Lesson Learned - Dumb Escape Artist

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Walking W

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Grain feeding for freezer beef. About 30 days in and feeding 18 lb/day of a mixed whole corn/12% sweet feed with hay available to a 900 lb Charolais heifer.
Had to go out f town for 4 days but have a home-made automatic feeder that feeds 9 lbs 2-times per day.
Isolated the heifer where the water , hay and feed trough are located. Checked to make sure everything works.
Auto water fill- check
Auto feeder working - check and double check
about 10 days of feed in the feeder - check
plenty of standing forage available - check
Electric fence working - ouch - check
Came home tonight and the heifer was nowhere in sight and the feed trough had about 60 lbs of grain mixture piled up in it.
Looked everywhere- it was pitch dark- no heifer where she should have been.
Started checking fence line for breaks - no breaks and gates secure.
Finally looked in the other pasture - sure enough, there she was.
She was smart enough to cross the electric fence(probably to visit the neighbors and talk shop across the fence. I assumed the electric fence would keep her contained. It always had before.
She was too smart to go back across the fence to get to hay/grain and especially water. I assumed water and food would be a great motivator.
She was very thirsty and worked on the 6 lbs of grain mixture that I left for her.
You just can't motivate dumb. All the automation in the world cannot overcome dumb. By dumb, I mean me since she is just doing what come naturally.
I guess I'm starting over getting her up to speed on grain. I'll try to not be so dumb in the future.
 

mickroos65

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Grain feeding for freezer beef. About 30 days in and feeding 18 lb/day of a mixed whole corn/12% sweet feed with hay available to a 900 lb Charolais heifer.
Had to go out f town for 4 days but have a home-made automatic feeder that feeds 9 lbs 2-times per day.
Isolated the heifer where the water , hay and feed trough are located. Checked to make sure everything works.
Auto water fill- check
Auto feeder working - check and double check
about 10 days of feed in the feeder - check
plenty of standing forage available - check
Electric fence working - ouch - check
Came home tonight and the heifer was nowhere in sight and the feed trough had about 60 lbs of grain mixture piled up in it.
Looked everywhere- it was pitch dark- no heifer where she should have been.
Started checking fence line for breaks - no breaks and gates secure.
Finally looked in the other pasture - sure enough, there she was.
She was smart enough to cross the electric fence(probably to visit the neighbors and talk shop across the fence. I assumed the electric fence would keep her contained. It always had before.
She was too smart to go back across the fence to get to hay/grain and especially water. I assumed water and food would be a great motivator.
She was very thirsty and worked on the 6 lbs of grain mixture that I left for her.
You just can't motivate dumb. All the automation in the world cannot overcome dumb. By dumb, I mean me since she is just doing what come naturally.
I guess I'm starting over getting her up to speed on grain. I'll try to not be so dumb in the future.
 
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W

Walking W

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She's not eating now. I can't even get her to eat sweet feed. She was without water for 4 days. She also went from 18 lbs/day of grain mixture to whatever she could get from standing forage suddenly. Upset stomach? Getting probiotics today to see if it will help. I need to get her back on feed because she has a date with the processor March 7th.
 

CowboyRam

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She's not eating now. I can't even get her to eat sweet feed. She was without water for 4 days. She also went from 18 lbs/day of grain mixture to whatever she could get from standing forage suddenly. Upset stomach? Getting probiotics today to see if it will help. I need to get her back on feed because she has a date with the processor March 7th.
I'm curious, does she grind her teeth. I had a calve that bloated; after that was taken care of she started grinding her teeth, and the vet said that the reason was because her stomach hurt. That was something I didn't know, but then I am still learning about cows.
 

MurraysMutts

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Yes. Teeth grinding is a sign of pain. Also a hunger sign. Is she eating hay? Drinking water?
I wouldn't think a few days would have hurt her too much. The lack of water issue maybe...

It may take a few days to get straight again.
 
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Walking W

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Thanks for the thoughts. She never did grind her teeth but did go straight to water when I finally got her to the right enclosure. She also went right to eating hay just not grain. Since then, I added probiotics to 12% sweet feed for two days. She seems fine now and would eat a lot more than I want to give her. I am starting back with about 9 lb/day of my grain mixture and will add 1.5 lbs/day every few days until I get her back to 18 lb/day.
 
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