Downed heifer, late in pregnancy.

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Ky hills

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Good to see a field of Herefords. From what I could tell from the fast moving video, the first ones looked to have very pronounced backbones, so I’m figuring the problem with the downed cow is nutritional issue. Our hay is never real good as it’s usually cut late. I always supplemental feed daily in the winter to give them at least some protein and energy. Heifers are especially in need of good nutrition as they are still growing themselves as well as a developing calf inside. We winter out heifers separate from the cows so they can get more to eat. The cows would just push them out of whatever feed or hay that was available. If the downed cow was due to nutrition issues then the calf would likely not survive either. I believe these cattle getting on a fresh pasture or supplemental feed and a good mineral for a little while before breeding would make a big difference as they look to be some nice cows.
 

Dsth

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I have heard a long time ago that it is not a good situation to try adding weight or BCS to 3rd trimester cattle. the reason behind that was that the calf would grow and gain weight easier and faster than the cow; therfore if the cow is already in less than average condition, the calving process becomes even more of a problem. I would suggest talking to a nutritionist about post calving feeding program. I personally would limit pasture intake and start feeding a higher quallity hay and grain combo, but price and availability would be a factor for doing that.
 

coachg

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I wouldn’t over do it on supplemental feed if they are a month or less to calving . Any feed now will go to making their calves larger and may cause calving problems. I’d wait till the babies hit the ground and then supplement . Can’t help you on the one down . Calling the vet is your best bet .
 

gcreekrch

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I have never found that feeding a thin cow better will increase the calf’s weight at birth. We bought 70 thin, bred heifers in early March this year and immediately started them on 8 lbs of pea screenings pellets and all the good hay they would eat.
Most calved unassisted and have kept on gaining while feeding a calf. The pellets were shut off a month ago and replaced with 18% lick tubs.
Two best rules with cattle..... make sure you have enough feed and feed your cows! I find the heifers in the video undersized and while not thin they definitely are not in the best of condition for calving.
 

CVAR

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also guys, can you let me know another thing...what can I do for the next 3 months to make sure they are in the best shape possible for breeding season....I plan to AI and then use cleaning bull on them.
 
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CVAR

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also guys, can you let me know another thing...what can I do for the next 3 months to make sure they are in the best shape possible for breeding season....I plan to AI and then use cleaning bull on them.
The single most important thing I think a person can do for their cattle (besides the obvious) is to make sure they have free access to free choice loose mineral) Many new people getting into the business around me call for advice with various small issues and the first question I ask is if they have a mineral supply out for them. Lots of issues start to crop up when they lack access to it over an extended time (everything from shedding in summer to breeding back in spring/summer - but those are only the obvious ones we can see). If you’re investing time/cost/effort in AI, it’s especially important and depending on what you’re doing, I’d go as far as giving a multimin shot a few weeks before AI’ing (we give that shot to all recips used for ET but not to the cows we AI but I’m aware of where these cattle are with their mineral intake up to that point)
 

CVAR

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I have heard a long time ago that it is not a good situation to try adding weight or BCS to 3rd trimester cattle. the reason behind that was that the calf would grow and gain weight easier and faster than the cow; therfore if the cow is already in less than average condition, the calving process becomes even more of a problem. I would suggest talking to a nutritionist about post calving feeding program. I personally would limit pasture intake and start feeding a higher quallity hay and grain combo, but price and availability would be a factor for doing that.
I can say from personal experience this is a fact and it’s especially important when you’re dealing with first calf heifers. Once they’re in their 3rd trimester, if they’re over fed it seems to go straight to the fetus as the fetus is typically done growing in length at that point and only putting on weight. Even older cows can have issues as I’ve seen problems with the fetus getting turned around and into the Superman position as calving approaches. You’re far better off feeding heavy right after calving if you need to catch the animal back up.
 

simme

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Most important for cattle or any living creature is water. Next is nutrition. Minerals are important for good health and breeding, but not nearly as important as enough energy in their diet to meet their needs. You especially see problems with females just before they calve if they get below a minimum nutrition level and condition. They go down and don't have energy to get up. Happens when feeding low quality hay without any supplemental feed. Sometimes, they don't look that bad to an observer, but people overlook the basic need of energy in the feed. They think minerals and worms and such. But, many people lose cattle in the winter due to starvation while having plenty of very poor quality hay/forage out. At some quality level, it takes more energy to digest poor quality hay than the hay provides. I did not view the video from the post, so I am not making any claim of what the issue is in this particular case. But in general, cows have a minimum nutrition level in order to sustain life. That increases if they are pregnant. Cows need a good nutrition level to calve. If BCS is low, they need to be fed before they calve in addition to after they calve. A dead cow can't have a light calf or a heavy calf. Just my opinion.
 
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dimka1980

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Hi folks, and many thanks for suggestions. I am supplementing with milled oat and grass coming up more every day. I think this is the beat thing I can do for now. As for minerals...guilty. They had salt free choice but not the whole package with minerals. I want to start a mineral program this spring and found the ingredients that are used to do complex lick blocks, you know those salts that consists of Mg, S and other macro and micro elements. Asked they guy to sell me the ingredients and he suggested that it might Be dengerous and free choice is not a good idea. Noone here in Russia doing that, and I am bot sure if those ingredients are too concentrated and can it be dangerous for my cattle?
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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All research disagrees with the comments of not adding nutrition in last trimester.
A thin cow has a thin calf in her.
A thin cow has a longer labor because she doesn't have the extra energy to push the calf out. The thin calf doesn't have the energy to get up and suck.
Universities overfed cows in 3rd trimester and at best put an additional 10 pounds on the calf which did NOT increase calving problems.
Cows can die of starvation if the hay is low quality, even if they are fed all they can eat.
 

Allenw

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Jeanene is spot on in my opinion.

You might consider delaying your calving time 45 days or more. That would give your cows some recovery time from winter before calving and delaying last trimester nutrition demands until better weather and green grass.
 

CVAR

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All research disagrees with the comments of not adding nutrition in last trimester.
A thin cow has a thin calf in her.
A thin cow has a longer labor because she doesn't have the extra energy to push the calf out. The thin calf doesn't have the energy to get up and suck.
Universities overfed cows in 3rd trimester and at best put an additional 10 pounds on the calf which did NOT increase calving problems.
Cows can die of starvation if the hay is low quality, even if they are fed all they can eat.
I should clarify that I have in fact fed heavy during late term gestation with hay of various types and have never experienced issues. However, I feed a lot of spent beer grain (some years I pick up more than I can really use) which is high protein (all carbs/sugars boiled out). The first time I fed that heavy during a drought year (with low hay reserves) I had major calving problems with some cows and most 1st calf heifers. Over the years I have Sporadically over fed the same supplement here and there in the 3rd trimester when other feed sources are tight and have had the same issues (although never to the extent of the first time doing it). So, to clarify, I don’t think certain types of foreage can be over fed but in my case with spent brewers grain, it caused a definite issue (most of my calves never make it over the 85# range and heifers are always AI’d to low bw bulls and cleaned up with a low bw bull) I would say in this case, not all feed is equal in terms of what it will do to the fetus. I would assume heavy grain supplementation would cause some of the same issues but I can’t say with certainty.
 

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