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1st calf heifer - problems

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I wondered if anyone could give us some advice on a 1st calf heifer, Angus, where the Mom will not let the calf nurse. Calf is less than 1 day old and the Mom shows the maternal instinct, however will not let the calf nurse and has kicked her several times. Mom appears to not have alot of milk. We gave the calf colostrum, at 6 hours after birth, which she took vigorously from the botte, and then milk replacer twice since then, (tubed her). She will not take the bottle now, but still seems very alert and strong.

Should we give her electrolytes in addition to the milk replacer, and something for possible pneumonia and/or scours in advance of her getting either of these? Also, any advice on how to get the Mom to let her nurse would be great as well is there anything to get the milk of the mom to come in sooner? She is halter broke and handles very well and calved 6 days early of her due date. Thanks in advance.
 

dun

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I wouldn't worry about electorpytes at this point. Restrain the heifer, tie her off short so she can't swing around too much. Pass a rope, 3/8-1/2 inch in diameter, around her over her back and just in front of her udder, cinch it up tight, very, very tight. The point is to apply pressure to her spinal nerves so she can't kick. Push the calf under her and get a teat in it's mouth. If the calf will suck but doesn't get enough to eat, you may be able to get the calf to nurse from a bottle if you stick it under the cows bottle and basicly turn it into a 5th teat. If that doesn't work, keep tubing it.

dun

JHM":3db39sbc said:
I wondered if anyone could give us some advice on a 1st calf heifer, Angus, where the Mom will not let the calf nurse. Calf is less than 1 day old and the Mom shows the maternal instinct, however will not let the calf nurse and has kicked her several times. Mom appears to not have alot of milk. We gave the calf colostrum, at 6 hours after birth, which she took vigorously from the botte, and then milk replacer twice since then, (tubed her). She will not take the bottle now, but still seems very alert and strong.

Should we give her electrolytes in addition to the milk replacer, and something for possible pneumonia and/or scours in advance of her getting either of these? Also, any advice on how to get the Mom to let her nurse would be great as well is there anything to get the milk of the mom to come in sooner? She is halter broke and handles very well and calved 6 days early of her due date. Thanks in advance.
 

Linda

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Is the calf with the mother? If so, could it be nursing and you haven't seen it nurse?

If not, it may be too weak to nurse from the bottle and will need to continue to be tubed twice a day until it gets its strength up. This could be from several days to a week or two. Usually it's only a few days. If the heifer had a difficult birth or the calf was a large one, that's hard on the calf and it sometimes takes them a few days to get going. I realize it's the heifer who is giving you trouble, but sometimes the calf is having problems and it just isn't noticed.
 

Beefy

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What about the heifers milk? is she just not giving any? if she was heavily conditioned she may have a lot of udder fat and as a result will not milk well. Or are her teats just very sensitive? this is common in heifers. could she have mastitis? what does her milk look like? does she just kick at the calf or also walk away?

IF you have a chute, put her in there and tie her like dun said. show the calf where to get the milk and let it have at it. you may have to do this every day if the heifer continues to kick. she will not like going into the chute every day though. it is not uncommon for heifers to kick. once she gets desensitized they will be ok. check for mastitis though.
 

Ellie May

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Try force feeding her but make sure the milk doesn't get into her lungs. If not then when she gets hungry she will want the milk. Some of the best milk for bottle fed calves is goat's milk. We had a bottlefed calf one year that sucked right off one of my goats just had to put the goat up high enough for the calf to reach.
Ellie May
 
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Anonymous

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JHM":c0z8p4tc said:
I wondered if anyone could give us some advice on a 1st calf heifer, Angus, where the Mom will not let the calf nurse. Calf is less than 1 day old and the Mom shows the maternal instinct, however will not let the calf nurse and has kicked her several times. Mom appears to not have alot of milk. We gave the calf colostrum, at 6 hours after birth, which she took vigorously from the botte, and then milk replacer twice since then, (tubed her). She will not take the bottle now, but still seems very alert and strong.

Should we give her electrolytes in addition to the milk replacer, and something for possible pneumonia and/or scours in advance of her getting either of these? Also, any advice on how to get the Mom to let her nurse would be great as well is there anything to get the milk of the mom to come in sooner? She is halter broke and handles very well and calved 6 days early of her due date. Thanks in advance.

Smack her across the nose with a shovel everytime she kicks the calf.
 

BLACKPOWER

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Smack her across the nose with a shovel everytime she kicks the calf.[/quote]


Ya that's my post.
 

Oldtimer

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BLACKPOWER":2dxxzlve said:
Smack her across the nose with a shovel everytime she kicks the calf.


Ya that's my post.[/quote]


Been there a time or two myself Blackpower.. I wasn't going to post my method because it is a little rough on cows, but it is gentler than yours- I take and tie the cows hind legs together and make hobbles out of baler twine. She soon learns that if she tries to kick, its going to hurt her worse than the calf. Then I pen them up until she learns to act like a lady. Usually doesn't take more than a couple of days.
 

Ellie May

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That's more humane than hitting them in the head with a shovel. Only an idiot would do something like that...never mind that was BLACKPOwER. It would just tick the cow off it wouldn't really teach her.
Ellie May
 
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Anonymous

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I am pretty sure she could put it together. Kicking=Pain
If you continue feeding the calf, it really needs something other than milk replacer for about the first three days.
 

Linda

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I have a rancher friend who puts the heifer and the calf in a small pen, then ties a dog to the outside of the pen for the night. He swears the heifer will mother up with her calf by morning. I've never tried it but I get a chuckle thinking about it.
 

Campground Cattle

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I agree restrain the heifer and let the calf nurse, you might try milking the heifer in a squeeze shoot to make sure she has milk. I have never had much luck on growing off bootle feed calves. Remember the No1 rule to ranching ruthless culling of the herd. If this heifer was in my herd she would have an appointment with Jack in the Box
 

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