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murray gray

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Anonymous

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> We just bought some first calf and
> second calf murray gray heifer's..
> any info. on calving these would
> be of help == thanks

What questions do you have? Murray Greys are noted for easy calving,even first time heifers.

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Anonymous

Guest
> What questions do you have? Murray
> Greys are noted for easy
> calving,even first time heifers.

My experience is limited in cattle and have no exp.with mg. I have heard horror stories about calving heifer's,they are in a 15 acre pen now,my thoughts are to let them calve there rather than put them in the barn & and add stress, as western or. weather is not cold.Although they are quite dosile , I wonder if the first timers will likely need help getting the head & shoulders out. Also anybody know an appox weight on newborn MG's

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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> My experience is limited in cattle
> and have no exp.with mg. I have
> heard horror stories about calving
> heifer's,they are in a 15 acre pen
> now,my thoughts are to let them
> calve there rather than put them
> in the barn & and add stress,
> as western or. weather is not
> cold.Although they are quite
> dosile , I wonder if the first
> timers will likely need help
> getting the head & shoulders
> out. Also anybody know an appox
> weight on newborn MG's

It would be better to leave them in the pasture.Average weight is 60 - 80 lbs. While all breeds can have the occasional breech birth,MG's are noted for easy calving due to their small heads and bone structure.The cow will tend to isolate herself to give birth.You are not likely to have any problems.

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OP
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Anonymous

Guest
Calving in the pasture should be fine if you can keep a close eye on the first calf heifers. Give some thought to how or what you are going to do if one of those heifers should have a calving problem. Where can you best work with the cow?

The biggest problem with any livestock is making sure the infectious bugs aren't concentrated in a birthing area. That's one reason pasture calving can be good, or calve in a corral and move the new moms out fairly soon.

We bring our MG's into a corral for most calving, but only for our convenience and comfort. Friends in Idaho calve their Murray Greys in the snow in January.

One other reason to consider moving first calf heifer's up to a corral or pen temporarily is it can be very helpful to leave the mother and calf together for a day or two to make sure they have fully bonded. Murray Greys are very good mothers, but occasionally an older cow that is near calving will foster and steal the calf from a first calf heifer. It's rare, but it can happen. Leaving them together overnight, or at least away from the older cows for a day or two can help prevent problems.

There are two reasons Murray Greys are easy calvers. One is most, but not all, breeders breed for the 60 to 80# bw mentioned in the above post. The second reason is that if you look at a Murray Grey from the front, you will see a nice sloping shoulder, not a blocky one. This sloping shoulder helps the calf slip right out. The only time we've had any calving problems is when a calf has come backwards, and those are an emergency in any breed.

As for my comment that not all MG breeders breed for low birthweight, there are some breeders who are more show cattle oriented and who do tend to breed for bw's in the higher range. Look at the epd's for your cows.

> It would be better to leave them
> in the pasture.Average weight is
> 60 - 80 lbs. While all breeds can
> have the occasional breech
> birth,MG's are noted for easy
> calving due to their small heads
> and bone structure.The cow will
> tend to isolate herself to give
> birth.You are not likely to have
> any problems.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> Calving in the pasture should be
> fine if you can keep a close eye
> on the first calf heifers. Give
> some thought to how or what you
> are going to do if one of those
> heifers should have a calving
> problem. Where can you best work
> with the cow?

> The biggest problem with any
> livestock is making sure the
> infectious bugs aren't
> concentrated in a birthing area.
> That's one reason pasture calving
> can be good, or calve in a corral
> and move the new moms out fairly
> soon.

> We bring our MG's into a corral
> for most calving, but only for our
> convenience and comfort. Friends
> in Idaho calve their Murray Greys
> in the snow in January.

> One other reason to consider
> moving first calf heifer's up to a
> corral or pen temporarily is it
> can be very helpful to leave the
> mother and calf together for a day
> or two to make sure they have
> fully bonded. Murray Greys are
> very good mothers, but
> occasionally an older cow that is
> near calving will foster and steal
> the calf from a first calf heifer.
> It's rare, but it can happen.
> Leaving them together overnight,
> or at least away from the older
> cows for a day or two can help
> prevent problems.

> There are two reasons Murray Greys
> are easy calvers. One is most, but
> not all, breeders breed for the 60
> to 80# bw mentioned in the above
> post. The second reason is that if
> you look at a Murray Grey from the
> front, you will see a nice sloping
> shoulder, not a blocky one. This
> sloping shoulder helps the calf
> slip right out. The only time
> we've had any calving problems is
> when a calf has come backwards,
> and those are an emergency in any
> breed.

> As for my comment that not all MG
> breeders breed for low
> birthweight, there are some
> breeders who are more show cattle
> oriented and who do tend to breed
> for bw's in the higher range. Look
> at the epd's for your cows.

Thanks Linda, a lot of good info. one other tip my bother gave me is, if you need to help her birth the calf,only get the head and shoulders out, and don't hurry her, then get out of there and let her have that calf. She is a lot less likely to reject that baby.

