Maybe the dumbest question in a while

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Muletrack

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My first option would be to just let her go unvaccinated then sell her as soon as she weans the calf. Second choice would be to improvise with panels -- think about the system used with longhorns -- fasten two panels fairly close at the front and then squeeze from the back. Third choice -- buy a bigger chute (or build a separate wooden restraint). My cows are also getting too big for my chute (and older Big Valley), so I'm breeding for a smaller cow, but still there are cows that I buy at the sales ring and will need to keep doing so until I get my herd sizes up to where I want it and where I can maintain that size by saving heifers. But I don't work them close to calving if I can at all help it. NOT A DUMB QUESTION AT ALL -- very necessary question giving the elephant syndrome going on in the business. Am seeing more and more 1700-2000 lb. cows at our local sale. Sheesh!
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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So, you would sell a good producing cow, because she has too much volume/size late in pregnancy?? I can't believe the reasoning. But, like I've said before, my management practices are a lot different that others.
I have several that will not fit thru my headgate - we just open the side gate. I breed for width/volume. That is a GOOD trait as far as I'm concerned. Easy keepers.
 

greybeard

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medina gate..

Ken, is sounds like you are describing a Vee shaped working alley.
I saw a heavy bred get mixed in with a bunch of yearlings being worked in a vee alley that was solid 1/3 way up from the bottom , and she was long and wide. As she was moving along waiting in turn, she went down for some reason. Every exhale, she slipped a bit farther down, couldn't expand her lungs and basically suffocated in the alley before they could get a cutting torch and cut the alley apart. They did a rudimentary C section but the almost full developed calf was dead too.
I cut the overhead bars of the race and with the tractor bent the pipe posts out a bit to form a V and then welded in the new size overhead piece and it has helped a lot with the big ones
 
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Hpacres440p

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So, you would sell a good producing cow, because she has too much volume/size late in pregnancy?? I can't believe the reasoning. But, like I've said before, my management practices are a lot different that others.
I have several that will not fit thru my headgate - we just open the side gate. I breed for width/volume. That is a GOOD trait as far as I'm concerned. Easy keepers.
That was the tricky part-long enough that the tail gate won’t close if her head isn’t through the head gate. Side exit would have been a good idea rethinking what we did. She squished in ok, the out-door hung her up. I won’t cull her just for this-she’s already earned her keep. Just trying to think ahead for next year😉
 

wbvs58

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medina gate..

Ken, is sounds like you are describing a Vee shaped working alley.
I saw a heavy bred get mixed in with a bunch of yearlings being worked in a vee alley that was solid 1/3 way up from the bottom , and she was long and wide. As she was moving along waiting in turn, she went down for some reason. Every exhale, she slipped a bit farther down, couldn't expand her lungs and basically suffocated in the alley before they could get a cutting torch and cut the alley apart. They did a rudimentary C section but the almost full developed calf was dead too.
Yes, that is a risk and I'll keep it in mind thanks GB but the V is not severe just gives me an extra couple of inches bearing in mind large cows did get through the race before the modifications and I do avoid working any oversize ones now.

Ken
 

SBMF 2015

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We have had this unexpected problem in the past. Easy fix. Shut the cows off feed and water the night before we work them. A couple inches make a big difference.
 
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Hpacres440p

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@Jeanne - Simme Valley this is the girl who got stuck. Not bred she is about 1200 lbs. she definitely packs it on.
2nd two are her half-Aberdeen daughter. She fit in the chute a lot easier! She’s short enough that she can do a belly scratch on the feed bunk, man are they some pumpkin hogs!
 

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TCRanch

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@Jeanne - Simme Valley this is the girl who got stuck. Not bred she is about 1200 lbs. she definitely packs it on.
2nd two are her half-Aberdeen daughter. She fit in the chute a lot easier! She’s short enough that she can do a belly scratch on the feet bunk, man are they some pumpkin hogs!
At the risk of public shaming, ain't no way I'm showing you pics of my bred fatties. My heifers are a good 1200!
 

Bestoutwest

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That must be a big old girl. I had one that went across the scales at the sale barn at 2075#, and she fit. I think my alley is as wide as the open on a Priefert sweep, I think it's about 26". She fit, and fit the chute, but I had to leave the back open.
 
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Hpacres440p

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That must be a big old girl. I had one that went across the scales at the sale barn at 2075#, and she fit. I think my alley is as wide as the open on a Priefert sweep, I think it's about 26". She fit, and fit the chute, but I had to leave the back open.
She’s not too tall, but she’s heavy bred wide. Maximum density 😉
 

Lucky

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Two things here. 1st You've gotten through the worst part so now you know what to expect. From now on you know that her and anything her size won't fit so you just sort them off and Dr in a spot they will fit. Easy deal there. 2nd if a 1200# cow won't fit what are your plans for a 2,200# bull? Any good brand chute built in the last 20 yrs should handle a 1,500# cow. Might look at facilities and make sure ally and chute are built to spec. Option 2 isn't as easy as option 1.
 
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Hpacres440p

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Two things here. 1st You've gotten through the worst part so now you know what to expect. From now on you know that her and anything her size won't fit so you just sort them off and Dr in a spot they will fit. Easy deal there. 2nd if a 1200# cow won't fit what are your plans for a 2,200# bull? Any good brand chute built in the last 20 yrs should handle a 1,500# cow. Might look at facilities and make sure ally and chute are built to spec. Option 2 isn't as easy as option 1.
AI bulls are easy!
 

ClinchValley86

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Just a practice I did with other livestock-vaccinate last 8 weeks prior to delivery for better colostrum immunity. Probably not something I’ll do again. Did it earlier last year, everyone lived. Tried it this year, had a near-disaster. Vote is in for next year.
Need more details? Lol
 

Lucky_P

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I don't care what the 'directions' on the bottle say. Colostral antibody levels are 'set' by 5 weeks pre-calving. Probably nothing given after about 8 weeks pre-calving is gonna show up in the colostrum. Some given later will show up as IgA antibodies in milk - which will provide 'local' protection, IF that's a feature of that antibody (like rota/coronavirus antibodies), but if you're looking to get colostral antibodies against an infectious agent into the newborn's bloodstream, you'd better get those vaccinations into the cow 8 weeks or more before calving.

Now, as to 'injuring' a calf, in utero, while working 'em... it ain't happening. They're well-protected in there... cowhide, abdominal wall, uterine wall, plenty of uterine fluid... you'd have to hit 'em with a truck traveling at a high rate of speed to do any damage. I even call BS on folks who think another cow butting 'em is gonna hurt anything.

But... the cow... as Ken said... be ready to cut things apart if you get in a spot with them. I recall one night we had to cut a client's lane apart to get a cow out that had gone down with front & rear legs on either side of a 6-inch post, sticking out between boards on the alleyway. Not OUR fault, but they never had us back again.
 

Lucky

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When we are working Cattle I always try and remember to have the welder trailer at the corrals. It has about everything we'd need if there was a wreck and serves a a back up generator if the small quite once gives out. You just never know what a cow will pull on on you.

I'm not too keen on giving precalving treatments. About all we've ever Givin is scour guard to heifers. We've learned over the years that other than the basic Vaccinations and worming hands off is generally the best approach. The wife brought up last week that the Cows aren't as tame as they used to be since we don't spend time on the ground feeding and just being around them in general. I know most on here want Cows that will eat out of your hand but to me they just become a pain in the rear. Fence jumpers and not letting you out of the pick up is one thing being a constant pest and not being able to herd is another.
 
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