Putting the Squeeze On
Upon my search for blog topics, I kept coming across several articles about squeezing baby calves. Now I have pulled to many calves to count but I have never heard of this technique.
There are times when the cow or first-time heifer is in stress and the calf has to be pulled quickly or taken by c-section. Causing stress to momma and baby, the calf seems unresponsive and lethargic, not wanting to stand or nurse. That is when MST is applied.
"Madigan Squeeze Technique" involves applying a rope firmly and semi-tightly around the rib cage of the calf for 20 minutes. This puts the calf in a sleep like state, slowing the heart rate and breathing. It's to simulate the calf being in the birth canal. After removing the rope, the calf becomes responsive. This may not save every calf but increases the chances of survival drastically.
Apparently, this technique is being applied to foals and kids (baby goats) also. This has to have a huge impact on ranchers especially as an alternative to medication.