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Calf Success Stories

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LoveMoo11

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Have you ever had any great success stories regarding any of your calves? One that turned out much better than you had hoped or recovered from an illness and turned out great? I think its interesting how much of the animal world is unpredictable and often unexplainable. We had an Angus calf born once that never stood, from birth up until four months. She would try and try but could never do it, and we weren't sure why. We brought her in from the pasture and fed her with a bottle and eventually a bucket, and we supplemented her with grain and hay, hoping that good nutrition would help. I would even put my leg under her front knees when she would try to stand to support her, we tried holding her up, nothing worked. We had pretty much given up, until one night I heard a commotion in the barn and went out and turned on the light-the calf was standing up, shaky, but she was doing it. She made a full recovery and even became a show heifer (class winner!). She has a slight hump on one part of her back, I think it was maybe a result of her issue, whatever it was. Any ideas? I am curious to hear your stories as well!
Here are some pics of her, she is my pal :D

 

randiliana

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We have several stories.

One is this cow


#219, was born on a rather frosty morning, but when I found her, she was all cleaned off, and sitting up nicely. Hadn't been up yet, but she was still pretty fresh. So, I left her alone. When we came back about 2 hours later, she was no longer upright. She was flat out, and to the bawling point. That is never good, and 95%+ of the animals we have had at that point do not recover. So we grabbed her up, into the truck with the heater on and rushed her up to the neighbours who had a hot box. We gave her a dose of colostrum and left her in the hot box for an hour or so. And, gave her a shot of selenium. Between all 3 things, she recovered literally from death's door. Her mama took her back, and raised her up (with a little more TLC from us) She did lose her ears, and she is ugly as can be, but she will be 8 years old this spring, and she raises us a darn good calf every year.

Another was this little guy


Born on another rather cold morning, but we were there when it happened. We figured he was 4-6 weeks premature, and he weighed 46 lbs. He spent the first 3 days in the house, we milked his mama and fed him that. It was pretty touch and go the first day, then it took him about 2 days to get up and around and the 3rd to get going good. Then we gave him a blanket, and took him out to mama who was really, really glad to see him again. He weaned off at over 500 lbs in the fall.

We have had others, and these are the reason we try so hard to save the hard luck cases. We lose more than we save, but even saving one makes all the grief worth it.
 

Nesikep

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one year we were hit pretty bad with scours, we had about 12 calves, 6 with scours, boy were we ever busy bottle feeding.

one of the heifers who was nearly dead made a full recovery, and we kept her, gave us many calves, the othersteers all made good recoveries and weaned in the 600's.

another experience which wasn't all good was a cow that had fallen on ice and broken her pelvis, we sledded her up by the house and took good care of her, on my dad's birthday she calved about a 4-6 weeks premature, and she was in rough shape and had to be put down, but the calf was bottle raised and was quite a pet.

the last case was a dehorning job done in feb, and the vet told us we didn't need to bandage the wound, well, summer time came along and flies got into it... most disgusting job I've had to do yet.. I rode my motorcycle to the farm (3 1/2 hours each way) every weekend from april to august for that cow, as i was the only person who could get within 100 feet of her, let alone work on her, finally, after shaving the entire area, dousing it in alcohol, iodine, and any other antiseptic i could get my hands on, and covering everything with a beeswax/pine sap/turpentine mix and gauze, I succeeded in getting rid of the flies and the infection, once that was done she healed up a 3" round wound on each side of her head in about a month, and by winter time you could never have told she had horns at one time.. That was Lizzy

Before the dehorning


All patched up


The calf she raised that year
 

bward

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Remember the ruptured Belly cow that I had to kill and remove the calf, and then foster it onto a heifer? Search 'ruptured belly cow' if you missed the story.
This is him and his adopted mom about a week before weaning. He did quite alright.
 

I luv herfrds

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Have quite a few stories.
My most favorite had to do with our cow GI Jane.
As a first year heifer she was down at the barn with the other first years. I noticed her ears drooping and she was not interested in eating. Was really looking sick.
Got her in the barn and hit her with antibotics. Kept her in the barn as a precaution. Just kept watching her, letting her out back to get watered. She just kept getting sicker and weaker.
I went and checked her one night just to make sure she was alright. Heard her making some noise, she had just delievered her calf.
They were both wet and cold. At this point she was down and could not get up. I was able to pull the calf in front to her and get her up so I could get the wet straw out and put dry bedding down. She was so weak she fell on the calf and I had to really be mean to get her up. Calf was fine.
When I left she was laying there licking the calf like crazy.
Next morning she was up and nursing the calf. We kept them in for a couple of weeks feeding her like crazy to try to build her back up. Have had that cow for quite a few years now, never did find out what she had that made her so sick.

