Biggest Calf?

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Well-known member
Mar 2, 2004
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Northeastern BC Canada
The post about the downer cow brought an incident from last year to mind.
Got called down to one of the neighbours to help rig up a sling due to a downed cow. When I saw the calf that caused that cow so much damage, I made sure I took some pictures with the camera, because I figured nobody would believe it otherwise.

The cow "Freddie" was a big old beast, probably close to 1700lbs, and had given birth to successively larger calves each year. Last March she outdid herself, literally, as I finally was asked to put her down for them some weeks later. She had been the farm favorite I guess, and after all the blood, sweat, and tears they had poured into trying to get the old gal up, I couldn't blame them for not wanting to be around at her end.

The picture (sure hope this works, as I'm following the posting instructions given by our great guru) is of the calf at three (3) days of age.
A modest guess at his weight would be 160+ lbs (estimation based on the heaviest calf born here that year, which we borrowed a scale to weigh, and he was 138lbs - too big to fit under the top dividing bar in the maternity pen).

My neighbour Annette is standing beside this monster, and she is about 5'6", so that might give an idea of how immense that calf was... if he had been born blue, Paul Bunyon might have come looking for his ox.

Cattle Annie
If a newborn calf would weigh 7% of the mamas weight and she weighs about 1700 lb.that would project to a 130 lb. calf. With your hard winter and the cows were being fed real good to maintain body condition the calf could be quiet a lot heavier than 7% of the mama's weight.

That is one big calf.
That's an interesting suggestion, la. I know that last year I lost one of my best cows due to what I pegged as a genetic malfunction, but maybe it was due to the high nutrional content we have to feed them to maintain condition in the winter. She had twins, a female that was 120 lbs and a male that was 130 lbs. They both survived, but she was only able to raise one as carrying that much calfload when she was in her last trimester caused her to rupture her abdominal muscles, and the calf was only able to nurse off the side that didn't hang down to her hock. I was able to graft the other calf onto a cow that had lost hers.

The neighbour's 'moose' calf was actually a Char x Simmie, Oldtimer. If I remember correctly, the cow was half Char and Simmie, and the sire was a good Char bull.

I guess these things happen, eh Ellie? Keeps us on our collective toes, so to speak.

Thanks again to Macon for posting the picture, as I couldn't get it to work off of Yahoo. Take care.
I still have about 15 Char-Simmie/Angus cross cows that came about after a neighbors Char bull liked my girls better than his. They are nowhere near the size of that cow, but they do sometimes drop a rather large calf even out of a low birthweight angus bull- And they do wean a big calf in the fall. Now if I could just breed that white color out of them.
Our neighbor had a charlois cross cow throw a 120 pound calf that paralyzed her. They ended up having to butcher her.

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