Pregnant cow that lost her first

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cowgal604
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Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:23 am

I have a cow that is about 8 months pregnant. She lost her first calf last year. It was a bit early and there was something up with the calf. Possible deformity and calving issue. She had a retained placenta after she delivered the dead calf which needed intervention.

Before she calved she was acting off. Just lazy, slow and very large. She got so big she looked like she couldn't walk well. Always the last to get to grain, always sitting on her own. Looking like she was ready to go for weeks, then the calf died. Normal behaviour for a big pregnant girl, but exaggerated. If she could talk it would be nothing but complaining haha.

Well she’s doing that all again. She’s massive. She’s lazy. She’s spending lots of time alone. But I think she is still at least 1-1.5 months away. I’m expecting this calf late January.

Her first calf was large. 90lbs and early. She is impossible to get into the squeeze when she’s in a mood. The advice last year on here on her calf was to start my herd on a mineral program in case that was the issue and I have done that.

What would you do if this was your cow? Just wait and see? I’ve just got a bad feeling about this! My mom has mentioned her odd behaviour to me everyday this week. Which is how the start of her last calf went.



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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Bright Raven » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:25 pm

The lack of thriftiness and odd behavior suggests that there could be something infectious going on. If this is a repeat early calf (basically an abortion if she is calving before the calf can sustain life), it might be warranted to conduct an antibody test to determine if she has an infectious disease like Neospora or BVD, etc.
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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:04 pm

Bright Raven wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:25 pm
The lack of thriftiness and odd behavior suggests that there could be something infectious going on. If this is a repeat early calf (basically an abortion if she is calving before the calf can sustain life), it might be warranted to conduct an antibody test to determine if she has an infectious disease like Neospora or BVD, etc.
If she loses this next one we will do more testing. We are nose flapping our calves this weekend and I’m going to try and get her through the squeeze. Anything I can do now to try and prevent what happened last time?

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Bright Raven » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:57 pm

cowgal604 wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:04 pm
Bright Raven wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:25 pm
The lack of thriftiness and odd behavior suggests that there could be something infectious going on. If this is a repeat early calf (basically an abortion if she is calving before the calf can sustain life), it might be warranted to conduct an antibody test to determine if she has an infectious disease like Neospora or BVD, etc.
If she loses this next one we will do more testing. We are nose flapping our calves this weekend and I’m going to try and get her through the squeeze. Anything I can do now to try and prevent what happened last time?
A vet could examine her based on what happened last year and her current symptoms. That is my suggestion.
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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Buck Randall » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:05 pm

Sounds like it could be hydrops, but you should have a vet look at her.

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by bird dog » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:11 pm

If you are giving her anything to eat besides hay, quit.

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:14 pm

bird dog wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:11 pm
If you are giving her anything to eat besides hay, quit.
I feed a bit of grain everyday and hay.

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Nesikep » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:37 pm

Perhaps not what you want to hear, but I'd ship her
I had a heifer lose a late term calf about a month early, I presumed due to eating pine needles (they do that when we get heavy snow and it weighs down the branches so they can reach them), she adopted a calf so she stayed around, but then aborted the next one in the fall, she went out on the next truck.. had to be one of my best looking heifers of course too and from a line that usually performed very well
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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:54 pm

Nesikep wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:37 pm
Perhaps not what you want to hear, but I'd ship her
I had a heifer lose a late term calf about a month early, I presumed due to eating pine needles (they do that when we get heavy snow and it weighs down the branches so they can reach them), she adopted a calf so she stayed around, but then aborted the next one in the fall, she went out on the next truck.. had to be one of my best looking heifers of course too and from a line that usually performed very well
Interesting about the pine needles. I didn’t know that.

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Nesikep » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:26 pm

It's a fungus in them that does it, Ponderosa pines are particularly potent I hear.. guess what we have here?
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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by bird dog » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:40 pm

I would cut the grain off completely. She sure don't need it if she is as fat as you say and its only going to make the calf bigger and harder for her to get it out. Protein in late stage pregnancies tends to do more harm than good. You can resume feeding her after she calves if you think its necessary, I don't.

On my herd here at the main farm, I have 51 calves on the ground out of 58 cows. I lost one. None of them have been fed anything but hay. I do have some tubs out for them. I do realize you want to feed you animals to keep them gentle, but your effort to take good care of your cows may be part of the problem. On young cows and heifers. I prefer a not so fat animal hoping for a smaller live calf. Better small and alive than big and dead.

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by cowgal604 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:57 pm

Nesikep wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:26 pm
It's a fungus in them that does it, Ponderosa pines are particularly potent I hear.. guess what we have here?
The wonderful ponderosa haha. I don’t know if ours are pine but we have the typical bc trees with needles on every pasture in some area. It’s interesting Bcs we have one chicken coop close to an area of the farm that has a large forested area and those chickens always do worse. We always question the trees

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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Nesikep » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:37 pm

Not sure what you have, I'm lousy at remembering names of stuff (other than cows)... The ponderosa pines here also cause me other problems, they suck all the nutrients and water out of the ground for about a 70ft radius around the big trees.. there are fields with them on the edges and even watering well every 2 weeks, the alfafa is dying of thirst by the time I get to it again... away from the trees it does just fine for 3 weeks no problem. I'm slowly cutting them down and keeping them away from where the cows are, and the edges of my fields... Some of them are really nice trees though which is unfortunate
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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Caustic Burno » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:46 pm

Bright Raven wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:25 pm
The lack of thriftiness and odd behavior suggests that there could be something infectious going on. If this is a repeat early calf (basically an abortion if she is calving before the calf can sustain life), it might be warranted to conduct an antibody test to determine if she has an infectious disease like Neospora or BVD, etc.
Neospora usually just causes one abortion then the cow becomes a host.
https://afs.ca.uky.edu/dairy/neospora-c ... ion-cattle.

You got hogs? If you do and your cattle aren’t vaccinated for lepto my bet would be lepto.
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Re: Pregnant cow that lost her first

Post by Hpacres440p » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:48 am

Nesikep wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:37 pm
Perhaps not what you want to hear, but I'd ship her
I had a heifer lose a late term calf about a month early, I presumed due to eating pine needles (they do that when we get heavy snow and it weighs down the branches so they can reach them), she adopted a calf so she stayed around, but then aborted the next one in the fall, she went out on the next truck.. had to be one of my best looking heifers of course too and from a line that usually performed very well
Was there any reason or are some cattle just not able to sustain a pregnancy? Sounds similar to what a decision we are probably going to have to make...😕

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