Birthing Location

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skip

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We are having a lively debate around our place. Until this coming summer, we are still absentee owners and we have limited time on weekends. We have 135 acres with a lot of it in pretty heavy brush. As we all know, cows move off to an isolated place to have calves and at times we can't find them until they come out with a calf. I think we lost one of a set of twins last month because when the cow finally reappeared she had a healthy heifer with her. We never could find her when she was birthing. I think she just walked off and left the other one. We found the calf near the road the next weekend. No signs of problems.

The big question is " It is better to move a cow or heifer that is about to calve into a small 8 acres pasture next to the house so we can keep an eye on her or will this cause the cow / heifer more stress for moving her away from the herd? I would really appreciate everyone's ideas. Thanks
 

dun

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We move the closest up cows to an area close by the house. If there is a problem you can see it easier that way. When a calf is a couple of days old and is following the cow pretty well and spending all it's time sleeping, we turn them back in with the others and bring up the couple of next closest cows. Works well except for the ones that come real early. Frequently, and it seems more often then not, the cow will take one calf and abandon the other. No rhyme or eason. It may be the healthiest calf or the weakest, first born or second, bull or heifer, or................
Never can figure out these cows. How can we expect to when they have no idea what they're going to do next

dun


skip":nrebuw0f said:
We are having a lively debate around our place. Until this coming summer, we are still absentee owners and we have limited time on weekends. We have 135 acres with a lot of it in pretty heavy brush. As we all know, cows move off to an isolated place to have calves and at times we can't find them until they come out with a calf. I think we lost one of a set of twins last month because when the cow finally reappeared she had a healthy heifer with her. We never could find her when she was birthing. I think she just walked off and left the other one. We found the calf near the road the next weekend. No signs of problems.

The big question is " It is better to move a cow or heifer that is about to calve into a small 8 acres pasture next to the house so we can keep an eye on her or will this cause the cow / heifer more stress for moving her away from the herd? I would really appreciate everyone's ideas. Thanks
 

Craig-TX

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skip":1sw6styv said:
We are having a lively debate around our place. Until this coming summer, we are still absentee owners and we have limited time on weekends. We have 135 acres with a lot of it in pretty heavy brush. As we all know, cows move off to an isolated place to have calves and at times we can't find them until they come out with a calf. I think we lost one of a set of twins last month because when the cow finally reappeared she had a healthy heifer with her. We never could find her when she was birthing. I think she just walked off and left the other one. We found the calf near the road the next weekend. No signs of problems.

The big question is " It is better to move a cow or heifer that is about to calve into a small 8 acres pasture next to the house so we can keep an eye on her or will this cause the cow / heifer more stress for moving her away from the herd? I would really appreciate everyone's ideas. Thanks

We don’t try to get them up. If we were running cattle on one place that was small enough to manage that way (i.e. better land) we might do it Dun’s way. It sure wouldn’t hurt. It’s just that in our situation it’s not logistically practical. Plus, you make a good point that often the momma sneaks off anyway and finding her is just about impossible. Herefords are the most prone to hide themselves and their calves after they’re born. This gets back to why we never buy springing heifers.

Craig-TX
 

lazyhill

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We have a couple of pastures that we use through-out the year. Several of them are very heavily wooded and hide coyotes, bobcats, etc. Cows that are going to calve usually end up in our smallest (15 acre) pasture that has very little place for them to hide. We do this so that we can observe them. Once all seems well and we are comfortable moving the cows back, we round the cows and calves up and move them back to the main pasture.

This works well for us, but our cows are used to being moved. We follow a slightly modified intensive grazing program so they are on the move to new pastures often and don't get stressed over it.

It is more work but it is also more peace of mind. It is also nice having the calves in a place where you can watch them and interact with them at every chance.
 

TheBullLady

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I would definately move anything close to the smaller pasture! We leased 150 acres of river frontage property that was lousy with trees and ravines, and I spent hours looking for cows that weren't in the herd when I went to check on them. That's if you are concerned about the cow / calf having any problems. A lot of ranchers in this area figure if the cow calves and both are fine, great. If not, no big deal.

In my opinion, it's tempting fate to let them "take care of themselves", and I would feel really badly if I found either of them dead at a later date because of something that would have been relatively easy to fix.. ie: leg back, breach birth, twins, etc.
 

