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Hiding a calf

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okiek

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On Mothers Day, I banded a 3 day old calf that belonged to the most wary cow I own. That being said, even she is reasonably calm and easily handled. After banding, that calf disappeared for 8 days. I have most cows calve on 45 acres I live on. There is probably 3-4 acres of brushy growth. This is the 4th calf I've owned this cow for. She raises excellent calves and has always been a good momma. For the last 8 days I've spent a lot of hours searching for that calf (or any remains) while spot spraying, clearing, and burning. I've seen the cow countless times, always with the herd. She came up every evening alone for a few bites of feed. Her bag didn't seem swollen enough to have lost a calf unless her milk just didn't come in good. I tried my trick that generally works of crying like a calf when I'm just out of her sight. She would act frantic, but never lead me near a calf. I was 100% convinced this calf was gone. Other calves born the same day were out playing every afternoon, but this one was gone. I decided this cow was getting a ride to town for losing a calf. The only decision was whether or not to breed her first. Then, yesterday evening this calf walked up with momma like he'd been doing it all along!! In over 50 years of dealing with cattle I don't think I've ever had a baby hidden well enough I flat couldn't find it for 8 days in a patch that small.....Lesson learned!
 

Txpiney

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I've not had ONE YET that's hid from that long, but you never know. You need to call that calf Houdini
 

jehosofat

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I have one that could hide one in a gravel parking lot, she's done it to me twice, I won't ever even look next time.
 

Brute 23

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That's normal for us. Some hide them for up to two weeks. Every now and then you can catch them in the very late evening or early am.

She is a good momma.
 

cowgirl8

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I love when I drive up on a new calf and it flattens out to help hide itself...
The other day husband and I were driving around in our side by side...I was on the phone and husband was driving willy nilly over a 100 acre pasture...There were a couple new calves in there so if I had been driving I would have stayed on my trails, but he loves to just bulldoze across...well, before I could scream stop, he ran right over a new calf. Nailed it flat across his body with front and back tires.. Luckily, the calf was ok...but, the odds of hitting a calf square like that in a tall grassy open pasture...lol....If we had been looking for it, forget it, we would have never found it...
 

Ebenezer

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I really like cows that hide calves and calves that hide for days. I note it and keep them to use as breeders when possible. A great instinct that you cannot buy in many. Sure beats the shoo the buzzards and pop a coyote option.
 
OP
okiek

okiek

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Funny replies! I agree with liking those kind, but being familiar with this cow, I would have bet you a steak dinner this one was GONE!! I am just glad I wasn't mad enough to haul her to town 7 days later so I'd wind up with an orphan calf. I actually know a guy who did something similar to that!!
 

cowgirl8

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Most of our hiders will give the calfs location away, with a look, an ear.....I'll watch them and take hints from them to find the calf.....When I come across one who doesn't do that, or even goes in the opposite direction, i'll put that in my notes...BUt mostly to know if the calf is ok, I just look at her udder...it tells everything...
 

elkwc

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cowgirl8":3nmrm8ec said:
Most of our hiders will give the calfs location away, with a look, an ear.....I'll watch them and take hints from them to find the calf.....When I come across one who doesn't do that, or even goes in the opposite direction, i'll put that in my notes...BUt mostly to know if the calf is ok, I just look at her udder...it tells everything...

Same here. And this year we've had a few of the heifers who have hid their calves for 7-14 days. When I went up early I could sometimes get and idea and then would drive along the top of the old terraces where I could see and when I got in the area I would get out and walk the area and sometimes find the calf. But like you I normally just watch the bag and in time they will bring them up.
 

gizmom

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Seeing this topic I immediately thought 525. That cow can hide one and it will be a week or two before you see it. I have tried to get her to give me a hint but she is as good a poker player as you will find anywhere, no tells

Gizmom
 

NEFarmwife

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We did a pasture check yesterday and one of our calves weren't there. Mom wasn't giving us any tips and we walked an area looking down in some trees. Her bag looked good. So hoping for the best. Going to swing in after work and see if I can catch her up at the tank, hopefully with calf. These being older calves, they shouldn't be THAT hard to locate.
 

slick4591

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My last girl surprised me. I would drive in and her head would fly up looking at me first, then in the direction of her calf. I'd start driving that way and she would start walking towards the calf. All I had to do was follow her and she would take me to him, then start leading him away from me. She has never acted that way before.
 

talltimber

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I don't like going too long in the hot late summer without seeing newborns. Flystrike is a painful thing.

I had one get it, he stayed hid out in an area the cow couldn't get to him. We had been without rain during that time to wash him off. In hindsight, I think he didn't get cleaned real good maybe, started staying on the brushy side of a single hot wire, and flies got him. It don't take long, I had seen him two days before I found him covered in maggots on his back and his hind end and inside it. At the time I found him he was out with the cow. She got excited and spun around to me, defecating a circle like a large nasty yard sprinkler, spraying him in the process. So, you can imagine my excitement with an armload of all that and getting on a 4 wheeler with him. We got him cleaned up and doctored, but it was a long road and he still had bare spots/scarring when he was sold at around 800 lbs.
 

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