how often should we check pregnant cows?

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cah

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Hi everyone... I hope everyone is having a good season of calving. We have been really lucky the last few years and have had our calves during the day time. My question is we have three heifer's due in the next few weeks and I was wondering how often everyone goes out at night to check for signs of calving.

Thanks
 

regolith

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Same.

Every four hours round the clock, unless it's all quiet then I might leave them six hours overnight. But if you get there after six hours and something is calving, then unless she drops it within a couple of minutes 90% of the time it's a problem.
Most of my calving problems seem to concentrate towards the end of the calving season. I have a suspicion less frequent checks of the last few cows might have something to do with that.
 

randiliana

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For us a lot depends on the temperature and wind. And, on the heifers.

If it is cold (below -5 to -10 C) we check every 4 hours at night, if it is very cold (below -20 C (0F)) we may increase our checks to every 2 hours. If it is around freezing or above, we may not check overnight at all. Last check at 10-11 pm and first check at 6-7 am. We have been known to put suspect cows in the barn for the night if it is really cold and/or windy, so we don't have to go out every 2 hours.

If we have lots of heifers, or any that we think are very close to calving then we will do the 4 hour check at night. 11 pm, 3 am, 7 am is our general schedule.

Last year we didn't check at night at all. We had 12 heifers and they weren't having very big calves and it was really nice weather. I think we assisted 1 heifer. Plus, they all were sweet, and calved during the day ;-)

This year we have 28 heifers syncronized to calve Feb 20 - Mar 1. We will be checking at night regardless of weather ;-)
 

bandit80

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I have kind of relaxed this year on how often I check them. The cows I check twice a day, unless the weather is real bad. Fortunately, I have had very good weather for calving, and haven't needed to much more than that. If it is very cold, snowing, cold rain, etc. I will check every 4 hours, 24 hours/day.

Heifers need a little more attention. They should really be checked at a minimum of every 6 hours, with every 4 being more ideal.
 

CWT Angus

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Every 4 hours- 24 hours a day. More often with heifers or cows that are showing me signs that they are very close. If we just have a few that are cows that are close, we can see into the calving shed at the bottom of the hill from the house. I leave just a regular lightbulb on during the night which is just enough to see if all is quiet or not and the positions of the cows (with binoculars). They are not locked into the shed, but sometimes it works just right & they choose to sleep in there. Occasionally I get a break from having to go down there multiple times during the night. When we have too many due or we have heifers, we fill both barns. Then I spend a lot of time in the truck @ the barn. 2 hours of good sleep is much better than laying there worrying & wondering if all is ok.
 
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cah

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Thanks for all your anwsers.... we have had it pretty easy the last few years with "day time" births but this year.. there are a few heifers in the herd and I am a little nervous about the weather ect. It is going to be getting down in the teens the next few days at night and that worries me with a baby calve. Good luck with all your calving season's this year. I hope we all have healthy babies!

Thanks
 

SMALLTIME

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the ones I think are close I put in the barn. and I'll check them every couple of hour.I have A camera in with sound in the barn that works excellent. I just get up and turn the TV set on .that way I don't bother them by going in there.sometimes I'll just sit and watch them for awhile. one of my better investments.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Smalltime - I also have cameras in both our barns. I don't even get up. Just get my "clicker" & turn TV on. My receivers are within arms reach so I just click from camera to camera :banana: lazyness is ---
I love it!
But, seriously, it is so good for the cattle. You never disturb them. If one is "starting", everytime you go out there & check them, she stops for some time - maybe 20 minutes or more.
Also, you can observe things that you won't see when you go to the barn/pasture to check them.
We had one last week, I watched her lay down, kick her leg, wring her tail - but no pushing. This went on for about 2 hours. Got hubby up, we put her in the chute. Sure enough - full breech. Saved nice heifer calf. NEVER, would have known till I observed her outside after daylight (we kick everything out of barn at 5:30 am unless they calved). Calf and dam would have really been stressed by then - if not a dead calf.
Last cameras cost $120 for 2 cameras and receiver. Figure I more than just paid for it with that 1 assist.
These cameras are outdoor safe and infra-red, so you could set them up overlooking paddocks - up to 330' away - unobstructed view.
 
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cah

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okay the camera's sound great ...maybe an investment... where do you get them?
 

SMALLTIME

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THANKS JEANNE
I paid 425.00 for one camera and one receiver that work at the same distance. I also have A external antenna because of the line of sight problem I have.I've been wonting to get another one to put outside. I can run for camera's on my receiver but the extra camera's are about 325.00 each got mine threw Rostech. and you are absolutely correct the camera has saved lots of calf's.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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That's the only thing with this set up. The receiver only handles 2 cameras. My old system, the receiver handles 4 cameras, but they aren't nearly as good as these new ones. My old one was about $165 - 1 receiver + 1 camera, each additional cameras were $100/each. Bought new ones as Christmas gifts and/or birthday. Wireless but only good for 100'. Old set is Emerson.
I'm CHEAP! look for bargains. Bought old set out of a catalog, also.
I got a "splitter" because my TV in bedroom only has one set of plug-ins. So both receivers work off the splitter.
Just lay in bed & "click - click - click"! Love it :banana: happy camper! I can check every hour or so if I think I need to - and never leave bed. If one goes into labor, I just keep checking, watch most births & check back & make sure calf is up & sucking. ( I DO TAKE AFTERNOON NAPS!! when possible)
We put our cows in pens at night (close-up cows) and don't feed them. Therefore, they eat when we turn them out at 5:30AM -- sooo - most of my cows calf at NIGHT. Opposite of what most people want, but for us, hubby is home at night not during the day. So, if there's a problem, he's right here. Both calvings that I needed him were - 1 twins during day (he had to drive home - 20 minutes away) and the full breech which we checked at 5:30AM when we normally get up. She had been messing around since about 4am.
 
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