Frosty was a bull calf that I remember.
We calve starting at the end of Febuary and into the first of May.
We had 2 feet of snow in the bottom of the coulee and it was about -15 below. An old friend of my husbands showed up that night.
They went out to check the cows. After the friend left I started to get this feeling to go out and check the cows.
went down into the coulee and here was a cow trying to get her calf up. He was completely white, covered with frost. Went to barn and turned on the hot box, grabbed the calf sled and headed back.
Coming back I noticed another cow loosing her water, ok. Then another cow was showing signs of labor.
Grabbed the calf and got him to the barn and in the hot box. Put both him and his mom in a pen.
Went back out and could not get those other 2 up to the barn. Woke up the husband and we got them both inside.
Kept a close watch that night. All 3 calves were fine and grew up nicely.
 

Victoria

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Wow, there are so many stories. I remember when I was a kid my older sister found a calf that she assumed was dead frozen into the ground. She used a shovel to dig the calf out and then saw the heifer blink at her. She loaded her up onto the horse and brought her to the kitchen. She had no ears, no tail and not a lot of hair left on the one side but she made it and had years of calves for us.

My personal favourite though is Princess. I checked the cows and noticed 45 had a calf, it was cold but she was a good cow and had the baby on lots of straw. I figured I would give her 5 minutes while I checked everyone else and come back. When I left the calf was shaking her head and trying to stand up. I got back and the calf was flat out and there were cows around. I thought she was dead. I threw her in the truck and took her to the house. Her head was a little swollen and her back didn't seem normal. I was pretty sure she had been stepped on. For a full week she lay in the kitchen not wanting to get up. I was sure she not only had physical damage but maybe even some brain damage. I was also certain she would die. It was a tough year. The weather was freezing and we had four orphans total. We never have that many! Anyhow we gave 45 a steer calf that she did take. We had two heifers - Angel and Princess. Now this probably sounds crazy but they were kitchen calves for about a week - it was just too cold to put them outside without a mother. In case anyone wants to know - pet stores sell large dog diapers that work on female
calves. ;-) After a week it warmed up enough that they could go out in the day and just come in for the night. Princess was still a bit unresponsive but she would walk and everyday I would take her and Angel for a long walk to try to get Princess' muscles working better. Angel was a month old, Princess 3 weeks when we put the two of them in the barn with 51 a cow on her second calf that had taken our fourth orphan - another steer. Princess was doing pretty well by this time.
Well, this cow decided to raise Angel and Princess along with her other orphan and her heifer calf. We helped her by going out a couple times a day with some milk but she fed, bathed and loved all four like they were her own. We figured we probably fed 3/4 or even one calf. Princess is now perfect. She has had 3 calves of her own and will be having an embryo this year. I really never thought she would make it through the first night. Angel was put down when she was a year and a half old - she had congestive heart failure. Amazing as she was the healthy, active one. It just goes to show you never know and why you have to try to save them all. 51's birth daughter - Cowntess is still in the herd. She is our boss cow and she and Princess are inseperable. They still hang out with 51 too. Monster (the steer) has been eaten long ago.

Here's some pictures of them:
51 feeding her calves:



Princess with her first calf. I love the expression on her face.


Princess with her steer calf:


51's daughter Cowntess and her daughter from the year after is the cow on the left.
 

Victoria

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randiliana":3cfc6zsn said:
We have several stories.

One is this cow


#219, was born on a rather frosty morning, but when I found her, she was all cleaned off, and sitting up nicely. Hadn't been up yet, but she was still pretty fresh. So, I left her alone. When we came back about 2 hours later, she was no longer upright. She was flat out, and to the bawling point. That is never good, and 95%+ of the animals we have had at that point do not recover. So we grabbed her up, into the truck with the heater on and rushed her up to the neighbours who had a hot box. We gave her a dose of colostrum and left her in the hot box for an hour or so. And, gave her a shot of selenium. Between all 3 things, she recovered literally from death's door. Her mama took her back, and raised her up (with a little more TLC from us) She did lose her ears, and she is ugly as can be, but she will be 8 years old this spring, and she raises us a darn good calf every year.

