Bad things happen when you have animals
We had a surprise this morning. It could have been good news, but it turned out that it wasn't.
We heard that one of our 3 jersey cows had a calf! Great news! But he was approximately a month early, and, he had died. Just a few days ago, we felt him move. We are unsure what happened.
The mom is still gently calling to him, and had cleaned him off. A bit of his hair was licked off (the skin must be fragile yet), & all of the umbilical cord is gone...whether that is from the cow or dog, we don't know. There was no visible blood right there, but maybe there is some underneath. We will be checking shortly.
We have no idea when it was born. Perhaps overnight or this morning. There is no sign of a placenta, but there was a little sign at her back end after we milked her a little bit. We don't know if it was expelled or not. So, we need to watch her for possible infection. We will milk her a little over the course of a month and dry her off.
We were drying her off already in preparation to calve next month. Today would have probably been our last milking day. Now, since she will possibly produce a bit more milk again, it will be more about maintenance & monitoring than anything, until we feel comfortable that she will be okay to completely dry her off and let her body recover.
I guess its just another day in the life of a small farmer.
We are hoping our other two do well. The one heifer is younger than we would have liked, and that could certainly pose an issue to mom & calf. The third cow is very old. She is a good calver, good mom & in good shape.
So we watch, wait & hope.
Edit: We determined that the calf was most likely stillborn and possibly had abnormalities considering some tooth placement.
I would rather find a dead calf than watch it die if there was nothing to be done. This is much easier to deal with.
So much crazy & busy is going on right now, that somehow this is just par for the course. We had a sad moment, but we have lots of other things that need our attention. The focus is now on the cow herself & other things.