docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

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docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by bruns » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:00 pm

Just wondering if anyone has had the experience of a very docile bull throwing calves that are not very bright about nursing. I just started using a very docile bull and his first 5 calves gave me 4 bottle babies. They all want to suck the brisket and then when frustrated by that they lay down. I tried to get them to suck the teat and one calf would only suck the rubber nipple of the bottle. One calf that we got on her mother never nursed again on the teat and prefers the bottle. I wonder if the docility travels to the calf and they lose their survival instinct.



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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:12 pm

Sounds more like nitrate poisoning and a bunch of dummy calves.
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by TCRanch » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:32 pm

I won't have anything but a docile bull. There's always a couple calves that just don't "get it" at first but mama teaches them, including first calf heifers. I've only had to intervene a couple times & that's generally when mama's teats are huge. Bottle babies are fun for about a week. I'd get mama in the chute & teach the calves how to nurse.

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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by pdfangus » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:05 am

I don't think it has anything to do with the bulls disposition....
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Bright Raven » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:34 am

The docility of the sire is unrelated to nursing behavior.

Nursing behavior is a function of having healthy vigorous calves. A strong healthy calf is always going to be vigorous at nursing. I would consider your nutrition management as a possible cause if this is not an isolated case.
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Ebenezer » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:26 am

Used an AI bull that sired calves like that. Only once! Threw out the rest of the semen and now avoid that breed like the plague.

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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by TNRiver » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:17 am

pdfangus wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:05 am
I don't think it has anything to do with the bulls disposition....
I agree.. the last 3 bulls I have ran with the herd have all ranked top 5% for Docility and I have never had this issue

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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Nesikep » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:43 am

I have docile bulls and even the huge bull calves are up and at'em in a half an hour
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Son of Butch » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:01 pm

Calf Vigor correlating with Docility... never heard of it and very doubtful.

IF you're going to try to blame the bull and not a mineral deficiency, (selenium, copper, zinc)
calf vigor impeded by cow stamina during long slow birthing due to excess birth weight would seem
more likely. But cow stamina is also influenced by nutrition.

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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Caustic Burno » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:05 pm

Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:01 pm
Calf Vigor correlating with Docility... never heard of it and very doubtful.

IF you're going to try to blame the bull and not a mineral deficiency, (selenium, copper, zinc)
calf vigor impeded by cow stamina during long slow birthing due to excess birth weight would seem
more likely. But cow stamina is also influenced by nutrition.
Only time I ever seen a storm like he is described had been feed related to nitrates. I would have to dig in my data several breeds are more susceptible than others.
“However, a common cause for the weak “dummy calf” is a condition known as acidosis.”
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Nesikep » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:09 pm

130ish pound calf froma small cow.. he's doing fine... I would think a nutritional problem would be highest on my list of culprits as well
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:11 pm

Are you experienced having calves? Are you intervening too soon?
If not, my guess is Selenium deficiency or other nutritional problem. What body condition score are your cows? Pictures?
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by W.B. » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:28 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:26 am
Used an AI bull that sired calves like that. Only once! Threw out the rest of the semen and now avoid that breed like the plague.
I agree.There are is a breed or two that are known to sire deadheads that won’t nurse on their own.

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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by greybeard » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:12 pm

I'd rather think it more on the momma being the dummy....not being able, caring, or knowing how to direct the calves to the spigot.
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Re: docility of the bull causing his calves to not be aggresive nursers

Post by W.B. » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:31 pm

greybeard wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:12 pm
I'd rather think it more on the momma being the dummy....not being able, caring, or knowing how to direct the calves to the spigot.
That was not my experience. Ten year old cows that never were in a barn in their life suddenly forgot how to mother a calf? Udders were not the problem either.

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