Spring Birthing

By Barry Whitworth, OCES Area Food/Animal Quality and Health Specialist for Eastern Oklahoma

After more than 24 years in private practice, I made a switch to education a little over a year ago. I enjoy my new job as an area food/animal quality and health specialist for eastern Okla., but at times, I miss not being around animals and their owners. One of the things I miss the most is the relationships that I had with the farmers and ranchers who produce the food that we eat. These are some of the best people in the world, and I miss not getting to interact with them daily.

I also miss not being involved in delivery of newborn animals. Although stressful, the most enjoyable moments in practice were witnessing the birth of life. Nothing in veterinary medicine is better than watching a wet ball of fur take a big gulp of air, shake his head and gently give a cry. Unfortunately, it was the total opposite too many times. It was depressing to show up only to realize the best that I could do was to save the bull, if you get what I mean. Fortunately, most animals give birth with no assistance. For those few times during calving, lambing, farrowing and kidding season when there are problems, the following information might be helpful.

The saying “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is just as true for animals as it is for my wife at my house. To learn more, pick up the January issue of OKFR.