Sunday, January 16, 2011

Calf Delivery

I actually had another post in draft to be published, but this writeup preceded.

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?


  1. Actually, this was the first time when I saw "live" delivery (of a living being) ..... There were no doctors, no nurses to assist but the way the cow managed herself... really HATSOFF!!! I was really amazed to see the "Mother" Cow after delivering and helping her baby to take the first breathe..... Just thought for a while, though we (humans) have so much facility & advanced technology but still not happy. After seeing the "Mother" cow and a new born baby, felt why not humans be like this??!!!.

  2. Hello Mam.. you telling no doctors, no nurses? I wonder how you forgot that there was a doctor standing right beside you?!

  3. Dear Prashanth,
    I know there was a doctor beside me, but not ON-DUTY doctor.... ha ha.... I mean to say whenever I see/hear about delivery, could see lots of specialist doctors and nurses in & around... But here, no doctors.... oopsss only one doctor around and everything went fine..... :0)

  4. Veena, I understand what you mean. Like any other animal on earth, delivery can happen very normally in humans too. But, our recent sedentary lifestyle leading to lack of exercise and advanced commercial technologies have made pregnancy & delivery a nightmare in humans.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :o)

  5. Deepa, your *speechless* spoke a thousand words!

    Thank you :o)

  6. I must appreciate the way you've explained the entire procedure, step-by-step.
    Have you witnessed/studied birth in animals before?

  7. Deepa, yes! I, not only have witnessed birth in animals but have been closely monitoring their reproductive life. Not just animal birth, I have studied anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, gynecology, obstetrics & more in animals.

    I live with animals Day-in & Day-out, as am a Veterinary Doctor by profession.

    Am really glad to figure out that you could easily understand the entire process of calf delivery with my above explanation, I did try to put it in simple, non-technical words :o)

  8. @Prashanth

    I've studied zoology and genetics in school. So, I know basics. But my study of zoology was limited to humans

    And I didn't know you were a Vet Doctor. Thumbs up! : )

  9. Oh! Fine, that way you were able to pick things I made a mention of.

    Cheers, Deepa :o)

  10. Prashanth,I appreciate ur trip to our Hesaraghatta farm was such a worthy one,and you becoming a witness to the calving along with ur wife .she may be wondering how easily and effortlesly the cow gave birth to its yong calf and why not- we humanbeings are not blessed like that.It is true ,that is a gods boon to all dumb animals?.
    ur photos and stage by stage explaination shows that u are a good observer,photographer,and reporter.if you could have taken a video of this and displayed it here,it would have been more appropriate to watch and recollect.lastly what I want to say is ,"you are most likely deserve to be a good press reporter of future days"!!!.
    any how keep this curious, healthy informative writting habbit going on for ever ....

  11. Sir, yes! Even I felt that a full stretch video would have been better. Will see next time if possible.

    Press Reporter? Me? Ha ha.. strongly suspect if I could ever be that. I guess Deepa is laughing at that statement of yours!

    And, Sir, will sure try to keep writing about everything that interests me. Thanks so much for your encouraging words :o)

  12. ಪ್ರಶಾಂತ್ ,ನಾನು ನಿನಗೆ ಪ್ರೆಸ್ reporter ಎಂದು ಏಕೆ ಹೇಳಿದೆನೆಂದರೆ ,ನಿನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಅ ಗುಣಲಕ್ಷಣಗಳು ತುಂಬಿವೆ .ನೀನು ಈ ರೀತಿಯ ಲೇಖನಗಳನ್ನು ಪತ್ರಿಕೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಕಳುಹಿಸಿದರೆ ಅನೇಕ ಜನರು ಅದನ್ನು ಓದುತ್ತಾರೆ .ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ನಾನು ಮತ್ತು ಡಾ. ಶಿವಕುಮಾರ್ ಸಹ ಸಹಾಯ ಮಾಡುತ್ತೇವೆ .ಇದರಿಂದ ನಿನ್ನಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಪ್ರತಿಭೆಯು ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಗುರುತಿಸಿ ಅಬಿನಂದಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ.ಇದೇ ನನ್ನ ಆಶಯ ಹಾಗು ಒಂದು ಅಬಿಪ್ರಾಯ. !!!!.?ದೀಪ ಸಹ ನನ್ನ ಅಬಿಪ್ರಾಯವನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಖುಷಿಪದುತ್ತಾಳೆ.

  13. ಸರ್, ನಿಮ್ಮ ಉತ್ತೇಜನಕಾರಿ ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯೆಗೆ ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು. ಬರೆಯುವುದು ನನ್ನ ವೃತ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲ, ಹವ್ಯಾಸವಷ್ಟೇ. ನನ್ನ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ಬರವಣಿಗೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮುಕ್ತಕಂಠದಿಂದ ಹೊಗಳುವ ನಿಮ್ಮ ವಿಶಾಲ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿತ್ವಕ್ಕೆ ನಾನು ಚಿರಋಣಿ. ನನ್ನ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನ ಆಲೋಚನೆಗಳು ಬತ್ತುವವರೆಗೂ ಬರೆಯುವ ಬಯಕೆ ಇದೆ, ನಿಮ್ಮ ಉತ್ತೇಜನ ಹಾಗೂ ಆಶೀರ್ವಾದ ಹೀಗೆಯೇ ಇರಲಿ.

    Sir, meanwhile, have I told you that Deepa cannot understand Kannada? :o)

  14. @Prashanth

    Even if I would have understood Kannada, I couldn't obviously have been able to READ it.

    -தீபா ரங்கநாதன் : )

  15. தீபா ரங்கநாதன், I didn't know you can write Tamil :o)

  16. @Prashanth

    Well, that was my name...the first thing my mother taught me : )

    Can roughly read. Trouble arrives when I take almost 5 minutes to read a single word!

    But, I can manage : D

  17. Deepa, I knew it was your name written in Tamil. So was it used in the beginning of my previous comment addressing you.

    Reading languages Tamil and French makes no difference to me. But I have a Tamil Scholar with me for the rest of my life - my wife :o)

  18. @Prashanth

    Oh awesome! I thought she was a Kannadiga too.
    Sowkyoma? : ))

  19. @Prashanth

    Aiyyo! So, you know Tamil fully?
    Damn! I thought I had ONE advantage over you. And now that's dead too!

  20. Deepa, you still have the advantage :o)

    I asked my wife what to reply to your question in Tamil and blindly typed what she said :P

  21. @Prashanth

    Hehe. I score! : D
    Would love to meet you two sometime (now that Tamil has come to my rescue) :o)


  22. Sure Deepa, pleasure would be ours!

    When you are in city and have free time, please do let us know :o)

  23. Prashanth!
    That was a wonderful capture and experience. Being a mother, I can NEVER ever UNDERESTIMATE the labour.
    I can just bow with my hands clasped together to any mother. She is truely MAHATAAYI.

  24. I have no second thought to second your thought :o)


ಖಂಡಿತಾ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸಿ. ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು!
Please post your comments. Thank you!