Dead cow, 2.5 month old orphan

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Kell-inKY

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Had a cow die sometime Monday night, didn't find her until Tuesday after work. Not sure what killed her, nothing noticeable. My guess is something like acorn poisoning but I didn't do a blood test.

So, she had a 2 and a half month old heifer calf who is orphaned now (born 7/24). I pinned her up last night and got her to eat some sweet feed out of a bucket as long as I wasn't too close. She looked pretty good so far, she is a good sized healthy calf. After that I let her loose with the rest of the herd because she is already missing her mama and I didn't want to stress her out if I didn't have to.

So, do I need to keep her pinned up and feed her, I don't want to unless I have to but I will, I have some milk replacer I could mix up and put in a bucket as well. I am just not sure of grass quality right now and if that will sustain her, they are complaining all the time but they are pretty noisy anyway when they want to move. Last option is to sell her while she is in good condition, that might be my best option but couldn't do that until next Tuesday.

Thoughts or advice?
 

RanchMan90

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Should be fine without milk after 6 weeks. I would pen her up on high protein feed so she doesn't doggie out on grass. A small rumen can only hold so much, so it needs to be quality.
 

skyhightree1

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Kell-inKY":b3c0f3fc said:
Had a cow die sometime Monday night, didn't find her until Tuesday after work. Not sure what killed her, nothing noticeable. My guess is something like acorn poisoning but I didn't do a blood test.

So, she had a 2 and a half month old heifer calf who is orphaned now (born 7/24). I pinned her up last night and got her to eat some sweet feed out of a bucket as long as I wasn't too close. She looked pretty good so far, she is a good sized healthy calf. After that I let her loose with the rest of the herd because she is already missing her mama and I didn't want to stress her out if I didn't have to.

So, do I need to keep her pinned up and feed her, I don't want to unless I have to but I will, I have some milk replacer I could mix up and put in a bucket as well. I am just not sure of grass quality right now and if that will sustain her, they are complaining all the time but they are pretty noisy anyway when they want to move. Last option is to sell her while she is in good condition, that might be my best option but couldn't do that until next Tuesday.

Thoughts or advice?

Well personally that's about the time I wean bottle babies off the bottle but if it were me and shes content being with the herd id let her go but probably get some really good hay/alfalfa and bring her in where she doesn't have to compete against others for GOOD hay if you don't mind a little bit of extra work you may be able to keep her from potentially getting stunted. If you think its too much of a headache ship her. If shes not use to eating sweet feed I wouldn't give her that but start her off with a calf feed that's somewhat like sweet feed but better nutritional value.
 

M.Magis

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Based on my limited experience, it’s either find a way to supplement her or haul her to the sale next week. If left to pasture alone, in a short period of time she’s going to start looking poor and losing value every day.
 

backhoeboogie

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Give her a little protein supplement. Ranchman described it above. Nailed it actually.
 

angus9259

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RanchMan90":rd80tc1q said:
Should be fine without milk after 6 weeks. I would pen her up on high protein feed so she doesn't doggie out on grass. A small rumen can only hold so much, so it needs to be quality.

X2. Or sell it. Once it gets used to the feed, you could put up a creep gate so it can get with the herd and just come in for the feed.
 

turklilley

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She will probably try to steal a drink or two of milk from other cows and she will keep up with the other calves.
 

Muddy

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turklilley":38ruz7cj said:
She will probably try to steal a drink or two of milk from other cows and she will keep up with the other calves.
Personally I wouldn't do that if you don't want a doggy calf.
 
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Kell-inKY

Kell-inKY

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I have a student interested in purchasing the calf to hand feed I guess. Any idea what a fair price would be? She's still in great shape, larger than my average calves at this age.

I know auction price is way down, I stopped looking it got so depressing, thanks
 

RanchMan90

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$400. Roping calves are still in decent demand. I take in 10-12 lightweight heifers a week for backgrounding, last week 2 wts were within $50 of 5 wts on #1 black heifers.
 
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Kell-inKY

Kell-inKY

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Thanks guys,

M-5, by student, I just mean one of my wife's, it's not a 4H project as far as I know. Probably just want a cheap calf to raise and sell or slaughter. I have little doubt their family has more money than we do....... just want to be fair.
 

Putangitangi

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I've put a calf that age onto a bottle when its mother died. Wouldn't leave it or it'll stop growing and be a waste of time - and have a miserable time of it. Sell it to the bottle-rearer as soon as you can so the calf still wants milk that way.
 

TCRanch

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I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents here. One of my best cows was a 40 lb preemie whose mama died of hardware when she was 2.5 months. Pipsqueak (also answers to Squeaker or Squeak) was already eating cubes at 2 months because her mama was barely producing any milk. She refused the bottle & drinking milk replacer out of a bucket. We allowed her to remain with the herd, I never saw her rob off another cow (that doesn't mean she absolutely didn't) and twice a day I would call her & she'd come running for her own private bowl of cubes. We just weaned her 4th calf this year and he's one of the biggest steers even though she's probably only around 1200 lbs.
 

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