special preparations into the nipples with a syringe.
During this period, all juicy foods are removed from the animal's diet and the amount of cereals is reduced. They give more hay or straw. At the time of launch, it is imperative to reduce the amount of water to one bucket per day. The water must be warm. This is done to ensure that the startup process is painless and quick.
It is necessary to prepare very carefully for future childbirth. Before starting them, you must definitely take care of the cleanliness of the room where they will be held. It is necessary to whitewash the walls, and also be sure to treat everything with not too aggressive disinfectants. On the floor, you need to spread fresh hay or straw, and put a bag on top.
The cow must also be thoroughly cleaned and washed before giving birth. Just before childbirth, as soon as their first signs appear, it is necessary to treat the hind legs with a light solution of creolin, as well as her genitals.
24 hours before the start of labor, the cow comes out with a cork - blood clots. At this time, she must be given plenty of rest. When it is time for calving, most often the animal is standing or lying on its side.
Contractions in an animal occur with a frequency of several minutes, their duration is 2.5 minutes. A little later, a bladder appears from the cow's vagina. If it does not break, then as soon as the legs of the calf appear, it must be broken by ourselves. If everything is in order and the fetus is placed correctly, then the front legs, on which the head of the calf is located, go first, and then the rest of the body.
With the right hotel, childbirth ends in 25 minutes. When the due time has passed, and there is still no offspring (besides this, the time of contractions occurs less and less), this only means that the calf is stuck and needs help to be born. To do this, you need to put on rubber gloves, be sure to disinfect them, and then stick your hands inside the cow and gently stretch the baby.
What to do after?
After calving, special attention should be paid to both the woman in labor and the calf.
After giving birth, the back of the cow, as well as her belly and genitals, should be lathered with laundry soap. Then you need to rinse it off with warm water and wipe it off with a dry and clean towel. After 25 minutes, the cow needs to be given one bucket of water, be sure to drink warm. After 35 minutes, the afterbirth should come out of it.
If a cow that will calve has health problems, then calving should only take place under the strict supervision of a doctor. In addition, the veterinarian must fill out a special calving calendar of animals, and give the cow a rest. Then periodically it is necessary to monitor the condition of both the cow and the calf. In addition, to restore strength, you can give the cow an energy drink - this is a slightly salted water solution.
As soon as the afterbirth comes out, it is imperative to change the litter to a fresh one, and also carry out the first milking. Before this, the udder must be thoroughly washed and wiped dry. Colostrum will go first, which needs to be watered for a small calf. After that, it is imperative to carry out the beating of the animal, especially the first-born. This will allow the cow to produce a little more milk in the future.
When milking for the first time, it is very important not to damage the udder of the cow, therefore, it is imperative to first massage not only the udder, but also the teats. After milking, it must be repeated. You also need to rinse it and wipe it dry.
Do not forget about the diet of the cow. Nutrition must be balanced and rich in vitamins.
First, you need to give her silage and hay to start lactation. On the second day, you can add to the diet 1 kilogram of rice or bran, previously soaked in water for a while. Further, their number can be increased to 2 kilograms. Already from the third day, you can try to introduce some root crops to increase lactation in the cow's diet. A week later, the cow can be transferred to full-fledged food.
If the animal does not eat well after calving or it has had a very difficult birth, then the feeding schedule must be coordinated with specialists. In addition, livestock breeders need to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of protein in the feed. Otherwise, the milk will be of poor quality.
It is imperative for a newborn calf to remove mucus from both the mouth and the sinuses. This is done using a special pear. Next, you need to wipe his face and eyes with warm boiled water. Then you need to cut the umbilical cord 11 centimeters from the belly. After that, it is necessary to squeeze out all the blood from it and process the incision site with iodine.
If calving went well and the cow has no complications, the calf can be brought to the cow. This is done so that she licks him. After that, the baby's health will improve significantly, and will also help the cow to leave the afterbirth as soon as possible.
Next, the calf must be transferred to a separate pen, where there must be an appropriate bedding. Exactly one hour after calving, you can give him colostrum, since it is in the first hours that it is best absorbed by the body.
In 24 hours, the baby can approach the udder about 20 times . At the same time, he drinks in small portions. When drinking is carried out from a bucket, this can lead to bad consequences. After all, colostrum will fall on an unhealed scar, which can provoke its decay. Therefore, if the calf is immediately separated from the mother, it is best to feed it from the teat. You also need to make sure that the baby gains weight well, otherwise it is imperative to feed him.
After 45-60 days after giving birth, the calves need to be given special vaccinations. In addition to milk, fresh hay and beets or potatoes can be gradually added to the calf's feed.
After a certain time, the volume of his food must be increased. Potatoes must be peeled.
Sometimes, after calving, the cow may experience some difficulties. Therefore, you need to be especially attentive to the animal after childbirth. It is very important that after calving the afterbirth comes out, otherwise it can lead to suppuration. Because of this, the animal may even die later.
If a calving cow does not get up at all, this means only one thing - she has paresis. This is very dangerous as it can paralyze the animal. In this case, it is imperative to use special drugs that will help cope with the disease.
It happens that a cow can carry a calf. In this case, you need to wait 5-6 days, and then proceed to more drastic actions. It is necessary to inject her with special drugs that will artificially induce labor. To do this, you can use "Oxytocin" or other means with the same effect. After this, the calf is born more weakened. Therefore, he will need some time to massage to restore muscle tone. However, they further develop normally.
After calving, there may also be a problem such as hypocalcemia. The burenka eats very poorly, becomes lethargic, in addition, during milking, milk does not come too actively. This is due to the fact that not only the level of calcium, but also of phosphorus in the cow's blood decreases. This happens as a result of improper feeding of the animal before giving birth. Burenka as a result of this can earn obesity. To combat the disease, specially prepared cocktails, which consist of vitamins, can be administered intramuscularly. However, it is best to ensure that the cow is properly fed before delivery.
Sometimes you can see blood clots in the milk. This suggests that the cow is inflammatory. Most often this is mastitis, which can be triggered as a result of improper distribution or as a result of improper start. To avoid this, it is necessary to milk the cow after giving birth at least 5 times a day. In addition, it is imperative to massage the udder before each milking.
As a result of too difficult childbirth, the animal may even experience internal bleeding. In this case, you need to give an injection using the drug "Oxytocin". With it, the uterus will contract, which will stop the bleeding. It also significantly activates lactation. If the internal organs are damaged, then the cow may need surgery.
It is necessary to prepare for calving in advance, only in this case it will pass normally and without any particular complications. It is necessary to create the appropriate conditions, to carry out the launch on time and correctly, and also to ensure that the feed for the cow is balanced.
For the specifics of calving a cow, see below.