Another was this little guy


Born on another rather cold morning, but we were there when it happened. We figured he was 4-6 weeks premature, and he weighed 46 lbs. He spent the first 3 days in the house, we milked his mama and fed him that. It was pretty touch and go the first day, then it took him about 2 days to get up and around and the 3rd to get going good. Then we gave him a blanket, and took him out to mama who was really, really glad to see him again. He weaned off at over 500 lbs in the fall.

We have had others, and these are the reason we try so hard to save the hard luck cases. We lose more than we save, but even saving one makes all the grief worth it.

I couldn't help but notice that the box the calf is laying in says to refrigerate. :lol2: :lol2:
 

randiliana

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Victoria":x137g53g said:
I couldn't help but notice that the box the calf is laying in says to refrigerate. :lol2: :lol2:

Yeah, it was a lettuce box I think, that is how small he was. We didn't follow the directions on it very well :lol2: :lol2:
 
OP
L

LoveMoo11

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Victoria-that is a riot that you used the doggy diapers!! Never thought of that haha! :lol:
 

jcarkie

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my favorite is blessing: mother babe my favorite cow at the time 12 years old and a vetatren calf raiser. i was attending a.i. school my wife called and said babe was calving. i came home no calf so i put her up and went to bed, next morning she is laying down chewing her cud no calf. she has a membrane hanging out like she has calved no calf, i hunted for a calf, no calf. i go to school, i worried all day if something is wrong, rush home load babe fly to the vet at closing time. vet said her uterus was twisted and the calf did not enter the birth canal and the cow quit. 26 hours later he untwist uterus and pulls out calf, calf will be dead. the calf starts sputtering and is alive, took them home cold rainy night, cow lays down pushing calf won't stand, warmed up calf and got mom up worked until 10:00 p.m. went to bed. i got up the next morning both standing and doing good, so i went to school, came home the cow is down sick and can't get up, shots and tlc. babe never got over that, and had cancer eye so i had to sell her.when blessing was 4 months old, she is about to have her third calf.
 

Keren

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My story isnt about a calf, its about my ram Arthur. He was given to me by my uni after being found half dead without a mum. I didnt think he would last the 45 min car ride home, but he surprised me by squawking loudly when we got home. I didnt think he would have a suckle, that I would have to tube him, but he surprised me again by having a strong suck. I didnt think he would survive the night, but he did.

He was living out in my wood shed and when I had had him for about 3 days I went out one morning with a bottle and he had somehow climbed onto the wood pile, and a log had fallen down and was lying across his neck. I thought oh crap, he has broken his neck. So I picked up the piece of wood ... he was cold, and stiff. He was dead. I was mightily pissed off and upset. Anyway, I grabbed him by the back leg and chucked him over the fence, thinking I'd deal with him later. Well, I was looking at him ... and a back leg moved. Ever so slightly. When I felt his chest, his heart was beating. So I grabbed him and took him inside, put him in my bed which was still warm from the electric blanket (I turned that back on) and about half an hour later I gave him some glucose and some rum. About 2 hours later he was revived and running around the kitchen :D It was a great feeling :D

He is just the sweetest ram you have ever met :D I love him!

I have a lot of stories like that, but that is just the one that comes to mind. Also there are two kids that I had born this year by caesar, after mum had tried to have them for about six hours amazingly they were both alive and not in any way harmed by the stressful birth.
 

spinandslide

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Alot of folks have seen my calf, Jewel..I bought her when she was about a week-week and a half old from a friend who had been trying, to no avail, to graft her onto to one of his cows that had lost her calf.

About 2 weeks into ownership of her, she got SICK...bad scours, wouldnt eat or drink, blood in the scours..she got severly emaciated. I expected each AM to come out and see her dead. I had to syringe electrolytes down her throat, give her fluids, corrid, banamine,Probios,ect..my farrier, when he came out to shoe my mare, saw her and shook his head..my husband did the same. :)
This was her in June, she looks like hide stretched over bones. :(
View attachment 2

Then, one day, she started eating again..July
View attachment 1

She got weaned off MR and started on feed and hay..August


This month..she is fat, fuzzy and full of energy. I hope she turns into a good cow for us. :) see next post for photo.
 

spinandslide

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I nursed her myself and feel like I learned alot, both from alot of great people on this board, my vet and also just "having" to care for this deathly sick animal. She has turned into a very sweet calf.. I hope I have healthy calves from now on though!!
 

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