Yesterday, we (me & my wife) visited our Farm Office and happened to witness the process of a cow giving birth to her calf. Thought of sharing the process of delivery here, with some selected pictures.
The cow was left in the calving area with some bedding material made available anticipating delivery. Since it was not her first delivery, much attention was not always necessary. The expected date of calving (calving is the act of cow giving birth to calf) was three days ahead, but she started showing all the signs of delivering. Since the delivery was happening well before the date of expected calving, we suspected the calf to be female.
Not too long we got to wait, the amniotic sac appeared and ruptured to make way out for the calf. Amniotic sac is the one that covers the fetus for protection in cows womb throughout pregnancy, within which the young one develops. However, couldn't take a picture at this stage.
In the above picture, we can see the amniotic sac ruptured and sagging out down with some amount of amniotic fluid in it. Also, we can observe the two front legs of the calf coming out. This is the normal posture in which a calf is born. So, everything seems to be set just right for a normal delivery.
This is the next important stage when the head of the calf comes out. Should there be problems in delivery leading to complications, usually we can expect those in this stage. Nothing seem to have gotten messed up, as we could see the mouth of the calf started coming out in the above picture (just above the two legs).
At this stage, the mother should lye down to facilitate safe delivery with ease. But, she was standing upright; may be we standing around might have caused discomfort to her. We moved a few yards away and back, she sat in no time and delivered the calf before we could take a picture.
Above picture shows the 'newly born' (literally new - a few seconds old) calf. As expected, it was she - a female calf. The calf was gasping to take her first breath. Mother was liking her all over, out of love, care and responsibility.
The calf took her first ever breath of life to successfully start an independent life away from mother's womb. Other cow which is also in the calving area approaching her date of delivery, comes in and shares the joy of the mother who just gave birth to her young one.
In the next 15 minutes, the calf was able to sit, looking very normal and healthy. By 30 minutes of delivery, the calf took her first step standing on her own legs, with the help of her mother.
During the course of calving, I was all worried and concentrating on the calf for its normal delivery. But, my wife standing beside me seemed almost exclaimed when she said 'how much the cow is struggling?!!'. Only women can feel the pain of delivery - isn't it?