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OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
You're very welcome. If you ever have to pull a calf from any cow and the calf is not coming backwards, make sure you pull WITH the cow's contractions. Most women understand this concept. :)

Our Murray Greys have never minded having us around when they're calving. Actually, one year I "stole" colostrum from 5 different cows and first calf heifers. While the baby was nursing on one side, I milked some colostrum out from the other side.

We often have young children over to watch the cows calve. They sit on the fence panel outside and watch the birth through the door. I only do this with our older cows who are used to the entire process. And, I do ask the kids to be very quiet and still. It's fun to watch the kids watch the birthing process, and to hear their comments.

I have never had a Murray Grey heifer present any difficulty delivering the shoulders. Once the head is delivered, the babies just squirt out. Other ranchers in our area who have used Murray Grey bulls on their first calf heifers always comment on the easy birthing.

Friends calve about 50 heifers each year. One year they pulled all of their calves. These calves were out of several different bulls. The next year they used a Murray Grey bull on their heifers and had 49 delivered without assistance. The one that had to be assisted came backwards.

Their comment after ear tagging the calves? "Them suckers WANT to live!" They were laughing because all their lives they had held the calf between their knees to ear tag it. They had a heck of a time hanging onto the Murray Grey cross calves, due to the small head and sloping shoulders.

I've never had a Murray Grey heifer or cow reject a baby, no matter whether we were involved in the birth or not. They are very maternal animals. The bonding I referred to for first calf heifers was because these very maternal cows sometimes go overboard.

I have to tell you a story, and I hope I can describe it well enough. Our oldest cow is a very good mother. Her heifer was calving for the first time and we kept the heifer and calf together for a day or two, then put them in with the herd. The heifer was a good momma, too. Well this was feeding time, and the older cows immediately started butting and pushing the heifer around. The grandma cow immediately blocked the others and made them back off. The first calf heifer went over to a corner of the pasture with her calf and stood with her head hanging down, looking totally dejected. For the first and only time, I saw the grandma cow actually leave her food-she does love to eat. She went over to her daughter and started licking the first calf heifer's face and talking to her in low tones. In a few minutes the first calf heifer was visibly cheered up.

> Thanks Linda, a lot of good info.
> one other tip my bother gave me
> is, if you need to help her birth
> the calf,only get the head and
> shoulders out, and don't hurry
> her, then get out of there and let
> her have that calf. She is a lot
> less likely to reject that baby.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> You're very welcome. If you ever
> have to pull a calf from any cow
> and the calf is not coming
> backwards, make sure you pull WITH
> the cow's contractions. Most women
> understand this concept. :)

> Our Murray Greys have never minded
> having us around when they're
> calving. Actually, one year I
> "stole" colostrum from 5
> different cows and first calf
> heifers. While the baby was
> nursing on one side, I milked some
> colostrum out from the other side.

> We often have young children over
> to watch the cows calve. They sit
> on the fence panel outside and
> watch the birth through the door.
> I only do this with our older cows
> who are used to the entire
> process. And, I do ask the kids to
> be very quiet and still. It's fun
> to watch the kids watch the
> birthing process, and to hear
> their comments.

> I have never had a Murray Grey
> heifer present any difficulty
> delivering the shoulders. Once the
> head is delivered, the babies just
> squirt out. Other ranchers in our
> area who have used Murray Grey
> bulls on their first calf heifers
> always comment on the easy
> birthing.

> Friends calve about 50 heifers
> each year. One year they pulled
> all of their calves. These calves
> were out of several different
> bulls. The next year they used a
> Murray Grey bull on their heifers
> and had 49 delivered without
> assistance. The one that had to be
> assisted came backwards.

> Their comment after ear tagging
> the calves? "Them suckers
> WANT to live!" They were
> laughing because all their lives
> they had held the calf between
> their knees to ear tag it. They
> had a heck of a time hanging onto
> the Murray Grey cross calves, due
> to the small head and sloping
> shoulders.

> I've never had a Murray Grey
> heifer or cow reject a baby, no
> matter whether we were involved in
> the birth or not. They are very
> maternal animals. The bonding I
> referred to for first calf heifers
> was because these very maternal
> cows sometimes go overboard.

> I have to tell you a story, and I
> hope I can describe it well
> enough. Our oldest cow is a very
> good mother. Her heifer was
> calving for the first time and we
> kept the heifer and calf together
> for a day or two, then put them in
> with the herd. The heifer was a
> good momma, too. Well this was
> feeding time, and the older cows
> immediately started butting and
> pushing the heifer around. The
> grandma cow immediately blocked
> the others and made them back off.
> The first calf heifer went over to
> a corner of the pasture with her
> calf and stood with her head
> hanging down, looking totally
> dejected. For the first and only
> time, I saw the grandma cow
> actually leave her food-she does
> love to eat. She went over to her
> daughter and started licking the
> first calf heifer's face and
> talking to her in low tones. In a
> few minutes the first calf heifer
> was visibly cheered up.

Linda, great story about a wonderful breed!

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