New member and new calf too!

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Well-known member
Feb 5, 2009
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Hello all,

I've been looking at the post for quite a while and find a lot of great information. My wife and I are newbies to beef cattle, starting just last August. We have our first calf, a Black Angus born 2 weeks ago. I think it was about -5 f when she was born, it's been in single digits and below zero a lot here in Michigan with a lot of snow. We're a bit concerned that she is only taking the front two teets, leaving the back ones untouched. She doesn't seem to be very active or showing any evidence of putting on any weight, she's not much different than the day she was born. Both mom and the calf have a barn to hide out in and the calf seems to prefer to stay in the stall most of the time.

Any suggestions to try to get her a little more active, do we need to try to get her to take the other two quarters, or is this normal in these conditions?


Hey there new member, welcome. I started with Angus in May 08. Did you weigh the calf when it was born? How much does it weigh now?
Smllish calves will frequently nurse just 2 teats for a week or 2, If the cow is a particularly heavy milker it may take little longer till the calf starts to show interest in the additional grocery supply
No, that probably would have been a good idea, but we were not really prepared. We left in the morning and when we came home 5 hours later there was the calf. It took her a while to find the right spot, she kept going for between mom's front legs. We did our best to try to direct her to the back until she finally found them. Mom really didn't like us in the stall like that. My wife got pretty good at vaulting the sides of the stall!

Perhaps we should weigh her now and then in a week or two. How much should she be gaining?
She should be gaining about 2-3#/day... but don't fret and way the little thing every day... she'll do just fine.

Keep your eye out for perky ears and eyes and normal calf poop. Droopy eyes and ears are not good - particularly with scours (diarrhea).

Good luck and watch her grow!
We haven't taken many photos, but here are two


Think of her as a new born! All they do is eat,sleep, and use the bathroom. If its that cold I wouldnt want to run and play either.

I would make sure mom is fed well with grain, and pen them both up in the barn. That way you know mom isn't out feeding herself and not baby.

Does the calf appear ill? If she isn't setting enough to eat she will get dehydrated quickly.
thats a fine looking heifer calf an momma.she will grow into sucking the back i wouldnt worry about them.she looks like she is growing good.
Quick update on the calf.

She's doing really well, and since we've had a huge thaw and warmer temps we have seen her perk up considerably. She is now working on the back teats, spending more time outside, and even saw her running around a little in the pasture. She's a real sweetie, we have no problem handling or petting her, and mom is pretty tolerant of us being around her most of the time, she gives us plenty of signs when she doesn't want us nearby. We still haven't had a chance to weigh her but she appears to be gaining very well. We leave a stall open in the barn and both calf and mom can come and go as they please either inside or with shelter.

Now we're ready for the next ones to come along! I think our next one due is a red Scottish Highland, bred to a white color Highland bull. We're looking forward to seeing how that turns out color wise. Her last calf was from a black Highland bull, here is a picture of her at about 6 months. She's a real friendly calf too, but we keep our distance from mom as much as possible. I was really enjoying watching them in the fresh deep snow walking though the pasture.



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