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Early Weaning due to poor BCS

bncsimps

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I'm not sure I have this posted in the right area but I will give it a shot anyway.
We have a 3 y/o Black Angus cow that calved in mid Sept 08; since then we noticed
that she's lost quite a bit of body conditioning...she's eating plenty of hay and seems healthy
otherwise. She's raising a good looking calf and the calf appears to be healthy. We do not plan to retain this particular calf and will be taking her among others to the sale in the spring. My question is whether or not we should pull the calf off of the cow to get her back to where she needs to be before breeding her back later this winter? Will it hurt to pull the calf this early??

Second question same topic: If weaning the calf early isn't a viable option...what other options do we have in getting the cow back to an acceptable body coditioning? Looking forward to reading your responses.

BKS
 

Angus Cowman

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some people have started early weaning fall calves I don't but it can be done the calf will have to be fed until you sell it or until you get grass next spring
couple of ?s when was the cow last wormed,how much hay is she getting per day and what is the protein of the hay and what do you call thin ?
 

cypressfarms

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From my point of view you have a few options:

1. Calf is 3 1/2 months old. It could make it on it's own now, although it may suffer some (weight gain).

2. Put a "creep feeder" in so only the calf can eat feed. This will allow the calf to get his nutrients from the feed as opposed to moma. Moma's first priority is to feed the calf, then condition herself. So her condition will suffer.

3. Feed both moma and calf for quicker results. Moma needs to a certain BCS to cycle.


A couple of things you didn't put: What BCS score is moma cow now? If she was an 8 or 9 and dropped to a 6, then you don't have a serious problem (As opposed to if she were a 6 and now dropped to a 4)

Something else to look at: You said moma was a 3 year old, so maybe she's still growing. With a mature cow, if they cannot handle milking a calf and rebreeding with the rest of the cows they are culled. You don't want to have to feed this cow every winter because she is in poor condition.

Having said this there have been years when I've sold calves early because the herd BCS as a whole was suffering due to poor hay and I didn't want the cows to not cycle (thus delaying next year's calving). But this was a nutrition problem because of my management, not an individual cow who wasn't an easy keeper.
 

grannysoo

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She may be eating plenty of hay that is nothing but gut filler too...

If you don't have good enough hay, she can have plenty of it and still starve to death. Get your hay tested and supplement as necessary.
 

jcarkie

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i have some fall cows that look thinner than i like but they breed back on time. they eat what everyone else, they are heavier milkers. it is hard to deal with special feeding one cow. i keep young cows seperate till they have thier second calf.
 

dun

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jcarkie":1u9zwfgy said:
i have some fall cows that look thinner than i like but they breed back on time. they eat what everyone else, they are heavier milkers. it is hard to deal with special feeding one cow. i keep young cows seperate till they have thier second calf.

Other then keeping them seperate how is their management different?
 

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