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A lot of bull to capture calves

The bull calf being delivered by caesarean section. The unborn calf created a major stir when two veterinary surgeon performed an impromptu caesarian section in full view of passers-by. The calf was relieved successfully. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

The bull calf being delivered by caesarean section. The unborn calf created a major stir when two veterinary surgeon performed an impromptu caesarian section in full view of passers-by. The calf was relieved successfully. (Photograph by Hilmah Hashange)

The Windhoek Show livestock arena was abuzz this week when a young heifer delivered a bull calf through caesarean section with the help of Agra’s ProVision division. The delivery was conducted by veterinarian Dr Arnold Olivier, assisted by Dr Kevin Robertson,contracted to ProVision.
Asked how the veterinarians noticed that the heifer was ready to deliver, Dr Robertson explained that the heifer had been in labour for two hours and laid restlessly on her side. “She was getting up and laying down repeatedly .Her ‘water’ had broken and the tip of one large foot could be seen sticking out of her vulva.” “After two hours of no progress observed whilst conducting the birth process, we decided to assist the heifer,” he said.
Dr Robertson further explained the process. “Once it was decided to ‘help’ the heifer, she was cased in the manga and was examined by inserting a gloved arm into her birth canal to locate the position or presentation of the calf. It soon became obvious that the calf was too big for the heifer, even with some manual assistance to deliver naturally. It was for this reason that it was decided to perform a caesarean section,” he said, adding that conducting a ceasarian was crucial because the bull calves tend to be a bit heavier than heifer calves.
Since its inception in 2009, Agra’s ProVision (formerly known as Professional Services Division – PSD) has been rendering various specialised professional services in the agricultural sector.
The division has successfully established itself in a competitive environment and is committed to contribute effectively to the sustainable improvement of the agricultural sector in collaboration with the stakeholders.
Dr Robertson advised farmers  to carefully keep a close eye on their heifers that are close to calving so that assistance can be given in a timely manner should it be necessary.
The ProVision team is also exhibiting the “Low Pressure Drip Irrigation Kits.” The irrigation kits have been developed specifically to enable small farmers to improve on vegetable production. Danie Marais, Agra’s Technical Advisor for Agronomy said that the irritation kits target farmers who experience limited water availability, limited funds and lack of technical abilities to install and maintain a sophisticated irrigation system. “This innovative technology allows farmers to harvest all year long, as the water is channelled directly to the roots of the seedlings.”

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