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Mothering Ability for Winter Calving

Stocker Steve

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I bought some experienced cows that started calving 10 days ago (I always calved on grass before) and we have had a couple late snow storms (so most areas are white and wet). I learned early that these cows will not choose to use our man made shelters so I pushed some snow and then deep bedded knolls in the woods. Most cows use the bedded areas with success, a couple calved next to a bale ring, but a couple more choose to calve in a mud puddles.

Is calving in, or leaving the calve at, wet windy spots an inherited trait, a pecking order things, or just low IQ?
 

randiliana

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I don't know for sure, but I think I'd go with the low IQ thing myself.... Some cows just like privacy when they calve, and the bedding area isn't usually the most private area usually. Everyone likes to be there, cause it is usually out of the wind, and a nice place to lay down.

I know the first year we had our 'newborn' paddock, all the cows would take those brand new babies down to the furthest, corner they could get to. They would lay them down in the corner, in the elements, and we would have shelters and bedding all up at the corral. We would curse them, especially if it was cold and windy (which it usually is here in March). Until we finally got smart and built a windbreak and moved some calf shelters down to that corner, and bedded it up nicely. Now those cows take those calves down to that corner, drop them on the straw, or into a calf shelter and everybody is happy. We are cause the calves are in the shelter, and the cows are cause they have the babies in the spot they consider safest.

I seem to remember a saying..... 'If you can't beat them, join them'....... :cowboy:
 

regolith

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I don't know, but when I watch a new mum and a calving cow lead a newborn calf into the deepest mud around...

I sure call 'em stoopid.
And a few other things besides.
 

mnmtranching

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No matter what you do some of the cows will take off to the far end or corner of the pasture. Good idea to have a couple large areas scraped off then bedded close to the bales, most of the herd will use these. Then do several small areas off in sheltered spots and cows calving will likely use these smaller areas if their left alone.
I try [doesn't always work] To separate close cows in bad weather, put in sheds where they can't get away.
I've had some very cold weather calves, many -25 to -38 was the coldest. Now that the weather is nice I'm near done calving. Got 72 calves [looking for wood to knock on] haven't lost any.
 

I luv herfrds

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It will drive you crazy trying to figure out why cows do those nutty things. They each pick a spot and that is where they are going to calve come h*ll or high water unless you put them in a barn. Had one cow this year that just had to calve in the deepest mud she could find and another went into the open shed and had her calf there. :? :lol2:
 

Stocker Steve

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I luv herfrds":j92yuzvv said:
Had one cow this year that just had to calve in the deepest mud she could find and another went into the open shed and had her calf there. :? :lol2:

Are the mud hole calvers likely to try this stunt again the next year?
 

dun

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Stocker Steve":idmkgnhl said:
I luv herfrds":idmkgnhl said:
Had one cow this year that just had to calve in the deepest mud she could find and another went into the open shed and had her calf there. :? :lol2:

Are the mud hole calvers likely to try this stunt again the next year?

You can never tell. Every year they seem to generally do something different then the year before.
 

Stocker Steve

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dun":ql1g9e1y said:
Stocker Steve":ql1g9e1y said:
I luv herfrds":ql1g9e1y said:
Had one cow this year that just had to calve in the deepest mud she could find and another went into the open shed and had her calf there. :? :lol2:

Are the mud hole calvers likely to try this stunt again the next year?

You can never tell. Every year they seem to generally do something different then the year before.

I thought maybe it was genetic and there was some water buffalo in the wood pile! 8)
 

mnmtranching

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Stocker Steve":1fcd0i35 said:
I luv herfrds":1fcd0i35 said:
Had one cow this year that just had to calve in the deepest mud she could find and another went into the open shed and had her calf there. :? :lol2:

Are the mud hole calvers likely to try this stunt again the next year?

I like those open Winters, no Spring mud. :cowboy:
 

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