calves robbing from cows that didn't calf yet

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Dsth

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Wondering if others are having this problem. I synchronize my cows so they hopefully calf in groups. my first group started calving almost 2 weeks early this year which isn't unusual. also not unusual for later cows in first group to be later that early cows in second group (I sync on 3 week interval so cows that recycle come in with next group.) Caught my first born nursing on a first calf heifer that did not calf yet. Vet said her calf will need to be bottle fed colostrum after it is born since the heifer will likely not have good colostrum now. Had similar thing happen two years ago when I am sure that calf sucked shortly after birth but went down hill after a couple of days. Blood test showed calf did not get enough colostrum. Cows are not crowded but are in a barnyard with a good size barn and shed for protection from Iowa winter weather. I now have cows/heifer that did not calf yet separated from pairs. Is this a similar problem that others have? Any other solutions?
 

TCRanch

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I've only witnessed it a few times. The cow or heifer is immediately separated and her calf gets colostrum replacer. Said cow/heifer also earns herself a spot on the potential cull list. Not necessarily due to crowding; it just sometimes happens.
 

76 Bar

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Calves who suck other than their mothers are typical of orphans who have learned to steal. NEVER put an orphan with 1st CH hfrs.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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You did the right thing. If you have the space, as they calve, they need to be separated into a c/c group.
Vet gave you excellent advice. When you have cows/heifers calving in a large group together, you can have calves sucking the wrong mom or have calves get switched at birth - two cows calve at the same time (especially if one is a first calver.
 

Rancher

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Had a cow drop her calf rite over the top of another 2 day old calf. She turned around and started to lick on the 2 day old calf and paid no attention to her own. The cow that had that 2 day old calf tried to reclaim her calf but didn't take so I ended up with bottle baby.
 

Kcarr

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When cows are getting ready to calve they are very willing to let a calf who is not theirs nurse and accept it as theirs. This is why it is important, if at all possible, to separate those who have calved from those who haven't.
 

76 Bar

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When cows are getting ready to calve they are very willing to let a calf who is not theirs nurse and accept it as theirs.
NIMBY. Aside from blatant mgt errors and an occasional dimwitted 1st CH, cows who allow other calves to nurse get a post haste ticket to town.
 

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