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Heifer with milk not coming in?

badaxemoo

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I have a 12 hour old calf. The heifer has dried him off and he is up and seems lively. He was rooting at her udder this morning and bunting it, but it didn't appear he was getting on.

The thing I am concerned about is that her udder doesn't appear tight. I've only had experience with about 25 calves from my small herd, but it seems like every other time the udders were as tight as drums and I could tell when a calf had nursed a quarter down.

Does milk sometimes come in after the birth?

How long should I wait before I intervene?

I know I've read on here that calves need to get that colostrum in the first couple of hours, but I'll be honest and say that it seems to take my calves longer to get onto the nursing than that. I worry and worry and they seem to do fine, but the lack of tightness in her udder has me concerned.

Thanks.
 

dun

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The tightness of the udder doesn;t necesarrily mean anything and yes sometimes milk comes in later. But, get some colostrum in the calf NOW. Worry about the lack of milk after that is done
 

mnmtranching

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Yup, I agree. If I have doubt that a calf hasn't had adequate colostrum, Give it Colostrum replacement. If the calf is nursing it probably is getting some, likely not enough from a small loose bag. Give the heifer plenty of good quality feed, even a few pounds of grain should get her milking better.
 

badaxemoo

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Thanks for the replies.

Heifer and calf seem to be doing fine. I'll probably let them out of the pen to rejoin the herd tomorrow.

Her udder still looks small to me, but I'll keep an eye on her and the calf. She cleaned sometime between 12 and 20 hours after we pulled the calf.

How many years do you have to do this for before the first calf of the season doesn't make you nervous? I frequently have to squash my urges to intervene but then I wonder if I'm not doing enough. I'd probably be better off if my cows calved somewhere out on range instead of a stone's throw from my house!
 

dun

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badaxemoo":2ez7tupp said:
How many years do you have to do this for before the first calf of the season doesn't make you nervous?

When you find out the answer let me know. This is the first year I didn;t worry about the first calf but that was because she wasn;t due for 2 weeks and when I checked in the morning she had already calved, cleaned, and fed the calf.
 
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