Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

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ArkieGirl72638
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Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

Postby ArkieGirl72638 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:41 pm

I retired to a 30 acre farm after 28 years as a Chicago police officer. I NEVER liked city living and couldn't wait to live my dream of very rural country living.We get neither a cell phone or FM radio signal here. I have always taken care of animals and have had GREAT SUCCESS with underdog cases that everyone else walks away from. I have wonderful neighbors that I can count on and they can count on me. While picking up some hay I noticed a smallish calf in the corner of the barn. The rancher related to me that the little guy had a hard time standing and getting up, they got some colostrum in him, but he just got worst and was unable to walk. He said that the little guy tried so hard to stand and took his bottle so eagerly he didn't have the heart to just cull him. The little guy had been down in one position for a couple of weeks because the rancher worked a second job as well. I could see that both his front and back tendons were tightly contracted. As well as one side of hindquarters were well developed while the side he laid on had atrophied. This caused one leg to slip out of the correct position, instead sliding next to the other leg. I took him home and put him over a bale of straw so that when balanced correctly, neither set of legs touched the ground. I then began rubbing his legs, using my hands to gently manipulate both his front and back hooves, moving them into the correct position to gently stretch those tendons. I would then shift him forward so that his front hooves were in the correct position on the ground and he had some, but not all of his weight on his front, than back legs. After 2 hours of this, the little guy struggled to his feet to stand. I pulled out the bale of straw, but he continued to stand. He needed a little support, in the form of my holding his tail, but he was trying to walk. This calf was a twin...I am currently working on a modified hobble system, a larger version of the one I use for my chicks with problems, in order to keep his back legs spread and in the correct position. I also made a stand to keep him upright and secure while doing his tendon stretching exercises. First, I pounded 4 posts into the ground so that they were on either side of a hay bale, front and back. I attached a bar between them at chest height all of these posts were securely wrapped with pipe foam insulation. I added a back bar just below his rear end, that locks with a hitch pin. Now the calf could be placed on the bale of straw, his legs in the correct position to stand and stretch those tendons with his own weight. He would shift his weight between back and front legs. I have kept an eye on him to be sure he didn't get hung up. After 2 days of this, he actually got up on his own and walked almost 20 feet and then stood for another 30 minutes or so with no help from me. I told him the next time to call me immediately and I would help him with any calves he didn't have time for. I am taking pictures, but I believe, despite his rocky start, this young calf will regain full use of his legs.I am taking pictures and video to document my efforts. I am well aware that 99% of cattle owners don't have the time to do this. I am lucky that I am retired and LOVE helping what some consider "hopeless cases". Be aware, if the animal begins to show signs of pain or suffering, I will not hesitate to end his suffering in a humane way. Until then, fingers crossed. I told him if he saw this again with any calves, to call me the same day and I would begin working immediately with any animal in trouble.
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wbvs58
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Re: Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

Postby wbvs58 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:26 am

Welcome. You sound very persistent taking on other peoples troubles yet most members here will give problem animals of their own a pretty fair go. I can understand the satisfaction and reward in seeing the improvement. I also live fairly remote and love my life in retirement breeding and trying to improve my small herd of Angus cattle.

Again welcome and I hope you stick around.

Ken
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slick4591
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Re: Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

Postby slick4591 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:07 am

:welcome: Glad to have you!
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greybeard
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Re: Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

Postby greybeard » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:04 am

welcome.
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TCRanch
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Re: Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

Postby TCRanch » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:10 pm

Welcome! You definitely had a tough job in Chicago! I admire your persistence with the calf. I had a preemie that couldn't walk and I did hours of physical therapy with her for weeks, no meds. She's now due with her 4th calf so your hard work can very well pay off.
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msplmtneer
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Re: Hello from the Osage Valley in NW Arkansas

Postby msplmtneer » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:03 am

Howdy and :welcome: :wave: :tiphat:
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