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A tragedy....

GANGGREEN

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I'm just disgusted, scared and heart broken right now. I had a Scottish Highland cow give birth this morning to a little bull calf. It was cold here, probably 10 degree wind chills, so I watched carefully to make sure everything would be OK. The cow was very good about getting him cleaned up and on his feet but he was slow to nurse. In fact, after two hours or so, I went out to help and physically had to force his head under her. Finally, it appeared that he had figured it out and was nursing.

He was dry and appeared to be healthy and spent the entire morning following momma around and nursing occasionally. Periodically, she'd take him into the run in shed, presumably to keep him warm. The last time I looked out was around 2PM and all was well. At 3PM we saw the cow in the pasture but didn't see him nearby. There really aren't too many places to hide in this pasture but we went looking and didn't find him anywhere, not in the run in sheds, not in the pasture and not outside of the pasture. My wife, my two sons and I have been looking for 2 hours for him, dark is closing in and he's still nowhere to be found.

We have a 4 strand high tensile fence and I'm sure he got out, I'm just not sure why he would have up and left rather than hanging around bawling for momma or going back in. I'm sure that bears/coyotes don't have him or we would have heard the commotion from our small herd (5 Highlands, one Hereford and 3 Limo cross steers). I can't imagine someone being brazen, or stupid, enough to have stolen him so I'm guessing that he's out there somewhere doing God only knows what.

I'll continue to go out and listen for him or his mother to see if he turns up near the pasture again but I'm at wits end. I can't imagine that he can last for more than a few hours with the cold and the lack of food for a newborn. Any opinions, ideas or words of encouragement? I'm sick.....
 

Onthebit

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Lets hope she just hid him. One of my cows did this on me this summer. I looked all day for the calf and had to go to work that night. I was distraught. A farmer at work told me to call hubby and have him walk the cows up and down the fields til they found the calf. And thats all that happened. She had it hidden. Is your cow bawling for the calf? If not then this is what has happened.
 

dun

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I've had them disappear and magicly show up. The worst was a heifer calf that disappeared in the late afternoon about 3 hours old. I went to the area where the cow was hanging around and couldn;t find her. Had the neighbor kids come over and we combed the wods till dark, no sign and the cow still standing in the same place. The next morning I was out at first light searching. About 10 am I quit I came back in and there stood the little turd nursing. Hour later she was gone again. Saw her that evening for a few minutes bu then she disappeared again. Turnes out that just the other side of the fence is a huge MF rose. The little turd was curled up just comfy as could be. She'll be having her 4th calf this spring.
 

GANGGREEN

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Thanks for the encouragement and I'm hopeful that it's something like this. The mother doesn't seem too distressed, though she's off by herself instead of hanging with the rest of the group. I've lost youngsters before but always in the summertime when the pasture was up. I'm hopeful that the little guy is just outside the fence holed up somewhere that I can't see him. Like I said, we've looked everywhere and neither the calf nor the mother are bawling or in distress.
 

dun

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If she's a decnt cow and has raised calves before she probably knows exactly where it's hiding, that's why she's not concerned. If she starts bellering then there is a problem if the calf doesn;t show up right away
 

HerefordSire

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Go to Wal-Mart and buy a huge light that you can plug into electricity to recharge it. Works very good as a spotlight. Mine is yellow in color. Get dressed very warm and look all night if you have to.
 

Workinonit Farm

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With any luck, as the others have stated, the calf is just well hidden. I have had a couple of cows that do this. Generally, if I go out 'looking', especially if I have one of the dogs with me (on a lead) momma will stop what she's doing and look in the direction of where her calf is hidden. Sometimes she'll go to it. thats when I put the dog away and go back and find the calf.

Where I work, the cows calve in completely open pastures that are relatively flat, you'ld be surprised how well a cow can hide a calf in the open.

Katherine
 

cypressfarms

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HerefordSire":11m65e1t said:
Go to Wal-Mart and buy a huge light that you can plug into electricity to recharge it. Works very good as a spotlight. Mine is yellow in color. Get dressed very warm and look all night if you have to.


Good Idea. I have a 10 million candlelight spotlight. Maybe a little overkill, but nothing will get away from it. Whether cows/calves, coons, deer, coyotes, you name it. Another trick I've done in the past is to bawl like a newborn. Then the moma will run back to the place she hid the calf. Works a good bit of the time, more than you might think - ofcourse you need to bawl like your in trouble ;-)
 

Brandonm22

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cypressfarms":3lav94rr said:
Good Idea. I have a 10 million candlelight spotlight. Maybe a little overkill, but nothing will get away from it. Whether cows/calves, coons, deer, coyotes, you name it. Another trick I've done in the past is to bawl like a newborn. Then the moma will run back to the place she hid the calf. Works a good bit of the time, more than you might think - ofcourse you need to bawl like your in trouble ;-)

That can work. You can also walk in the paddock with a very loud very active dog on a leash. That cow will go to that calf (dead or alive in ten seconds). If you do it though be prepared to get you and the dog out of there FAST.
 

Beefbusw

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I don't know your exact situation but my some of my mamas are always hiding their calves in the woods beyond the pasture fence. Three strand elecric fence 5000+ volts and the calves walk right thru it when they are young. Actually watched one of my more protective mamas get so worried about the intrusion when I strolled thru the pasture that she nosed her calf right underneath the fence into some tall grass. Not too much to worry about in my area as far as predators so i just let them be. Mama always knows where baby is. Hope everything is well.
 

jkwilson

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Add my vote to the calf is hidden. Sometimes if you come into the pasture the cow will turn and look toward the calf, which can give you a hint. They can be tough to find. The cow would be upset if the calf had disappeared.
 

GANGGREEN

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Thanks you all very, very much. The calf is back!!! We searched diligently for hours and, even in the dark, I was out there every 30 minutes or so. I was still amazed that the cow didn't seem terribly concerned but it was going on 5 hours since anyone had seen the little bugger. Well, lo and behold, my wife was talking on the phone in a dark room looking out the window and she saw the cow standing near the fence looking back toward the house (which isn't that unusual) but when my wife looked closer to the house, she saw the little calf right in front of our house. She yelled at me, I took off running (in nothing but my long underwear) and got the calf, then carried him into the pasture where momma was excitedly waiting for him. He went right to her and began nursing. All is well and I'm very much relieved. Had I not found the little bug I might not have gotten much, if any, sleep tonight.

Thanks again everyone.
 

skyline

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When I first got my cows, I drove myself nuts trying to keep tabs on the calves. I've walked the pasture for hours, daylight and dark, looking for calves. I don't get near as concerned now, but I lost a lot of sleep over the little suckers at first. I'm glad you found him. I know you'll rest easy knowing he's back with his momma.
 

c farmer

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My pasture is has alot of thick brush in it, I have tried to find calves it is hard to find calves in my pasture. Once in a while I will find it but usually i will watch the cow to see where she goes in order to find the calves.
 

backhoeboogie

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We had a brush run we called "birthing alley" because most of the cows went their to give birth. We cleared it three years back and put it in coastal. Turns out that was a big mistake because we cannot find the calves now. No telling which live oak or pecan tree the calves are under. One thing about it, when they are hid the Mexican buzzards aren't trying to gouge their eyes out.
 

BeefmasterB

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When I need to find one I work at bawling just like a calf would and then watch the mother. Almost always she turns her head to where she last saw her calf. Works most of the time!! (although I get a lot of strange looks :nod: )
 

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