A walk away mom

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SmokeStackFarms

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Same song --second verse.
Last season, heifer F had a calf that would not stand.(85 lbs-vet said -the calf's muscles were under develop due to it's size) We kept trying, hoping for some success. It did not make it.
Today, F gave birth, early am to a calf (60Lb). We got to it, did not delay, got the calf standing for about an hour.It would approach momma, she would not stand still long enough.
I grabbed up calf and expected momma to follow me to head catch.. Momma did not follow me &calf.
I kept going---- to Vet. He will keep little heifer over the weekend. I came back to get momma up in the pen. all the other cows came but she is hyper.

Question?
When baby comes home?? ---------------???
I hope to have cornered momma but if I don't--my options??? --
bottle feed until she comes?
Neighbor said" load both up and head to the sale barn ASAP"
I think he is probably right about momma but that calf looks very good!
What lies ahead???????? :???: :???: :???: :???:
 

1982vett

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Possibly, you meddled to much. Need to let nature do what nature does best. All you need to do is help when needed which isn't very often.

Not sure why the calf is at the vet, if it is a healty calf it should be calling for mama. If they are left alone she will be attentive as long as she is not disturbed.

I'll have to agree with your neighbor. Some cows might be worth giving a second chance but rarely deserve a third. If you do send them to the sale barn, don't let them sell as a pair and screw someone else. If the vet keeps the calf over the weekend, they will no longer be a pair anyway. Mama will have nothing to do with any calf by Monday.
 

Frankie

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SmokeStackFarms":3g65h3z9 said:
Same song --second verse.
Last season, heifer F had a calf that would not stand.(85 lbs-vet said -the calf's muscles were under develop due to it's size) We kept trying, hoping for some success. It did not make it.
Today, F gave birth, early am to a calf (60Lb). We got to it, did not delay, got the calf standing for about an hour.It would approach momma, she would not stand still long enough.
I grabbed up calf and expected momma to follow me to head catch.. Momma did not follow me &calf.
I kept going---- to Vet. He will keep little heifer over the weekend. I came back to get momma up in the pen. all the other cows came but she is hyper.

Question?
When baby comes home?? ---------------???
I hope to have cornered momma but if I don't--my options??? --
bottle feed until she comes?
Neighbor said" load both up and head to the sale barn ASAP"
I think he is probably right about momma but that calf looks very good!
What lies ahead???????? :???: :???: :???: :???:

First, I don't think you can blame this heifer for the first calf.

Second, did you "get to" this calf too soon? Heifers will sometimes be scared or confused about that wiggling thing that just came out of them. If you jumped in before she had time to smell of it, lick it, to identify it as part of her, this one may not be her fault. Then you hauled the calf off the the vet. So it really smells funny now. (Please understand that I'm not pointing the finger at you. You were the one there and know what happened.)

At the point the heifer wouldn't let the calf approach, I'd have put them together in a small pen and watched to see if the calf nursed or not. If not, then the vet might have been an option.

When the calf comes home, I'd try to pen them together and see if she'll take the calf. Watch them that she doesn't hurt the calf. If she doesn't accept it, you can either raise it on a bottle or find a nurse cow to raise it. Good luck.....
 
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SmokeStackFarms

SmokeStackFarms

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Update
Calf was given some dairy cow colusm, @ Vet. Hurried calf to catch pen; Momma came in a bit;

Calf was very active after milk; got momma in pen; she is licking and baby is responding; both are talking to each.
Other cows are gather round the pen .
I hope we are out of danger.
Will leave them in 20x 30 pen. plenty of water, sweet feed/hay stretcher/ & hay.


Perhaps hasty-- but the scenario too familiar to last year. Last year, when this happened, alot of advice was given --to do what I did today.....go figure?? You do the best given all the information & experience.
SA--situational Awareness!!!!

i will keep you posted.
 

1982vett

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Glad you got it worked out.

I suspect the advice given this year is different because the calf was OK. You said last years calf couldn't stand. Big difference.

Sounds like all will turn out OK now.
 
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SmokeStackFarms

SmokeStackFarms

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This pm Mom & baby are very bonded. I have not been with them very much today.
Maybe they needed a break.
When I went out -- a few minutes ago-----27 hours since the vet & I gave her 2 pints of Colostrum.
She seems very active and relatively stable leg.
But Momma's bag isn't very big and I have not observed if baby is hitting the bag.
I presume she is or she would not be so active.
Momma is hyper-attentive to baby. I will check tomorrow. At this moment I have to just trust mother nature.
Any response?
 

I luv herfrds

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Since the cow didn't raise a calf last year don't worry too much about the size of the bag. The cows milk production should pick up as the calf demands increase. You might not catch the calf nursing yet.
Glad to hear that they bonded so well.
 

braunvieh

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I would say if calf is active it has probably nursed. It can be hard to catch them doing that. I hope it all works out.
 

Victoria

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Can you feel the calf's stomach WITHOUT taking it from it's mother? If so just have a quick feel and see if it's full. Don't do it if there is any chance of getting hurt. Chances are though she is drinking if it has been 27 hours. The calf isn't bawling?
99% of the time a healthy calf that has a cow that loves them they will figure it out.

Just noticed the date on this - guess this wasn't helpful. :oops:
 
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Never appraoch a calf, unless you had to assist in birthing it for at least an hour after it is born. Let the mom bond with it. If you have to assist in the birth, do it and walk away, let the mom bond with it. I have never had a problem if I followed this, I really like to wait till she's licked it pretty much dry, and then you can approach and tag it or band it if you like, otherwise, don't mess with it. That behavior, accepting a calf and nurturing it, is instinctive and the best of them will do it automatically every time. You might have a first timer who is confused a little while at first, but it really shouldn't take her long to come around to the idea. Sometimes when the birth is especially hard, a hard pull, or long drawn out delivery, she will associate the calf with the pain and shun it for a while, but you can usually get her to take it with a little encouragement. If a heifer doesn't show mothering tendencies, I cull her, every time. I can't put up with it, when so many cattle are excellent mothers, why would I want to keep a defective one? If you only have a couple cows maybe you don't mind, but you can't run a herd that way. Don't blame her if you think you interferred with the all important bonding process though, a heifer is going on instinct, so its quite possible to mess that up.
 
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SmokeStackFarms

SmokeStackFarms

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Thanks --you gave some good advice.
In this situation, the calf had been licked clean. Also, there were many different scenarios in play that were unique to this cow.
In this specific case--it worked out great the way things were handled by all concerned.
Given any other situation--I agree with you.

As of today the Momma & calf are thriving.
The key thing--was that the calf was put in the pen W/ Momma. The calf had a belly full of colostrum to hold it over til all things connected.
 

Frankie

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SmokeStackFarms":2tt1vwnz said:
As of today the Momma & calf are thriving.
The key thing--was that the calf was put in the pen W/ Momma. The calf had a belly full of colostrum to hold it over til all things connected.

I love a happy ending. :D
 
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