Dead calf

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Chtatom
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Dead calf

Post by Chtatom » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:14 pm

We went to the pasture as soon as we saw our 4 yr old cow about two deliver. When we got there the calf was dead. He was still warm still wet, mother cleaning him. Fairly big calf, but so is mother. No marks or obvious deformations. Any idea as to cause of death. 2 previous calf's born healthy.
Should we try to find bucket calf if so how quickly?



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Re: Dead calf

Post by TCRanch » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:27 am

Sorry for your loss. She was probably in labor a lot longer than you thought, possibly the calf was malplaced (leg back, etc). Did you see the actual delivery? Could have been backward. Whether you "should" get a calf to graft is entirely up to you & your operation but if you do, the sooner the better.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by Dsth » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:41 am

I use to buy a replacement calf to replace a calf that died. the last one I bought from a farmer that I had bought calves from before with no problems. except this one got the scours shortly after I bought it and had the vet treat it. that calf survived, but shortly after, I started getting other calves in the herd breaking out with scours. Vet said the new calf probably carried a roto (probably not spelled right) virus and affecting rest of the younger calves. I ended up tube feeding the rest of the calves that were born after I brought that one home. ended up losing all but one out of about ten calves. never bought a replacement calf since. If you buy one, keep cow and calf separate from the rest of the herd for 3 weeks to monitor health (advise from my vet.) Based on that experience, I would rather feed a good cow for a year and start over next year or cull a not so good cow. Good luck and be careful.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by T & B farms » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:05 pm

Dsth wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:41 am
I use to buy a replacement calf to replace a calf that died. the last one I bought from a farmer that I had bought calves from before with no problems. except this one got the scours shortly after I bought it and had the vet treat it. that calf survived, but shortly after, I started getting other calves in the herd breaking out with scours. Vet said the new calf probably carried a roto (probably not spelled right) virus and affecting rest of the younger calves. I ended up tube feeding the rest of the calves that were born after I brought that one home. ended up losing all but one out of about ten calves. never bought a replacement calf since. If you buy one, keep cow and calf separate from the rest of the herd for 3 weeks to monitor health (advise from my vet.) Based on that experience, I would rather feed a good cow for a year and start over next year or cull a not so good cow. Good luck and be careful.

I had i similar experience. I no longer buy calves from somewhere else. I didn’t loose 10, but seems like 5 or 6. And doctored a lot more

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Re: Dead calf

Post by TCRanch » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:25 pm

Yikes! I've never bought a calf to graft & based on your experience(s) I doubt I ever will. Sorry for your loss but thanks for the heads-up!

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Re: Dead calf

Post by 76 Bar » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:34 pm

When we got there the calf was dead. He was still warm still wet, mother cleaning him.
Sorry you lost him. Like TCR said, likely slow birth for whatever reason. Its particularly gut wrenching when the momma is motherly & doing due diligence as opposed to blithely walking off.
DSTH and T&BF make an excellent point regarding the health dangers and often deadly repercussions of acquiring graft calves sourced off farm. Been there, done that. :frowns:
I would rather feed a good cow for a year and start over next year or cull a not so good cow. Good luck and be careful.
Agree.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by wbvs58 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:36 pm

I don't like having them around doing nothing. I have done it in the past and have always been disappointed in the next calf. I don't know what it is, maybe fat around the udder, they are often slow to breed back as well in my experience. Females are superb machines, just keep lactating and producing calves, you take out one factor and it seems to fall apart in my opinion. I just sell them now unless I have something in my own herd that needs a mother.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by Nesikep » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:37 pm

I've grafted a calf from a momma that had not much milk, so then it had 2 mommas.. In one case the real momma was so lousy that once her calf was adopted I shipped her out instead
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Re: Dead calf

Post by Silver » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:40 pm

wbvs58 wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:36 pm
I don't like having them around doing nothing. I have done it in the past and have always been disappointed in the next calf. I don't know what it is, maybe fat around the udder, they are often slow to breed back as well in my experience. Females are superb machines, just keep lactating and producing calves, you take out one factor and it seems to fall apart in my opinion. I just sell them now unless I have something in my own herd that needs a mother.

Ken
Totally agree. Nothing worse for a mother than not raising a calf.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgirl8 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:13 am

What could have happened is the sack may not have broken and it suffocated. Sometimes the cow gets it out and sits there a bit before she gets up. If the calf did not come out of the sack, its dead when she stands and cleans it off. When you get there, you have a perfect calf, cleaned but dead..... THe only way to prevent this is to be present at every birth.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by T & B farms » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:22 am

wbvs58 wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:36 pm
I don't like having them around doing nothing. I have done it in the past and have always been disappointed in the next calf. I don't know what it is, maybe fat around the udder, they are often slow to breed back as well in my experience. Females are superb machines, just keep lactating and producing calves, you take out one factor and it seems to fall apart in my opinion. I just sell them now unless I have something in my own herd that needs a mother.

Ken
I have noticed the same thing. I have kept a few over the years that lost their calf. Thinking that they are not milking a calf, so the should breed right back and be good to go next year. Most of the times that did not happen. They were 2-3 months behind where they were the year before. Weird to me, but it’s happened enough times I think there is something too it.
Now, a cow has to be pretty darn special to get another chance if she looses a calf. Once in a great while, I will give one a second chance if the calf dies no fault of her own. But if her stupidity causes it, she is burger

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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgirl8 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:48 am

We will keep a cow that missed a calf. We have a few and one's name is Funny Face. She has a strange face and it makes me smile when I see her. Husband OKed the keep because he said if it makes me smile its ok.. We kept Hurt Mouth, she missed her second calf. I put too much into her to just sell. I tend to keep my bottle babies if they miss a calf. Having them in the herds helps in getting them up. (not that our herds are hard to get up, but a lead cow is always helpful specially with a herd full of small babies on long drives through several gates) Now that we don't have retired show heifers in the herds, my bottle babies take their place. I don't care if they are or aren't productive... Its a luxury I can have since we don't have to have every cow producing....
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Re: Dead calf

Post by TCRanch » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:21 am

One of my faves had twins this year during one of our brutal storms & lost both. Looked like she was cleaning off the first when she went into labor with the 2nd & that one was significantly smaller (both heifers), looked like a stillbirth. We took the first one to the workshop to warm her up but she didn't make it. I don't fault the cow & she was completely distraught for days so she stays.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by 76 Bar » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:12 pm

Generally speaking I concur its prudent to cull non productive females. That said, there's some extenuating circumstances that warrant holding a female over. TCR's experience is but one example. Years ago I lost a number of calves (and pairs) to marauding pit bulls. Would have been folly to penalize otherwise outstanding cows and asinine to expect she could protect herself or her calf in the midst of an onslaught of blood thirsty predators.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by Silver » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:34 pm

Yes, the decision to cull needs to be on a cow to cow basis. Last year I was turning out pairs, got the pair out the gate and went to do something else. Looked back as the calf came running back to where it came from with it's mouth open bawling just as it hit the steel panel. End result was a broken jaw and a calf that needed to be put down. Would have been foolish to cull the cow based on that.
There are a thousand things that can happen to a calf over the course of 205 days and to blame the mother in every case makes no sense to me.

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