Abandon New Born

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rancherbob

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Recently discovered one of my new born calfs abandoned by it's mother. Found the baby laying in the grass couldn't hardly get up. Called the cows, they came and formed kind of a circle. Got the baby up and tried to lead to it's mother. Two year old first time heifer, Hereford. This heifer is at the bottom of the pecking order. Beautiful heifer, tall, big boned and out of a champion bull. I have a small heard of 10 Hereford cows. This one is always being kicked out of the feeding trough. Anyhow, all the others had their babies in September of last year except this one. She dropped hers what may have been a few days ago and walked away. When I found her baby last Thursday, her mother was on the other side of the pasture with the rest of the cows.

Don't know how long she had been laying there. Don't know if she had her first milk. Umbilical cord seemed short and dry with signs she had defecated before. No where near the 60 - 70 lb calves as the others and not as spry. Since I wasn't sure if she did or did not get her first milk, I took her in, I am now bottle feeding her two quarts of milk twice a day. Seems to be doing well, urinating several times a day with no problem, defecated three times with semi soft feces.

This is my very first experience. Should I have fed her colostrom any way, if I had, would I have harmed her? Not sure if there is anything else I need to do. Would appreciate some advise. Thank you
 

Limomike

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Well, first of all, I would say that you did the right thing in bringing the calf in and feeding it. And since its been past 48 hours, the colostrum wouldnt have made any difference. She probably DID already suck, and get that first colostrum in her. If there is anyway to get the momma cow up with the calf, you should do it, and try to get the calf to suck....unless you just like to bottle feed. (which I dont)

Also, check out the new posting by Jeanne in the Beginners forum about colostrum in the first 6 hours.
 

I luv herfrds

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Just to let you know we had a cow that would have her calf and just walk away. Would pen them together for several days. That cow would never fully accept that calf. After the second time of that we shipped the cow.
Plan to ship the heifer if she doesn't take the calf.
We like to get our heifers in a pen after they calve and let them mother up to the calf. I always get a kick out of watching them first time mommas trying to decide what this little thing is and why it smells so great. :D
 

Frankie

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I luv herfrds":24c53jyb said:
Just to let you know we had a cow that would have her calf and just walk away. Would pen them together for several days. That cow would never fully accept that calf. After the second time of that we shipped the cow.
Plan to ship the heifer if she doesn't take the calf.
We like to get our heifers in a pen after they calve and let them mother up to the calf. I always get a kick out of watching them first time mommas trying to decide what this little thing is and why it smells so great. :D

I've often wondered what they taste like? Yeah, I know. :help: :lol: Occasionally a heifer will act like she's almost afraid of the calf, but just can't stop licking it. And the more she licks, the better she seem to like the calf. So I have wondered if there's something about the taste that stimulates them to lick more?
 
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rancherbob

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Thanks everyone for all your advise. Big lesson for me. I've been learning what experience I have from this board since it was started. I've always wanted to raise cattle but didn't have the courage. I got motivated to try rasing my own cattle by reading this forum. I have gained more confidence as a result and not as nervous about raising cattle as I was at first. I've now been at it 3 years and very pleased except for the sale prices. My neighbor just told me he bought 16 calf's at the auction for 65 cents a pound. In the range of about 300 lbs. each he says.

Anyhow, my last question, just wondering, how much time do I have to get try to get the baby back to her moma and see if she will take the baby this time? I am working out of town until Friday. Will that be to late? As for her moma, should I give her another chance and see what she does with her baby or once they abandoned their first baby they will do it again? Perhaps somone out there has experienced this same situation.
 

Limomike

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rancherbob":1h7m57fr said:
Thanks everyone for all your advise.
Anyhow, my last question, just wondering, how much time do I have to get try to get the baby back to her moma and see if she will take the baby this time? I am working out of town until Friday. Will that be to late? As for her moma, should I give her another chance and see what she does with her baby or once they abandoned their first baby they will do it again? Perhaps somone out there has experienced this same situation.

Again, I would at least get them together as soon as possible; and no its not too late to get them together. And why not give her another chance? She will more than likely do better the next time. First time calvers sometimes tend to not know what to do. I have only had one instance over the past 5 years of a first time calver leaving her calf, and I just penned them up together and made sure the calf sucked. Kept the two of them together for about 2 weeks, (and fed the momma cow good, so she produced more milk) and then turned them out with the rest of the herd.
 

Beefy

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you need to pair them up and try to get the calf on her (assuming you have the facilities to do this). You DO have the facilities to do this, dont you?

some heifers unfortunately have to be taught to be mothers. if they get it down with the first calf they are far more likely to do it right the second go around, however many people dont give a heifer they have to teach to be a mother a second chance. with me it just depends. if she mothers up-fine-i'll consider keeping her if she raises a good calf, if shes ornery and kicks and resists for very long she goes to town.

two fridays ago i had a heifer deliver a calf and get up and leave and never look back. i got her in the pen and brought the calf to her a few hours later and when the calf took to her, she didnt resist, and they live happily ever after.

with heifers the reason for abandonment mostly tends to be lack of experience, although some just have no maternal instinct.

how long has the calf gone without nursing the cow that you know of? she will dry up if you dont get the calf on her soon!
 

I luv herfrds

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Doesn't always end so nicely Beefy.
Shipped one a few years ago that wouldn't claim her calf and tried to kick it to death. Calf went on to be a bottle calf for a friends daughter.
 

3waycross

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Have to ask this.

Are you sure it was abandoned or was she just hiding it out. Sounds like it had colostrum or maybe it woulda already been dead. Just wonderin????
 

Jim62

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I was wondering that, too. Had one a few months ago that we found "abandoned" in the pasture. He could not stand on his own-when we stood him up, he would just flop back down. He belonged to a first calf heifer. Loaded him up and took him down to the corral to start bottling him. He would have no part of the bottle--kept his teeth clenched. Left him laying in the pen and got the heifer in to give her one last chance. As soon as they saw (or smelled) each other, he hopped right up and started nursing, and she did all the normal mama things with no problem. Apparently she had just told him to lay down and stay there, and don't mess with strangers 'til I come and get you.

We live and learn--slowly but surely.
 

I luv herfrds

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Jim better to be safe then sorry.
Pointed out a calf laying out in our pasture to my husband, he told me the calf was just sleeping in the warm sun. WRONG. Calf had died from over eating disease.
Let us know how it goes.
 
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rancherbob

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Thanks again for all your advice. Calf is doing well so far. Laid down some hay for her to sleep on, feed her twice a day and I cover her up with a light blanket at night to keep her warm. Temp here is 50"s at night but headed for somewhere in the low 40's high 30's in the next few days.

I was thinking that maybe her mother had planned on coming back for her, but she seemed disinterested when I called in my cows, took the calf to her and she just stood alone away from her calf. The heifer just walked away so I made an assumption that the cow didn't want her. However, I will take your advice and put them together this Friday and see what happens. They have been separated since this past Friday so it will be a week when I get them together. Would the heifer go dry already?

Baby took to the bottle real easy and no scours yet. Thanks everyone. I will keep you folks up to date as time passes.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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"Generally" if a calf is willing to suck a bottle, they have never had a teat in their mouth.
On your original question as to whether the colostrum would have hurt. No. When in doubt as to how long they have been born, give it. But, just remember colostrum is a laxative.
 

Beefy

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cows will start drying up 5 days to a week or so so you may be able to get the milk flowing still.
 

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