OUTLOOK, Wash. - When a 1,200-pound or 1,300-pound dairy cow is giving birth to an 80-pound calf, sometimes the mom needs help. The baby is supposed to come out with its two front feet first, followed by its head.
But sometimes one of the feet is folded back, and so the veterinarian - with polymer gloves that go up to the shoulder - has to reach inside and wrap a chrome obstetrical chain around the baby's legs.
This is definitely not for the squeamish; it's real-life muckiness.
"Normally, we like to have them calve on their own. But she was a smaller heifer, having a hard time, and this was her first time. You step in and help her. You pull when she's contracting," said Jenny Trice.
Here at DeRuyter Brothers Dairy, a farm on 1,200 acres, with some 4,000 cows, up to 20 calves a day are born.
The cows produce 400,000 pounds of milk a day (some 47,000 gallons).