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Mothering Ability ?

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Stocker Steve

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How inheritable to you think mothering is?
Do you have some cows that you will not keep replacements out of due to them being indifferent mothers?
 

dun

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That's one of those "well sort of heritable" traits. Had a cow that with her first calf did a great job. On her second she tried to kill it. I mean seriously tried. She would get the calf down and pound her into the ground, never licked it once and only allowed it to nurse in the squeeze chute. As soon as she came out she would hunt to calf down and start pounding on her. She went to the sale barn and the vet bought the calf as a bucket calf for his daughter for the fair. That calf (now 12 years old) has raised all of her calves without a hitch and 3 of her daughters are still in his herd producing. Lil Orphan Annie may have been an exception but it sure wasn;t heritable in her case.
 

Aaron

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Stocker Steve":26h73ul7 said:
How inheritable to you think mothering is?
Do you have some cows that you will not keep replacements out of due to them being indifferent mothers?

Cow that are indifferent don't get to stay around long enough to have replacements. Last one I had was an '08 model - one calf and she was gone at weaning, even though the calf was a massive brute at that point.
 

Ky hills

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I agree with Dun, to me it doesn't seem to be a given that a daughter from a really good mother cow will always carry on that trait. I will also say that like Aaron said, if one isn't a good mother, she doesn't stay around and certainly wouldn't retain any daughters.
Not sure if breed plays a role or not, have heard some folks say that some breeds do not have good mothering ability. I have had good success as a whole with both Angus and Herefords.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Our 3 way cross journey has exposed us to a lot. Herf and Limi have above average mothering with no calf "left behind", and Simi has below average mothering, in our herd. The two questionable cow families are extremely docile ones that have been crossed Simi. Seems like there can be a negative correlation between disposition and mothering.
 

Bullitt

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dun":1ya5hv5a said:
That's one of those "well sort of heritable" traits. Had a cow that with her first calf did a great job. On her second she tried to kill it. I mean seriously tried. She would get the calf down and pound her into the ground, never licked it once and only allowed it to nurse in the squeeze chute. As soon as she came out she would hunt to calf down and start pounding on her. She went to the sale barn and the vet bought the calf as a bucket calf for his daughter for the fair. That calf (now 12 years old) has raised all of her calves without a hitch and 3 of her daughters are still in his herd producing. Lil Orphan Annie may have been an exception but it sure wasn;t heritable in her case.

In women, I believe they call it postpartum depression when a mother kills, or tries to kill, her baby. They used to just say the person went crazy. It seems that your cow went crazy. I am glad that her heifer turned out well.
 

Caustic Burno

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Stocker Steve":20hve48g said:
Our 3 way cross journey has exposed us to a lot. Herf and Limi have above average mothering with no calf "left behind", and Simi has below average mothering, in our herd. The two questionable cow families are extremely docile ones that have been crossed Simi. Seems like there can be a negative correlation between disposition and mothering.

Best I have ever seen at that is the Brahmans the herd will raise an orphan.
On the flip side they can be some of the worst to wean.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Hard to beat baldies in the north. Ran some rough numbers last night - - with a small increase in the weaning weights and the step increase in value of the F1 replacements - - a Hereford cow maker should earn back his purchase price in about two years. :shock:
 

Brute 23

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Stocker Steve":oq7fojom said:
How inheritable to you think mothering is?
Do you have some cows that you will not keep replacements out of due to them being indifferent mothers?

Yes it is very inheritable. The best situation is when you put the heifers back in the same herd as their mothers.

If the cow is not good enough to keep a replacement out of I don't keep them.
 

TCRanch

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Bullitt":1m2jfctt said:
dun":1m2jfctt said:
That's one of those "well sort of heritable" traits. Had a cow that with her first calf did a great job. On her second she tried to kill it. I mean seriously tried. She would get the calf down and pound her into the ground, never licked it once and only allowed it to nurse in the squeeze chute. As soon as she came out she would hunt to calf down and start pounding on her. She went to the sale barn and the vet bought the calf as a bucket calf for his daughter for the fair. That calf (now 12 years old) has raised all of her calves without a hitch and 3 of her daughters are still in his herd producing. Lil Orphan Annie may have been an exception but it sure wasn;t heritable in her case.

