heifer refusing to take calf

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carla

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Had the vet pull a 100 lb calf last night out of a first calf heifer. So much for birth epds. Anyway, she refuses to have anything to do with it. I have had to tube feed him because his tongue was so swollen and he keeps trying to get up, but is still too weak. I have them them put up together in the barn. Usually I will locke the heifer in the headgate and let the calf suck untill she takes him. But in this case, he can't stand on his own, I'm not sure on what to do. If she would just wash him a little, he might try harder to get up. Grateful for any suggestions!
 

Jake

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Remember that the bull isn't the only one that you have to watch. Know your heifers they could be the problem not neccesarily the bull. But I'd keep the calf in the house until it can walk then sell it and meanwhile by another calf to graft on to the heifer because it is really hard to get a calf that can't stand up to snuff.
 

Ann Bledsoe

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la4angus":3b49x5wc said:
EPD is expected progeny difference.
Not GUARANTEED PROGENY DIFFERENCE,

Exactly! And the cow puts 50% of those genes in there too.

Dad's old Red Angus bull "always" throws nice small calves, you can count on heifers weighing 70-75 lbs and bulls weighting 75-80 lbs. EXCEPT for this one old cow, that old cow always has a calf that's in excess of 100 lbs-- since the bull throws nice uniform calves with all the other cows, the only conclusion is that the COW has a big influence on the size of the calf.

We AI'd Dad's some of mature cows last year to the Red Angus bull Monu, his BW EPD was .6 and his CED was +6. I was warned not to use him on heifers, but I had 1 Red Angus cross heifer, well grown, and 6 months older than most heifers being bred for the first time. The heifer was 21 months, weighed 1000 lbs, and wasn't fat when bred, so I took a chance on using him, knowing that there would be someone around when it came time for her to calve. She calved Feb 27 (4 days past her "due date"), TINY little heifer calf that was up, on it's feet, and nursing in minutes. Mature cows are calving now and the calves are TINY and very alert and lively.
This year the bull's BW EPD is .2, but his CED is +1.
Still waiting on the old cow that always has "monster" calves, it'll be interesting to see what she has with this bull.

Ann B
 

dun

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Years ago we had the same deal.
A client had a mixed herd that we bred to a Lincoln Red bull. All of the calves were tiny-tiny little things, except one cow that threw a 100 plus calf. The next year we bred everything to a Gert bull, all the calves were the same size, just a good 75-80 lb calf. He decided he liked those Lincoln Red calves so well we bred everything to him again. You guessed it, tiny-tiny calves, except the same old cow threw a monster. Calves are half of the equation, and sometimes I think maybe a little more then half.
Because the Red Angus CE EPDs are s new they're going to lack the accuracy that I would like, but they help, especially when combind with BW and the hidden ingredient. That being experience with that particular bull.

dun

Ann Bledsoe":1bahia9b said:
la4angus":1bahia9b said:
EPD is expected progeny difference.
Not GUARANTEED PROGENY DIFFERENCE,

Exactly! And the cow puts 50% of those genes in there too.

Dad's old Red Angus bull "always" throws nice small calves, you can count on heifers weighing 70-75 lbs and bulls weighting 75-80 lbs. EXCEPT for this one old cow, that old cow always has a calf that's in excess of 100 lbs-- since the bull throws nice uniform calves with all the other cows, the only conclusion is that the COW has a big influence on the size of the calf.

We AI'd Dad's some of mature cows last year to the Red Angus bull Monu, his BW EPD was .6 and his CED was +6. I was warned not to use him on heifers, but I had 1 Red Angus cross heifer, well grown, and 6 months older than most heifers being bred for the first time. The heifer was 21 months, weighed 1000 lbs, and wasn't fat when bred, so I took a chance on using him, knowing that there would be someone around when it came time for her to calve. She calved Feb 27 (4 days past her "due date"), TINY little heifer calf that was up, on it's feet, and nursing in minutes. Mature cows are calving now and the calves are TINY and very alert and lively.
This year the bull's BW EPD is .2, but his CED is +1.
Still waiting on the old cow that always has "monster" calves, it'll be interesting to see what she has with this bull.

Ann B
 
A

Anonymous

they will be some exceptions to this but everynow and then you will have one that won't have nothing to do with her calf. When we do, I just take my dog along with me to the barn, once that cow sees that dog, she begins to get that mother insticnt and will want to protect that calve. Might not work if your cattle are accustumed to dogs, but it has worked several times for us, and it is a whole lot easier than wrestling with the cow and calf. I don't take the dog in the stall with her or leave him alone with the cow
 

Linda

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Keep tube feeding him until he gets over the shock of his difficult birth and has time to gain strength. If the heifer isn't threatening to hurt him, I'd leave them together. If you can milk her out a couple of times a day, do so.

I had one cow that had a heifer calf come backwards. It was a delayed birth, even though the calf was small, and the calf was a bit shell shocked. She would stand with her head against her mama's flank but couldn't get it together to nurse. I milked her mama twice a day to keep the milk flowing and left the pair together. I tubed the heifer calf twice a day. The third day I tubed the calf and watched it stagger away like its belly was really full. A few minutes later I saw it nursing for a minute off its mother. Apparently it had started nursing during the night & I hadn't realized it. At 205 days that heifer calf weaned at over 700#.

Sometimes those big calves that have had a difficult birth just take a few days, or even a week or so, to get over the trauma of birth.

We usually keep a heifer penned alone with her calf for a couple of days, so the older cows don't try and "steal" the baby. By the end of a couple of days the heifer has usually bonded well with the baby and the older cows aren't a problem.

Best of luck with your baby and its mother, Carla. Let us know how it goes!
 
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carla

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Thanks for your concern, Linda. The last couple of days, I have gotten him to take a bottle so I don't have to tube feed him. When he got up enough strengh to try and stand, I noticed both of his first legs were folding back under. I have splinted both of them and this helps. However he is still to weak to stand long enough to suck. The heifer is extremely gentle so this helps. I think in the long run she will take him. But I have to get his strengh up so that he can stand up without having to lean on me. At least we are making progress. Better then some that I have had.

PS Sorry about the crack that I made about epds. Normally I'm all for it, except that I have had the vet out 3 times this week alone to pull 100-103 lb calves. Somethings wrong somewhere.
 

Oldtimer

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Carla- sounds like your vet may have broken the calves legs while pulling it- Definitely injured them. Pulls are tough on calves.
 
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