First calf of the season is premature

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HOSS

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Yep......my first A.I. calf from my best cow hit the ground on Saturda morning. It was 3 weeks pre-mature :mad: The little heifer calf was and is still alive but she is struggling. She looks fine as far as development with the exception of being about 50 pounds. I found them out in the field with the cow, who is normally an exceptional momma, acting like she didn't really care. I think it is a mental thing as this calf was early her hormones may not have adjusted. The calf was encrusted with ice and shivering. I rubbed her briskly all over and she finally tried to stand. When I picked her up and started carrying her toward the house momma cow suddenly started to care. To make a long story short I hurt my back trying to get away from her while carrying the calf. Needless to say I gave it back to her :roll: The calf tried to nurse but mommas milk had not dropped so I penned them up together and it was off to Co-op to get clostrum and milk replacer. I gave the calf a bottle of colostrum mix and she seemed more spry. Checked back in the evening and calf did not appear to nurse so I fed another bottle. This morning the calf stood for her bottle and I noticed that the cow was starting to bag up more. This afternoon I looked at the cow and there was no change in the udder......came back 2 hours later and her udder looked like a basketball. I was able to milk her and she was giving plenty but her teats had not elongated and the calf won't suck on them because they are so short. This cow normally has a beautifull udder. I don't think the teats have hd time to elongate under pressure like a cow that bags up before calving as normal. Anyway I fed the calf via the bottle again and am hoping for the best tomorrow. I hope the cow gets into momma mode more than she is now. She is on and off. Sometimes she is attentive and licking the calf and protecting it and then she flips over to walking away from it and ignoring it. She has stepped on it two or three times. Luckily it appears unhurt. This is a pretty little heifer out of a Gelbvieh bull called Atlas 101N. I really hopes she makes it. I may post pics tomorrow if she survives. The good thing is she gets up and follows momma around so she is not completley lethargic.
 

cypressfarms

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3 weeks premie isn't too early; you still stand a decent chance. Sounds like you have things (except your back) under control, though.

Good luck.
 

CKC1586

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I lost a heifer calf that had been born a month early, only lived 12 hours, so that extra week must really have been critical for your heifer. Hope she makes it. Sounds like her Momma is trying to get with the program. Good luck and best wishes sent your way....
 

dun

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If you can have another cow or 2 close by them so that the cow has adult company she may settle down more with the calf.
 

Cowdirt

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HOSS":3w1n7lpx said:
Yep......my first A.I. calf from my best cow hit the ground on Saturda morning. It was 3 weeks pre-mature :mad: The little heifer calf was and is still alive but she is struggling. She looks fine as far as development with the exception of being about 50 pounds. I found them out in the field with the cow, who is normally an exceptional momma, acting like she didn't really care. I think it is a mental thing as this calf was early her hormones may not have adjusted. The calf was encrusted with ice and shivering. I rubbed her briskly all over and she finally tried to stand. When I picked her up and started carrying her toward the house momma cow suddenly started to care. To make a long story short I hurt my back trying to get away from her while carrying the calf. Needless to say I gave it back to her :roll: The calf tried to nurse but mommas milk had not dropped so I penned them up together and it was off to Co-op to get clostrum and milk replacer. I gave the calf a bottle of colostrum mix and she seemed more spry. Checked back in the evening and calf did not appear to nurse so I fed another bottle. This morning the calf stood for her bottle and I noticed that the cow was starting to bag up more. This afternoon I looked at the cow and there was no change in the udder......came back 2 hours later and her udder looked like a basketball. I was able to milk her and she was giving plenty but her teats had not elongated and the calf won't suck on them because they are so short. This cow normally has a beautifull udder. I don't think the teats have hd time to elongate under pressure like a cow that bags up before calving as normal. Anyway I fed the calf via the bottle again and am hoping for the best tomorrow. I hope the cow gets into momma mode more than she is now. She is on and off. Sometimes she is attentive and licking the calf and protecting it and then she flips over to walking away from it and ignoring it. She has stepped on it two or three times. Luckily it appears unhurt. This is a pretty little heifer out of a Gelbvieh bull called Atlas 101N. I really hopes she makes it. I may post pics tomorrow if she survives. The good thing is she gets up and follows momma around so she is not completley lethargic.

