calf death

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sidney411

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How long would it take a newborn calf to die if it got no milk from the time of birth? Also, if a calf is born dead haw long would it take the mother to 'dry up'? If a calf is dead in the womb could it cause a cow the never come into milk?

Reason for my questions:

Last night while checking the herd I found a calf 'proped' up against a tree, dead. It was full term, clean, nice looking calf - just dead. It was still limber and had no preditation injuries. No injuries at all that were visible. Eyes were open and clear, a little sunken in though. Momma was laying close by, when I checked her I thought all was well because of the position of the calf it looked ok but I noticed it did not respond when she balled at it. I had not checked the herd since last week but I knew this cow was due anytime. She is a 7 year old hereford in great body condition, fleshy. We put her in the pen and went to the dairy and got a newborn to graft to her and put her in the chute to show the calf how to nurse since it had been on the bottle. The cow has no milk at all! Her bag is not at all swollen, it is very flacid. I tried bumpinb her and usually we will get a few drop at least even if the cow is not letting her milk down. I can usually feel it in the udder, but this cow has nothing. I don't feel the hardness of mastitis and the tits are not hard or swollen, I feel no lumps inside, I don't see any physical defects.

Could a cow never come into milk when her calf is born? She was mothering this dead calf fantastically and was very protective if it so I know it is not a proplem with 'want'. How can I know if this will happen next time she has a calf or if it is a freak thing that happened, if it is what happened.

Thanks for all everyone's help!
 

CattleAnnie

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Is this the time you've calved this cow out? Just wondering if you've had problems with her in the past. Sure does sound odd.

For what it's worth, sometimes I'll give a shot of Oxytocsin (sp?)to a cow that won't let her milk down. Only takes 2cc intramuscularly and a fifteen minute wait, and they can't hold their milk up.

Hope things work out for you. Take care.
 
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sidney411

sidney411

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I bought the cow bred from a guy, she was a former show heifer and is super calm, I can walk right up to her and per her. I think she had had calves and milk before because her bag has some size - not like a heifer that has a very tight bag or a cow that has never nursed. I don't want to sell her because she is a great cow- or I thought she was? I am going to have to take the little calf back to the dairy because I can't bottle him. I just don't know if the cow should grow wheels.
 

TheBullLady

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That's very odd.. although her being a former show heifer MIGHT have something to do with it. I would spend a dime and call the former owner and ask if she's had a viable calf before.

The calf would die in 24-48 hours without milk. The cow would dry up totally in 30 days or so.. so if the calf is less than a week old, she must not have had any milk to begin with.

See what the owner says before you decide. If you want to risk it again, I would suggest having her somewhere you can watch her when she goes to calf again. You may end up bottle feeding her next calf.
 
A

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They (any baby) should have enough of the brown fat they were born with to survive about 3 days with no additional milk. I would wonder if the calf was positioned wrong and she had a difficult birth so he either died before or shortly after birth. That wouldn't explain the no milk tho.
 
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sidney411

sidney411

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Bull lady,

The former owner in a family member and his cows were not watched as I watch and record my cows. He sold calves once per year and didn't really know who had a calf and who did not. He had a heifer that was 4 years old and barren, that tells you how well he paid attention. Anyway, what would the effect of her being a former show hefier be?
 
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sidney411

sidney411

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I tried a shot of oxytocin from the vet yesterday and it did nothing, still no milk. I guess she will have to grow wheels come saturday.
 

Beefy

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It doesnt take long for a cow to stop milking if she hasnt been nursed.

show heifers sometimes dont milk well b/c of an accumulation of udder fat from being pushed with feed.

what do you mean by "propped" against a tree? as another poster suggested the calf could have been backwards (or other mispresentation)and died during birth, or she could have gotten it out to its hips or so, turned around and broke his neck or back on the tree (less likely, but possible). Was the calf sitting up, did it look like it had walked, was it leaning on the tree?
 

certherfbeef

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Unfortunatly, show cattle are not very good replacements. Too much fat in their udders from being made to look like butterballs. I have several ex-show heifers producing in my herd...but I also get hurt in the show ring because I refuse to let them carrie that extra weight. I also have some that went directly to town soon as the calf could travel. Good Luck
 
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sidney411

sidney411

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The calf was dry, clean, it's eyes were open. From what I could tell no broken neck or back. No injuries visible. He was kind of in the sitting up position with his head leaned against the tree. It looked like he was kind of taking a nap. His eyes were open and clear but sunken in a little. He wasn't squashed like what I have seen sometimes when a calf is big and difficult to deliver, by picking him up I guess his weight in 50 to 60 lb range. He was a beautiful calf - the first one we have lost to this set of cows we bought.
 
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sidney411":12n5fbsh said:
The calf was dry, clean, it's eyes were open. From what I could tell no broken neck or back. No injuries visible. He was kind of in the sitting up position with his head leaned against the tree. It looked like he was kind of taking a nap. His eyes were open and clear but sunken in a little. He wasn't squashed like what I have seen sometimes when a calf is big and difficult to deliver, by picking him up I guess his weight in 50 to 60 lb range. He was a beautiful calf - the first one we have lost to this set of cows we bought.

my guess is that it just didn't nurse. as to why the cow didn't have milk, i don't have a good guess.
 

Kelly

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Are you sure that the calf was out of that cow? Possibly another cow and that would explain why it does not have any milk? How many other bred cows are in the same pasture?
 
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sidney411

sidney411

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It was that cow for sure. She was by herself in a different pasture from the other cows (but all cows had access to this pasture, she had seperated herself). She was 'mothering' the calf. I had her palpated to be due at this time and there was dried blood on her rear end.
 

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