1st calf heifer/milk

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Jul 2, 2012
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Central Texas
Had a first calf purebred Simbrah heifer calf a 62lb heifer the day after Christmas out of a Simmental bull. The calf was up quick and nursing. My wife watched them until Wednesday and yesterday afternoon when I got back the calf seems fine, is full of life, etc... but the momma has little to no bag. I watched the heifer nurse all four and was going at it hard. When she was done she did have a little milk face...

I know bag size does not mean everything but it a bit different compared to our other Simbrah mommas.

i bought this heifer because of her sire and who she was bred to...and she comes from a maternal line.

This is one of those great unknown questions. You won't know till you know. Which is usually around weaning. Unless the calf learns to steal, then you may never know. There are any number of possible scenarios including she's a poor milker, she's a heifer and it will come, she's a good milker and a poor bagger, or any combination of the above. You'll have to wait and see. Just like with a cow with a HUGE bag that raises a lousy calf every year, the opposite can and does also happen.
We had almost the same thing this year. 1st calf heifer from a lineage of great bags/teats (in fact we've retained all the heifers from that lineage) but she had a tiny bag & tiny teats, never got any bigger. We weaned the calves in Oct & her heifer calf is definitely the smallest but she's also the youngest (oldest calf we weaned was born 2/19, this one was born 4/14). She bred back immediately, will actually be one of the first to calve in our Spring calving (due 2/27), and I really didn't want to cull her but I'm anxious to see how she does this year.
I can say from some observation over the years in the dairy industry, not all the smaller bagged heifers are poor milkers. Had a small heifer that aborted on a dairy and I went to test when she was about a month fresh. The farmer said since she was out of one of his best cow families he was going to milk her and try to get her bred back as soon as possible and then just dry her up early and try again next lactation. But SURPRISE, from an udder that looked like she had a tea cup of milk she made nearly 24 lbs for one milking. He couldn't believe it. I mean I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. That means she is making about 45-50 lbs a day (5-6 gallons). I wouldn't have believed it if I wasn't there to test and the farmer was just shaking his head. So that tells you that the genetics were there. I don't worry about udder size in the beef cows so much as comparing the calves. If she doesn't have much milk and the calf learns to grab a free meal from another cow then you might not see a difference but I wouldn't get too concerned unless the calf looks like it is not getting enough. Some of them just have a tight tucked up high udder. Better to last more years without udder problems.
Thanks for the input.

Believe or not...the bag looked better this morning. Seemed a bit "fuller" and after getting a bit closer to the momma and getting down low to look, it is bigger than I thought.
Talked with the breeder also and he thought (and so did I based on when he thought he saw her get bred) that she was due like tomorrow or the next day, so this little gal was prob a week or so early. I was expecting something in the 70+ lb range and I had her at 62lb. She is a lively little thing, could not get my hands on her and saw her poop and it was yellow'ish, not runny but not real solid either.
Going to watch her and make sure she is keeping up and go from there.

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