Hoss, I've quit trying to carry calves to the barn. I made a calf box on a carry-all frame that hooks to the 3 point hitch of my tractor. Load him up and momma usually follows.
 

dun

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Cowdirt":36cc4r6a said:
Hoss, I've quit trying to carry calves to the barn. I made a calf box on a carry-all frame that hooks to the 3 point hitch of my tractor. Load him up and momma usually follows.
I do the same thing but it hooks into the recvr on the back of the mule
 

Victoria

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I feel for you, had that happen last year, except it was the cows first calf. That calf ended up on another cow. She just never got either the milk or the desire for him. Sounds like you are further ahead than I got so I wish you luck.
My first this year was a 24 day early calf - an ET calf - found it dead frozen on the ground. Thankfully calving has since looked up.
 

hillsdown

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I agree 3 weeks is not always a death sentence if mom was giving enough nutrition to the calf in utero. The first calf this year was 3 weeks early and she is fine, she even weighed close to 80lbs.

The very first ET calf we had born here was 3 weeks early and she was only 45 lbs and lived less than a day . That one really hurt ..

Good luck with her Hoss , sounds like you are doing everything right..
 
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HOSS

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Just a quick update. The preemie calf is doing fine. I had to bottle feed for a couple of days but momma is milking fine now and the little heifer has learned how to nurse. She is an active and alert little booger so I have high hopes for her. I still have them corralled up with access to a run-in. The calf is so small that she doesn't have much body mass to stay warm. I will turn her and the calf out with the others by the weekend if all goes well. Thanks for all of the support and encouragement. I didn't want to lose this calf especially from this cow.
 
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HOSS

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I am not sure what happened but the little heifer died on Thursday. It was up, active and appeared normal on Wednesday evening. Thursday morning she is dead. I am am baffled. :cry2: I noticed today I have another cow with placenta like tissue coming out like she is going to calve (early also). She has not started the traditional bagging up or loosening of the vulva. I am stumped as to the cause. My cows are very healthy, great BCS and on free choice, good barn-kept hay and pasture minerals. They have all been vaccinated with a 7-way and booster by the vet. I have been VERY fortunate over the years to have lost very, very few calves. Just 1 in the last 5 years until this heifer. I AI'd them on May 10th and was not expecting any calving activity until mid-February. Any ideas???????
 

Oldtimer

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Hoss- have you had any abnormal winter weather?...Snow-Ice? Abnormal/stressful weather often plays a role with early calves... Ice is often a problem up here- with cows slipping on it then aborting/ or delivering early .....
 
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HOSS

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Oldtimer":30fhprnd said:
Hoss- have you had any abnormal winter weather?...Snow-Ice? Abnormal/stressful weather often plays a role with early calves... Ice is often a problem up here- with cows slipping on it then aborting/ or delivering early .....

Yeah we have had unusual weather for here. More snow and cold than anytime over the last 10 or 12 years. We have had several snows instead of the 1 or 2 that we normally have which melt off the next day or so. Now that you mention it I did have a cow hurt herself (back leg) by slipping and falling on ice. I had the vet look at it because I thought it might be broke but it turned out to be a deep bruise and she is finally starting to limp less and get around ok.
 

msscamp

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Something else you might want to think about is that milk replacer makes the calf smell different, and can cause a mother to reject her calf. I'm sure you've noticed how the cow smells the backside of the calf when they are nursing? Milk replacer can change that smell. It's always a good idea to milk the mother and bottle fed the calf with that milk if at all possible, rather than using milk replacer. I'm sure you already know this, but just thought it was worth mentioning. :)
 

hayrack

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HOSS":3csk1ciq said:
I am not sure what happened but the little heifer died on Thursday. It was up, active and appeared normal on Wednesday evening. Thursday morning she is dead. I am am baffled. :cry2: I noticed today I have another cow with placenta like tissue coming out like she is going to calve (early also). She has not started the traditional bagging up or loosening of the vulva. I am stumped as to the cause. My cows are very healthy, great BCS and on free choice, good barn-kept hay and pasture minerals. They have all been vaccinated with a 7-way and booster by the vet. I have been VERY fortunate over the years to have lost very, very few calves. Just 1 in the last 5 years until this heifer. I AI'd them on May 10th and was not expecting any calving activity until mid-February. Any ideas???????
Could be lepto or BVD. You can have trouble even though they have been vacc.
 
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