How to tell if a cow is going to give birth?
Endocrine and physiological changes in cattle
The first stage: the myometrium begins to contract (removes the hindrance of progesterone)
Progesterone starts to go backwards and promotes the reduction of progesterone.
The other glycoprotein produced by PGF2α, pubic relaxin, will promote the softening of the connective tissue of the cervix and increase the elasticity of the pelvic ligaments, making childbirth easier.
The adrenal cortex hormones of the calf embryo will make the placenta synthesize PGF2α to eliminate the hindrance of progesterone.
The calf embryo will rotate so that the head and forefoot are facing the cervix, and the hind buttocks and hind legs are in the uterine cavity.
The contracted uterus begins to squeeze the embryo towards the uterine opening, increasing the pressure on the uterine opening.
The pressure of the uterine orifice activates the pressure-sensitive nerves near the uterine orifice and the synapses in the spinal cord, which ultimately activates the oxytocin-producing neurons in the hypothalamus.
Oxytocin uses estrogen and PGF2α to promote uterine contraction.
The pressure on the embryo increases, the secretion of oxytocin is strong, and the smooth muscle of the myometrium contracts violently.
The embryo enters the cervix and the first stage ends.
Estrogen makes the myometrium (the uterus) contract more frequently and violently.
The secretory glands of the cervix and vagina will also increase activity, secrete mucus, making the delivery of the embryo easier.
The secreted mucus also helps to clean the cervix, making delivery more smooth.
Because of the space limitation inside the uterus, pressure begins on the calf embryo, which causes the calf's pre-pituitary gland to release adrenal coticotropin hormone (ACTH, full name Adrenal coticotropin hormone).
The cortisol of the calf embryo will increase the compound content of the three types of enzymes (17α hydroxylase, 17-20 carbon chain enzyme, aromatase) and convert progesterone into estrogen.
The second stage: The calf passes through the reproductive tract.
The myometrium and abdomen continue to contract strongly until the calf slips out of the reproductive tract.
The calf’s front hooves and head apply pressure to the fetal membranes until the fetal membranes rupture and a large amount of amniotic fluid will be left.
The calf will lack oxygen (or lack of oxygen), this phenomenon speeds up the calf's movement, and promotes uterine contraction.
The third stage: fetal membranes split.
The myometrium further shrinks and returns to the state where the uterus has just begun to contract to expel the fetal membranes.
The strong contraction of the arteries on the villi will rupture the membranes.
The villi on the uterine wall will disappear.
1 Physique becomes stronger.
The first sign of most cows before giving birth is their physical fitness (the cow swells or starts to produce milk). This phenomenon occurs 24 hours before production, or even two to three weeks ago.
The cow's udders start to become full, the nipples start to swell, and milk will be left. This happens to most cows about twenty-four hours before delivery.
2 The genitals become swollen and loose.
The cow's pubic area became enlarged and swollen, and at the same time it became very loose. The lower part and side of the pubic area became more wrinkled than usual.
3 The base of the tail droops.
The pelvis begins to widen (as written above, pubic relaxin acts on this), and the base of the tail sinks into the pelvic groove.
4 The cow will be nervous.
The first sign of a cow giving birth is to stop stretching or kick her belly frequently. This is because the contraction of the cow's abdomen makes it uncomfortable. Cows often lie down and get up again, and become very irritable.
5 Cows will leave the herd.
Cows will find places far away from the herd to produce, such as in the grove or the corner of the cattle pen on the ranch.
6 The genitals secrete clean mucus.
After observing the first three signs, you will find that the cow's genitals secrete clean mucus. This is a kind of mucus that begins to secrete from the cervix and vagina, which reduces the friction in the reproductive tract and makes the production smoother.
7 Both sides of the belly sink.
The sides of the cow's belly will sink, and the belly will appear larger than usual and closer to the back of the body.
8 Amniotic fluid flows out.
The amniotic fluid sac ruptures, and the yellowish amniotic fluid will flow out of the cow’s pubic area, and then the calf will produce.
9 The calf's front hoof and head will appear in the pubic area.
If the calf's front hoof appears first, it means that the calf's production position is correct, and then the calf's nose will appear.
10 The calf's shoulders appeared, then the torso, and finally the hips and hind legs. The calf is born! congratulate!
11 After the calf is born, the cow will discharge some dark red slime and sac fluid.
The sticky substance will stick to the cow's butt for six to twelve hours, until the uterine contraction completely discharges the substance.
These mucus are remnants of the placenta and fetal membranes
Closely observe the calving cow. Observe for signs of dystocia. The sooner you find dystocia, the more likely the calf and cow will survive.
Placenta takes six to twelve hours to secrete.
Cows may have retained placenta. It takes 24 to 48 hours to expel the placenta, up to ten days. You don't need to worry about the retention of the placenta. As long as the cow does not show symptoms of birth disease or infection, the cow will eventually pass the placenta by itself.
Under normal circumstances, the delivery process only lasts half an hour to an hour. In individual cases (dystocia), the cow needs help as quickly as possible.
It takes two to six hours for a cow to complete cervical dilation, and the uterus needs to be contracted before the calf is born.
Young heifers take longer to give birth.
Caesarean section is used as the last method of delivery when the calf is born too big.
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