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Heifer not Mothering up...

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A-RRanch

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Hi Guys,
Been awhile. Glad to be back. Had a heifer have a bull calf sometime between midnight and 7 AM this morning. At 7 AM, when I found him, he was up and trying to nurse every cow in the pasture. Most kicked him away but one cow gave him a little...His own mama never acted like she recognized him but went to the other calves in the pasture smelling and licking them. When she got around her own calf she just sort of moved on, no interest. I bottle fed a quart of colostrum just to be sure, since I dont know if he ever sucked mama, and put them both in a pen alone together hoping she settles down and realizes it's hers. Any other advice or ideas? Thanks!
 

skyhightree1

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A-RRanch":jg6qqilc said:
Hi Guys,
Been awhile. Glad to be back. Had a heifer have a bull calf sometime between midnight and 7 AM this morning. At 7 AM, when I found him, he was up and trying to nurse every cow in the pasture. Most kicked him away but one cow gave him a little...His own mama never acted like she recognized him but went to the other calves in the pasture smelling and licking them. When she got around her own calf she just sort of moved on, no interest. I bottle fed a quart of colostrum just to be sure, since I dont know if he ever sucked mama, and put them both in a pen alone together hoping she settles down and realizes it's hers. Any other advice or ideas? Thanks!

You should see if she has any milk is what I would do and if so try grafting the calf... If she takes him let her raise him sell her when you sell the calf.. If she has no milk or wont accept him sell her now
 

TCRanch

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I've penned them together before (ONLY if the mama isn't aggressive towards the calf) and supplemented the calf until the mama finally accepts it. Getting mama in a chute or head gate & getting the calf latched on is no guarantee but what I would try first and usually works.
 

cow pollinater

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I learned a new trick a while back that has served me well this year. Sprinkle some sweet feed on the calf's back. Once they lick it their instincts kick in and they take it. I'm three for three on slow heifers so far and I didn't even separate them. I just drove the feed truck out and fed all around the calf and then put some on it's back and then eased the heifer to it on foot. That way everything hangs around for a while so she doesn't feel the need to leave her calf to join the herd.
 
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A-RRanch

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Hi guys, sorry just getting in. Long Day. I left them in the pen together all day and she basically ignored the calf. When he tried to nurse she knocked him down and got pretty rough with him so I seperated them at dark and fed the calf a bottle. I was hopeful she just needed time but I dont know. I plan to put the calf back in with her tomorrow during the day and maybe try rubbing sweet feed on him. She has a huge bag so I know she has milk but we shall see. Some just aren't meant to be mothers.
 

Black and Good

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M-5":1065fgcb said:
Pen then up together and turn a dog in the pen. I've done it a few times and usually a light bulb will go off in her head

X2 :nod:

But, based on your last post. I would put her in the chute and let the calf rape her. Hopefully once she smells her own milk going through the calf she'll accept it. You might consider hobbling her if she kicking at it. If they are pretty rough with the calf, I try and not leave them together overnight or unattended as you don't want the calf to stop fighting her. Sorghum with mineral rubbed into it is what I use on the calf's back to spark licking. Honey or syrup work as well just not as thick. Hope this is helpful. Good luck. B&G
 

OleScout

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Had a similar situation last spring with a 4th calf cow. I did the chute routine letting him nurse. Put molasses on his head and back. She still would kick him away out in the lot. Even put them in a side shed and every time she kicked I'd light her up with a yellow stick. This went on to the point that when I brought them in and stood there holding the yellow stick she'd let him nurse. If I wasn't there threating her she would kick him. Finally gave up and my wife raised him on a bucket. Long story of extenuating circumstances led to her rejecting the calf so she gets one more chance and is springing heavy now so we will see what happens.
 

midTN_Brangusman

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I keep a bottle of orphan no more, sprinkle on the back of the calf. Not sure where to buy it other than Valley Vet online. Have had great success with it. Hope she comes around for you!
 

farmerjan

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OleScout":2kpq2z09 said:
Had a similar situation last spring with a 4th calf cow. I did the chute routine letting him nurse. Put molasses on his head and back. She still would kick him away out in the lot. Even put them in a side shed and every time she kicked I'd light her up with a yellow stick. This went on to the point that when I brought them in and stood there holding the yellow stick she'd let him nurse. If I wasn't there threating her she would kick him. Finally gave up and my wife raised him on a bucket. Long story of extenuating circumstances led to her rejecting the calf so she gets one more chance and is springing heavy now so we will see what happens.
Had an old cow do the same thing, would only let the calf nurse if I was there in the pen. If I walked away, she would kick it and go after it with her head, if I walked back to the gate she would stand there and let it nurse. After a week, I said that's it, I was taking some stuff to the sale and put her on the trailer too. Enough. But usually they will do okay after a few days. And I have found that if they are separated from the calf the first couple of times they have kicked it, and only let it in to nurse, that they often seem to want it more, maybe for the relief of the udder and quit. Everyone is different though.
 

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