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Mentally challenged heifer

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MRRherefords

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We have a mentally challenged heifer (to put it nicely). We had to bottle feed it for a week before it finally found the udder. It is now 10 months old. It refuses to eat feed and struggles to find water when moved to a new location. She is way underweight and needs something substantial. She is eating regular hay, but has recently refused alfalfa hay and even show calf supplements and even minerals. So far all that she is doing is maintaining herself and staying alive, we know that obviously we cannot breed her, but we would like to have her put some weight on. Has anyone ever experienced this or have any suggestions?
 

farmerjan

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Sounds like a baby beef for the freezer???? Actually, put her in a smallish pasture with someone for company and don't move her anymore. Can she see??? She could be blind/partially blind and moving her will only confuse her. At 10 months is she weaned? If not, put her and momma in a small, like 1/2 acre or less, pasture, let mom show her where everything is and see if she doesn't do better. If she is weaned find a smaller calf that she won't get pushed around by, and put them together where there is no one else, so they have to bond, and see if that helps. We have to do this with an occasional calf that gets bad pinkeye and loses most of its' sight and one year had a calf that was born blind and it stuck with the cow and we didn't realize if for weeks. So we just got them back to the barn and into a small lot of less than 1/4 acre, and the calf learned the boundaries and got it up to about 5-600 lbs. Butchered it and the cow was moved back to the next breeding group. Not her fault. Has had perfectly normal calves since then.
Even if it is not sight, a familiar place with one animal for company would probably help alot. I wouldn't sell it to someone else though, I'd put it in the freezer.
 

Waterway65

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Give her some b complex and probiotics for her appetite. If that doesn't help cut your losses.
 
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MRRherefords

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Farmerjan; Thanks for the response. We had a vet check her and he said she is diffidently not blind. We did wean her off her mom as the pasture was dwindling and her mom Is preparing for her next calf. She is getting close to 500 lbs. now.
 

Ky hills

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MRRherefords":2s1l864r said:
We have a mentally challenged heifer (to put it nicely). We had to bottle feed it for a week before it finally found the udder. It is now 10 months old. It refuses to eat feed and struggles to find water when moved to a new location. She is way underweight and needs something substantial. She is eating regular hay, but has recently refused alfalfa hay and even show calf supplements and even minerals. So far all that she is doing is maintaining herself and staying alive, we know that obviously we cannot breed her, but we would like to have her put some weight on. Has anyone ever experienced this or have any suggestions?

I am actually dealing with a situation that sounds kind of similar. I about a month ago, I bought four heifers around 6-9 months old at a registered sale. One was a little thin and I took a chance on making a bid, turns out I wish I hadn't bid on that particular one, I noticed that she wasn't interested in eating feed right from the start, she did finally eat a little and I figured that she just wasn't used to it and would come around. After turning the 4 out with the other heifers, she didn't come up to eat with them much and got sick. I got her back in the barn and gave her Draxxin, she seemed better for a few days but was only eating hay. I finally tried feeding her some calf starter feed that I had left from some bottle calves. She is eating that but is slow about it and just acts sluggish.
 

Ky cowboy

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Just give our vet a calf back bout 2 months ago couldn't get it to nurse or take a bottle, I wasn't comfortable tubing him so took it over to the doc he said it was blind. I was going to take it home and put it down but he said he would try to save it. Talked to him today he said it's alive but having a hard go of it. Should of brought it home and done what should of been done.
 
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