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How long do moma cows remember their babies?

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cypressfarms

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Was setting some fence posts in concrete today and took a break to watch the cows for a while. I have a group of heifers in a pasture adjacent to the cows. Two of the heifers in the group have momas in the cow herd. While I was watching, one cow stuck her head through the barbed wire and licked a heifer's face for a while. I realized that the heifer was the cow's daughter. The heifer was born in Jan '08 & has long since been weaned, but she stood there while moma washed her down.

I never really thought of it, but how long do cows and their offspring know who they are? As in "that's my mom." I've seen my Arabian horses treat their offspring "special" for years - I have a 18 year old mare that will to this day protect her 5 year old filly and 4 year old gelding if she thinks they are in danger.

Anyone have any experiences with this?
 

skyline

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I've noticed the same thing. When I returned some heifers to the herd 15 months after they were born, the mommas found them pretty quick.
 

dun

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Never noticed cows being particular about who they give bath or that thye hang out with. We have several old cows that will wash anyone that will stand still and others that never lick anyone. Goats are a totally different deal even if the kid is removed at birth. We used to have several matriarch dairy goats. When they owuld lay up on a hill side, each matriarch and her subsequent generations would be grouped together and slightly seperated from the next group. Could be just somehting that's easier noticed when each generation might consist of up to 4 daughters in each generation.
 

novatech

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My heifers that were weaned together stay closer to each other than to mom. But the heifers are yearlings, or more, before they go back and see mom.
 

mobgrazer

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When I send them for a walk form one field to another I have noticed they group up and are picky about who they walk with. I never thought about how they grouped up but I do get pushy if they take to long at the start. I have to move them in a few days and I’ll look and see how there grouping.
 

Jogeephus

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I've noticed something similar with homegrown replacements even after a two or three years. Could just be coincidence but it seems they kinda hang close to one another more frequently than what you might think was just random. If I was guessing, I think the cow's calf marks or follows its ma moreso than the cow worries about her calf.
 

Caustic Burno

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All right guys you are actually wondering what a bovine remembers, this is an animal that's stomach is thirty times larger than brain. The only thing I have ever seen a cow remember well is escape tatics.
 

skyline

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This could easily turn into one of those "my cow is smarter than your honor student" discussions... :)
 

grannysoo

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Caustic Burno":2py9vuly said:
All right guys you are actually wondering what a bovine remembers, this is an animal that's stomach is thirty times larger than brain. The only thing I have ever seen a cow remember well is escape tatics.

Well said...
 

backhoeboogie

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My nurse cow was sort of a loaner. No a terrible loaner, but a loaner. At two she calved with a heifer who is now a 4 year old huge frame cow. She and that cow are bonded and she is no longer a loaner. She raised several heifers that are not her own. She will not bond to the cows that were grafted.

I bring this cow to the house when she calves and graft others onto her. I cycle another group onto her and then send her back to the pasture. She will bond with her natural offspring (2 of them now) each time.

I have been splitting pairs out into another pasture. This nurse cow will stand adjacent to the fence and bawl to her daughter who has a bull calf across the road. Since she is bred, I went ahead and moved her across the road with the pairs. Otherwise, she is again a loaner even tho there are several in the pasture with her that were grafted onto her.
 

Jogeephus

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skyline":227ek186 said:
This could easily turn into one of those "my cow is smarter than your honor student" discussions... :)

Shucks, I already know my cows are smarter than your cows so what's to discuss. Mine can jump higher too. Have more hang time as well. And they are blacker than yours as well. :lol2:
 

skyline

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Jogeephus":1t0qymxl said:
skyline":1t0qymxl said:
This could easily turn into one of those "my cow is smarter than your honor student" discussions... :)

Shucks, I already know my cows are smarter than your cows so what's to discuss. Mine can jump higher too. Have more hang time as well. And they are blacker than yours as well. :lol2:

My cows do calculus equations in the sand with their hooves and recite poetry in circles of 4. Top that big feller!
 

mobgrazer

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Mine will eat what ever I put in front of them and be happy. Mine will even smash there cow pies and uneaten grass back into the ground to help out my soil so they will eat better the next time there eating there. Most years they make me a nice chunk of money.

That’s about all I can come up with so I think my kids won this one.
 

Jogeephus

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skyline":273l1kx7 said:
Jogeephus":273l1kx7 said:
skyline":273l1kx7 said:
This could easily turn into one of those "my cow is smarter than your honor student" discussions... :)

Shucks, I already know my cows are smarter than your cows so what's to discuss. Mine can jump higher too. Have more hang time as well. And they are blacker than yours as well. :lol2:

My cows do calculus equations in the sand with their hooves and recite poetry in circles of 4. Top that big feller!

Mine are doing derivatives and can calculate standard deviations in the heads. My are also so black they can clean out a whole wagon of watermellons in one day.
 

mnmtranching

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There is no question that in a cowherd where cows are mixed in with their mature daughters the cows will favor their daughters as the daughters will favor their mothers. This is about 90% of the time. Boss cows will tend to let the adult daughters eat at feeders without ramming them out of the way. Like they will with all others.
I've seen it 100's actually 1000's of times.
It's little hard for me to believe that people that are around cows have not noticed this??
I believe this is normal in most mammals, known as family groups.
 
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cypressfarms

cypressfarms

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Caustic Burno":2z6dzzoy said:
All right guys you are actually wondering what a bovine remembers, this is an animal that's stomach is thirty times larger than brain. The only thing I have ever seen a cow remember well is escape tatics.


O.K. Caustic, I'll bite on this one: You and I both have a whole lot of fence that is either newly rebuilt, or needs rebuilding. My pastures aren't wide but deep, so that the back of the property is far away from any road. Yesterday the weather was nice, and I took the time to set some fence posts in by myself.
So what do you think about when you take a break from fence building while the cows are walking around?
 

dun

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Jogeephus":3r84vdl4 said:
Mine are doing derivatives and can calculate standard deviations in the heads. My are also so black they can clean out a whole wagon of watermellons in one day.
First liar doesn;t stand a chance!
 

backhoeboogie

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cypressfarms":5113c23y said:
Caustic Burno":5113c23y said:
All right guys you are actually wondering what a bovine remembers, this is an animal that's stomach is thirty times larger than brain. The only thing I have ever seen a cow remember well is escape tatics.


O.K. Caustic, I'll bite on this one: You and I both have a whole lot of fence that is either newly rebuilt, or needs rebuilding. My pastures aren't wide but deep, so that the back of the property is far away from any road. Yesterday the weather was nice, and I took the time to set some fence posts in by myself.
So what do you think about when you take a break from fence building while the cows are walking around?

The only time Caustic gets a break is when old Blue trees a squirrel. :D
 

backhoeboogie

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cypressfarms":3pwas1gn said:
backhoeboogie":3pwas1gn said:
The only time Caustic gets a break is when old Blue trees a squirrel. :D

Or petting a wild hog ;-)

We used to noodle catfish when we were kids. I've never been brave enough to try that on hogs :D
 
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