Craig-TX

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It comes down to some basic variables such as size of place you’re grazing, number of places you’re operating, headcounts, etc. If it’s somewhat convenient to get them up then that is the better way. But in a lot of ranching operations trying to catch every springing cow is not practical for one or more reasons. Again, it gets back to why culling is important and first calf heifers are avoided. This time of year I might go several days between counting cows and checking fences on a given place. If a cow is missing and I can’t find her after a reasonable search (and the fences are up) I figure she’s calving somewhere. In most cases I couldn’t find her if I wanted to unless I looked all day long, which I don’t have.

Craig-TX
 

BLACKPOWER

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skip":ejv735i7 said:
We are having a lively debate around our place. Until this coming summer, we are still absentee owners and we have limited time on weekends. We have 135 acres with a lot of it in pretty heavy brush. As we all know, cows move off to an isolated place to have calves and at times we can't find them until they come out with a calf. I think we lost one of a set of twins last month because when the cow finally reappeared she had a healthy heifer with her. We never could find her when she was birthing. I think she just walked off and left the other one. We found the calf near the road the next weekend. No signs of problems.

The big question is " It is better to move a cow or heifer that is about to calve into a small 8 acres pasture next to the house so we can keep an eye on her or will this cause the cow / heifer more stress for moving her away from the herd? I would really appreciate everyone's ideas. Thanks

If you have the space to do it I would separate the cows that have calved with the cows that haven't. This makes it easier for you to check them and you also lower the risk of disease by moving new pairs onto fresh ground.
 
OP
S

skip

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Thanks a bunch ladies and gentlemen.

It's very easy for me to move our girls in and out of our small pasture. Your right, I sleep a whole lot better knowing they are near the house and I getting too old to crawl around in the black brush and huisache if I don't have to. We usually have 5-7 heifers in the pasture we are keeping away from the bull until they turn 15 months old so the cow that's going to calve will have some company.
 

jcarkie

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i haul my heifers to the house about 10 miles. just do it early enough that they settle down. iput my cows in a small pasture on one place, the only problem is i can't seperate the ones that have babies they won't leave the pasture.
 
A

Anonymous

Its always nice, but not always possible to have them where you can see check them at calving. We try to move our cows and calves as soon AFTER calving and shedding as possible so that predators attracted to afterbirth aren't tempted by a fresh, wet calf. This seems to help especially with the buzzard problems. They seem to be getting worse every year about killing new calves, or else the cow will sometimes step on her baby and kill it while trying to fight them off.

Maybe the Democrats and R-Calf can come up with a solution for this?
 

Craig-TX

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TEXANnotOregonian":3odohhl3 said:
Its always nice, but not always possible to have them where you can see check them at calving. We try to move our cows and calves as soon AFTER calving and shedding as possible so that predators attracted to afterbirth aren't tempted by a fresh, wet calf. This seems to help especially with the buzzard problems. They seem to be getting worse every year about killing new calves, or else the cow will sometimes step on her baby and kill it while trying to fight them off.

Maybe the Democrats and R-Calf can come up with a solution for this?

Usually a cow will eat the afterbirth soon after the calf is up.

Craig-TX
 

dun

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But that's never a deadbang certainty. Some will eat it all some will eat a little, some won't touch the stuff. One of our cows helps everybody else after they calve. She cleans up whatever the others won't eat.

dun


Craig-TX":2a514ng4 said:
Usually a cow will eat the afterbirth soon after the calf is up.

Craig-TX
 

Campground Cattle

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Anonymous":3s8qoev6 said:
The cows that eat it knows what's good. Its full of protein, antibodies and other goodies. If we get a chance to "harvest" it before it gets too dirty, I clean it up real good and turn it over to the old lady. She puts it in an iron skillet for a little bit, stirs it around real good, and the drippings make excellent gravy to go over homemade biscuits. I think some of her folks will then eat it with the gravy, but I make her throw it out or else save it for them because the gravy and biscuits is all I want. Anyway, it seems kind of nasty to eat the afterbirth itself. Its really kind of chewy with all of the membrane and stuff in it, but I bet you could put it in a crock pot and cook it all day and solve that problem. If anyone's interested, I'll try to get her to post her recipe, but its probably one of those little bit of this, little bit of that kind of deals.

I am totally convinced that we are attracting the NUTs. Now I will eat almost anything with fur fin or feathers. There is no way in H*** that I going to have afterbirth stew. You are a NUT.
 

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