Just bad luck?

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Hogfarmer10

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Just started calving with a small group of heifers. Charolais and Angus heifers(born here), bred to a Gelbvieh bull (I've owned him since he was 7 months old, and he's been here 15 months). These are his first calves also. So far, I’ve had 2 calves, both born dead. They’re all in great shape, and have been fed breeder select minerals throughout their entire gestation/pre-breeding. Calves were fully developed and completely normal looking. Any thoughts?
 

Son of Butch

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That's a shame, bad luck.... but even bad luck is caused by something.
perhaps 'drowned' in mucus during prolonged birth or smothered by placenta that obstructed them from ever taking a breath?
 
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Ebenezer

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Dr. Bonsma mentioned such. Some bulls can tend to produce dead calves in heifers. There is no way to know ahead. I used an old bull via AI a few years ago and his claim was "heifer bull". Of the 3 heifers that bred, all three had normal dead calves. I looked back to see what Dr. Bonsma wrote and he said to only breed a bull like this to a mature cow. I bred him to a cow last month so I hope to see a live calf in 2023.
 

Caustic Burno

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Just started calving with a small group of heifers. Charolais and Angus heifers(born here), bred to a Gelbvieh bull (I've owned him since he was 7 months old, and he's been here 15 months). These are his first calves also. So far, I’ve had 2 calves, both born dead. They’re all in great shape, and have been fed breeder select minerals throughout their entire gestation/pre-breeding. Calves were fully developed and completely normal looking. Any thoughts?
I wore out a set of chains pulling dead Char calves.
Love the cows hate the bull’s.
My thought is prolonged labor with big shoulder calves, especially on heifers. I know you think wasn’t long could have been walking around days pushing.
That’s not the last breed of bill I would have picked for heifers but it’s close to the bottom.
 

greybeard

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I probably had 50 live calves born out of a Char bull, cows and heifers with a birthweight between 65-75 lbs and one born dead that weighed 99 lbs from an overconditioned beefmaster heifer. Heifer went on to have several live calves from same bull till she drowned in Harvey flood.
 

sim.-ang.king

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I wore out a set of chains pulling dead Char calves.
Love the cows hate the bull’s.
My thought is prolonged labor with big shoulder calves, especially on heifers. I know you think wasn’t long could have been walking around days pushing.
That’s not the last breed of bill I would have picked for heifers but it’s close to the bottom.
He said the cows were char-ang, not the bull.
 

faster horses

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Remember, BW is more heritable from the dam side than from the bull.
Can you look back and see what the BW of those heifers were?
You have a pretty large genetic pool there, with Char-Angus heifers and a Gelbvieh bull.

So sorry you lost the calves.
 

Travlr

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Just started calving with a small group of heifers. Charolais and Angus heifers(born here), bred to a Gelbvieh bull (I've owned him since he was 7 months old, and he's been here 15 months). These are his first calves also. So far, I’ve had 2 calves, both born dead. They’re all in great shape, and have been fed breeder select minerals throughout their entire gestation/pre-breeding. Calves were fully developed and completely normal looking. Any thoughts?
Two out of heifers may prove to be something, an anomaly, but it could also be two dead calves out of first calf heifers. I doubt anyone on these fora with any numbers of calvings would be surprised to have a dead calf from a heifer. So far... you've just got two.

Gotta add this. I'm not a big fan of treating cows for something in anticipation of having trouble producing a calf. Unless you have known issues with a lack of minerals in your area, and there are places like that. Just my opinion.

You never mentioned the weight of the heifers/calves, so I'm assuming nothing outside of normal. Some people here will want to know, though.

Good luck with the rest of your heifers...
 
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Hogfarmer10

Hogfarmer10

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Thanks everybody. I should have been more clear. The heifers are purebred Charolais and purebred Angus, not Char-Angus cross. I don’t know who Dr Bonsma is, but I’d like to know more about his theory. Also, I don’t weigh calves at birth, but I am meticulous with notes and record keeping. I will not keep anything that is noted as big or small, with the exception of a few purebred Charolais bull calves I intend on selling to other producers. In that case, I typically do keep the big ones, especially if they are from a real good cow.
 
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