In women, I believe they call it postpartum depression when a mother kills, or tries to kill, her baby. They used to just say the person went crazy. It seems that your cow went crazy. I am glad that her heifer turned out well.
Dunno about that theory. My Satan was downright evil but an awesome mama, raised great calves. Had twins one year and initially accepted both but rejected one after 3 days and left it to die. We found the calf after 3 days, amazingly still alive, and tried to reunite her with Satan who immediately tried to kill her, throwing her against the barn wall and going in for the kill until my husband nailed her with a 2x4. So now we had a bottle calf. Satan completely doted on her other twin and was a fab mom for 2 more calves before she died.
 

farmerjan

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It seems to be a crap shoot as to whether an indifferent mother 's daughters will be good or not. Have had it go both ways. Usually I have found that an indifferent mother's calves will not be as big or nice because they don't get all they could/should because the cow is indifferent. So because they are not as nice a calf they seldom get retained as a potential replacement. Still, more of our good mothers have daughters in the herd because they are good mothers also. I did a little digging in my records to try to answer this as it made me think about our heifer retaining.
I am apt to keep a heifer out of a cow that has a good disposition, and along with that good disposition is her being a good mother. I have a cow right now that is an exceptional mother. 4th calf I think. The calf is a flighty nutcase.... like spookier than wild deer. Nice calf. NOT A CANDIDATE to be retained .... UNLESS when we move them to the barn, she calms down and is only this way from being at a distant pasture with little human interaction. But she has been wild since birth, haven't been able to get her and another calf into the catch pen to get the group moved. Could be the other calf too. I have a cow that is a sweetheart and she is not the greatest mother, but her calves are always calm like her. Have kept 2 heifers and they have been good mothers. The cow may be a better mother than I give her credit for, because if I am out there she wants to be around me, and not worrying about her calf.
 

Midtenn

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I only have four purebred Charolais but all and I mean ALL of them will walk off grazing in the other direction while I'm tagging their calf who is kicking and bawling. What if I was a coyote or A black headed buzzard, would she still be walking away? I usually wait a few days until I can separate cow and calf in different pens but the other breeds...Angus/brangus and baldies will be right there wanting through the fence.
 

Ky hills

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Midtenn":rb852z6x said:
I only have four purebred Charolais but all and I mean ALL of them will walk off grazing in the other direction while I'm tagging their calf who is kicking and bawling. What if I was a coyote or A black headed buzzard, would she still be walking away? I usually wait a few days until I can separate cow and calf in different pens but the other breeds...Angus/brangus and baldies will be right there wanting through the fence.

Used to have registered Charolais, and for the most part except for 3 or 4 you could work with the calves easily, and they would just stand there watching. One year I did have some heifers, that were as you are describing and it didn't end well coyotes got 3 young calves. Have not had those issues thankfully since having Hereford and Angus cows.
 

greybeard

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Midtenn":1dbp2rz7 said:
I only have four purebred Charolais but all and I mean ALL of them will walk off grazing in the other direction while I'm tagging their calf who is kicking and bawling. What if I was a coyote or A black headed buzzard, would she still be walking away? I usually wait a few days until I can separate cow and calf in different pens but the other breeds...Angus/brangus and baldies will be right there wanting through the fence.

Might be a case of the mommas just don't see you as a threat. Most of my mommas will let me do anything with their calves except one old horned cow of unknown lineage. She'd kill ya if you get within 150' of her newborn or young calf, but the rest of the time, she's gentle as a lamb. Raises a heck of a calf every year tho and no trouble calving or breeding back.
All my chars are good mommas right from the minute calf hits the grass.

Did have one of the beefmasters that was bad about trying to 'steal' another cow's calf and the 2nd year she did it, she already had her own hanging off her teats. She was one that drowned so I don't have to worry about that anymore I reckon.
 

Ebenezer

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Hate to be my usual and sound stupid, but you want an intelligent cow that can tell the difference in you and a coyote. Doesn't mean that she will not hide the calf from you, too, but not eat your lunch. Hard to get this with a lot of in and out of bulls, lines, breeds as each brings in the unknown. Like temperament, I count the good type of maternal traits with the genetic effect. Have seen AI sibs be the same oddities over a long period of times (not one year of environmental effects). Bad temperament and poor mothering or aggressive cows are good reason to "tag" a bull or a breed as terminal and ship every calf or toss out the remaining semen.

In keeping calves in the herd to consider as bulls to use: the mother's maternal ability. I have some that should have medals for their ability and the sons are going to continue get their chance around here, no doubt. Trumps most EPDs in my book as it makes my life easier and there are more calves to sell.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Ebenezer":3bec7us8 said:
you want an intelligent cow that can tell the difference in you and a coyote. Doesn't mean that she will not hide the calf from you, too, but not eat your lunch. Hard to get this with a lot of in and out of bulls, lines, breeds as each brings in the unknown. Like temperament,

Need a mothering EPD ! :cowboy:
 

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