Every Life Matters on Our Farm

A few days before a cow is about to give birth on our farm, we bring them into our maternity pen area in the barn. This way we can keep a close eye on them and give them help if they need it.  Today, when Tim was out in the dry cow lot, he heard a cow making noises like she was in labor. She was not due for another week or so. Tim rushed over to her and saw that the calf half delivered already. When the calf was fully delivered, Tim noticed that it had a heartbeat, but was not breathing. He immediately cleared its lungs. For the next twenty minutes he preformed CPR on the calf in hopes to revive it.

I wish this story had a happy ending. Instead after intensive resuscitation, the calf continued to be unresponsive and eventually its heart stopped beating. Tim immediately, reached out for help to learn how he could have prevented this situation in the future. He posted a question on Twitter to our hundreds of fellow dairy farmer followers. Within minutes he received several farmers responses with suggestions and advice.

It is devastating when an animal of ours dies from sickness or complications. As dairy farmers, we do everything we know to help our animals live healthy lives. It totally sucks (for lack of better words) when an animals dies and we don’t have any control over the situation. We can learn from the situation and become better farmers. Farming is always about constant learning.

healthy calf

On a happy note, the Brown Swiss cow who was due over two weeks ago, gave birth to a healthy bull calf today. He has a skinny little face and huge floppy ears. He is as cute as button.

Every life matters on our farm. We mourn for those that are lost and celebrate those that are living.


Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, http://www.zweberfarms.com


Filed under Calves and Heifers, Raising Animals

6 responses to “Every Life Matters on Our Farm

  1. What a story ! I am always fascinated by the life on a farm. When i was in the US last time during my studies, i visited the farm everytime i got the opportunities.

    • zweberfarms

      Thank you, we are glad you enjoyed the post. We’ll keep on writing blogs to give you and others a bit of the farm life.

  2. Nicely written Emily. We, as most livestock producers, go through this from time to time as well. It is the “sucky” part of the job when you cannot figure out why something happened when you feel you’ve done everything you could to prevent it. Thanks for doing such a great job with your blog!

  3. Kevin H

    Thank you for the story. It goes to show just how connected farmers are to their livestock. Emily’s account of a tough birth reminds me of all the births I have been a part of, the good ones as well as the bad ones. It is the bad ones we seem to remember, and look for ways to avoid them. We, as farmers, many times take what we do and how we do it for granted. It is second nature to offer the highest level of care so every animal’s life can be fulfilling. We need to tell our stories with with zest. If we don’t, someone else will, and that someone else may not have agriculture’s best intrest at heart. Thank you Emily for reminding me of what we do.

  4. Thanks for sharing this heart breaking story Emily! It’s hard to deal with the death of animals, especially when as dairy farmers, become so attached to them. So often when something like this happens at our farm, we blame ourselves first…”How could we have done better, so this never happens again?”, BUT….we can’t save all of them 😦 Glad to hear you had a healthy calf to balance out the day thought =)

  5. the wizard

    i love the story it makes me want to start a farm of my own

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