By Tyler Trieglaff
Notes from the Chief
Notes from the Farm…Up to 71 of the female bovines have come in. It is starting to slow down and I know there will be a couple late calvers, but we have 87 percent calved in 38 days, that is pretty dang good I think.
A couple weeks ago I saw a cow with her mammary glands swelled up like no udder. That is a sure sign that the calf will be coming very soon. I saw her off by herself a couple different times but no calf. This went on for a day or two, then she settled back down.
I did not see any signs of calving, after birth or a messy tail or feet sticking out. We left her be to let nature deal with it and hope the calf would come soon. A week or so later, she was acting very odd, standing by the swamp/pond. It seemed that she had had the calf but the calf was nowhere to be seen.
These calves can be known to hide very well and will all of a sudden pop up a day or two later when mama wants them to join the herd. For two days, I was circling the pond looking for the calf, then thinking that the calf had wandered into the water and drowned. Still no sign of a calf or of a birthing process. Another day later I saw something out the back end of mama so I assumed it was afterbirth and the calf was either dead in the pond or still hiding.
About the second day of seeing this afterbirth hanging from the cow I got a close look and my worst fears were summed up. It was about six inches of tail hanging out from the cow. Not a good situation as the calf needs to be born with both front feet first, then the head, or at the very least we can pull the calf by both back feet.
At this point I assumed the calf is not alive so we must intervene. Dad, Karsen and I tried to walk her to the corral but she decided to go for a run around the pasture. This at least showed she was still in good health.
After a couple tries, we gave up and let her be. The next morning, I was able to use my Jedi mind tricks. It was definitely the tail hanging out and at this point the calf had been dead inside for who knows how long. The birth canal was starting to close and I was not able to get the calf pushed back to get the feet up and out. The amniotic fluid had a brisk, musky odor and was the consistency of a liquidy salad dressing. I knew of a couple options and neither sounded like fun. We let her go into the corral and went back to chores. I sent the vet a picture of the tail hanging out with the caption, “Houston, we have a problem.”
A short time later he called back and I answered, “Hello Houston.” I briefed him on the situation and was given the couple options that I sort of already knew. One option was to sedate the cow and cut the calf out C-section style. Another option was to butcher the cow for hamburger but I felt that she was already too sick to expect the meat to be high quality. The third option was to use a fetatome. A fetatome is an instrument inserted into the birthing canal to get a cable safely around the fetus. The cable is then used to cut/saw the dead fetus in half, allowing you to remove the calf and hopefully save the cow. This is not a pretty situation and I have not tried it myself.
The last option was to put the cow down with dignity and let the rendering truck pick her up. We chose the last option after consulting with the vet and ourselves. Lesson learned…Life on the farm isn’t always unicorn farts and rainbow butterflies.
Friday, May 6
6:29 a.m. Report of a message sent on social media that caused concern for the safety of school students. Law enforcement was immediately notified and the threat was deemed to be non-credible.
1:06 p.m. Assist with a rolling domestic on US Hwy 10.
1:30 p.m. Welfare check requested on adult female in town. All was ok.
6:05 p.m. Assist with a grass fire on Co Hwy 29.
Saturday, May 7
3:00 p.m. Assist with blocking Main Ave for the annual prom picture.
4:03 p.m. Report of someone laying in front of a car on St Hwy 87. Vehicle was broken down.
5:03 p.m. Loud music noise complaint on E Main. Officer did not hear anything out of the ordinary.
12:15 a.m. Noise complaint from different E Main address. Person was in his vehicle relaxing and did not realize his music was that loud. He apologized and went inside.
1:27 a.m. Driving complaint on Co Hwy 10. UTL.
Monday, May 9
9:09 a.m. Assist with a medical.
12:52 p.m. Assist with a medical.
1:36 p.m. Assist another agency with follow up.
9:40 p.m. Assist with a medical.
Tuesday, May 10
12:42 p.m. Officer asked to visit with an elementary student.
1:35 p.m. Information received about a convicted felon in possession of firearms. Search warrant executed and report sent to county attorney for charges.
7:43 p.m. Vehicle unlock on W Birch Ave.
9:06 p.m. Assist with a medical.
Wednesday, May 11
12:09 p.m. Vehicle unlock on Valley View Road.
Thursday, May 12
2:39 p.m. Report of a violation of a court order. Under investigation.
3:39 p.m. Report of a bank account being opened using identity theft. Complainant had already contacted the bank and credit bureaus.
6:26 p.m. Information given to a female on how to evict or file an Order for Protection against her son.
7:20 p.m. Couple out lo