Non-nursing cow

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One of our Limousin heifers delivered a healthy female calf.<br>Now she refuses to let her nurse. She simply won't stand<br>still and kicks at the calf. We had no trouble feeding<br>the calf with a bottle until last evening, when the mother<br>turned violent and charged the gate. The baby seems to have<br>been able FINALLY to nurse off another recent momma. <p>What would have made her NOT want to nurse? She seems to have<br>a full udder and it doesn't look discolored.<p>Should we wait to see if the reluctant mother will ever let<br>baby nurse, or is she just a good candidate for butchering<br>in a few weeks? <p><p>
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(User Above)":37zl72rc said:
: One of our Limousin heifers delivered a healthy female calf.<br>: Now she refuses to let her nurse. She simply won't stand<br>: still and kicks at the calf. We had no trouble feeding<br>: the calf with a bottle until last evening, when the mother<br>: turned violent and charged the gate. The baby seems to have<br>: been able FINALLY to nurse off another recent momma. <p>: What would have made her NOT want to nurse? She seems to have<br>: a full udder and it doesn't look discolored.<p>: Should we wait to see if the reluctant mother will ever let<br>: baby nurse, or is she just a good candidate for butchering<br>: in a few weeks? <p>I assume this is the cow's first calf. If the cow has some interest in the calf and the calf is strong enough to nurse I would pen them together and watch what happens. You may try putting on some of the Calf Claim (manufactured under several names) to see if she accepts the calf better. Stick around to see if she lets it nurse. Hopefully, she will get it figured out and let the baby nurse. If you can, you may wish to keep them together for a few days and keep an eye on them. Perhaps, if all goes well, she will go ahead and raise her calf, especially since she seems to have milk. If she still kicks at it, I guess you have a bottle calf for a while.<br>Good Luck.<p>We had a cow (past tense) that would deliver and lick off her calf, but would refuse to let it nurse (at least for about the first 12-24 hrs). Her first calf was born in a horrible wet snow. We barely got to the calf in time, had to tube it and bottle feed it for a couple of days, we then penned it back up (nested in a bale of alfalfa) with his mother - she reclaimed this calf and took great care of him. Her second calf was born, she licked him off; but when he went to nurse she kicked him to where he flew/rolled about 20 ft. Gave him clostrum/bottle . Later we put "Calf Claim" on him and she licked/mothered him and finally let him nurse. Another happy story - great calf. With her heifer this spring, she did the same thing to - but, kicked it so hard that it must have gotten internal injuries and died in about a week (despite clostrum/electrolyte etc). 5 year old good producing cow met sale barn. We gave her the benefit of the doubt after the first calf, but had her calf survived this spring, we were going to sell her this fall anyway. We did have one heifer that calved this spring that had a little trouble getting started. The calf seemed a little weak (didn't see him born or up, not sure if she kicked him), got cow in headgate, milked her and bottle fed him. Within a few hours he was up and nursing fine (on cow). Both are fine now. Hopefully, we are not asking for trouble again, but we plan on giving this cow another chance because we are not sure if he was just born a little weak or what. Sometimes heifers are just "goofy" and need some help. The calf kicking would make me leary, but if all goes well this year and you have the time and energy to watch her next year - you may wish to give her one more chance (especially if she is a good cow). Else, wean early and sell one (hopefully) bred cow.
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I've been a large animal vet for 14 years, and a Simmental breeder for 10. In my personal and professional experience, you can usually get a cow to accept the calf using various methods, but I have seen several calves killed.(all clients, not my own, and they just forced them to go together in a pen) Now I'm going to generalize here, and I'll admit I'm not a limo lover, but limo heifers seem to have more problems accepting calves, and it tends to run in lines--either maternal or paternal. My advice would be to ship her--why send a problem on to someone else? If you want ideas on how to get the heifer to accept it, I'll help, but ....<br>Vicki the Vet<p>: One of our Limousin heifers delivered a healthy female calf.<br>: Now she refuses to let her nurse. She simply won't stand<br>: still and kicks at the calf. We had no trouble feeding<br>: the calf with a bottle until last evening, when the mother<br>: turned violent and charged the gate. The baby seems to have<br>: been able FINALLY to nurse off another recent momma. <p>: What would have made her NOT want to nurse? She seems to have<br>: a full udder and it doesn't look discolored.<p>: Should we wait to see if the reluctant mother will ever let<br>: baby nurse, or is she just a good candidate for butchering<br>: in a few weeks? <p>
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Not sure if this is the reason or not, but sometimes after a cow calves, her udder and teats are very sore...maybe that's why she won't let the calf nurse???<br>My 6 yr old jersey didn't kick her calf, but she would raise her leg and move his mouth away until she finally realized he wasn't going to give up LOL this went on for a week or two...but he did just fine. If your cow is kicking the calf, I'd be worried that she would hurt it. Don't know if I'd want to keep one that did that.
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We have had 2 cases similar. One was a nice young cow whose calf we found dead and chewed up..we were upset and assumed neighbors dogs were the culprits. She had her 2nd calf and we found dead in a rain puddle..I would have hauled her then, but she belonged to some city friends and they wanted to keep her. I brought her to the home pasture and watched like a hawk on the 3rd calf..it was born healthy, was up and trying to suck in 10 minutes and she wanted to lick and clean it and keep it in front of her. She didn't kick it, but lifted her leg and pushed it away each time it tried to suck, but would continue cleaning it. I carried it to the barn, penned the cow and gave her a pile of alfalfa..while she was eating, the calf latched on and voila! She looked very surprised that was all she had to do. She raised a super calf and was one of the best mamas. Other one we don't know what happened..but it just wouldn't suck enough..we tried to milk cow and bottle feed, but after 10 days it just got weaker and died. Vet thought some neurological problem.<br>: : One of our Limousin heifers delivered a healthy female calf.<br>: : Now she refuses to let her nurse. She simply won't stand<br>: : still and kicks at the calf. We had no trouble feeding<br>: : the calf with a bottle until last evening, when the mother<br>: : turned violent and charged the gate. The baby seems to have<br>: : been able FINALLY to nurse off another recent momma. <p>: : What would have made her NOT want to nurse? She seems to have<br>: : a full udder and it doesn't look discolored.<p>: : Should we wait to see if the reluctant mother will ever let<br>: : baby nurse, or is she just a good candidate for butchering<br>: : in a few weeks? <p>: I assume this is the cow's first calf. If the cow has some interest in the calf and the calf is strong enough to nurse I would pen them together and watch what happens. You may try putting on some of the Calf Claim (manufactured under several names) to see if she accepts the calf better. Stick around to see if she lets it nurse. Hopefully, she will get it figured out and let the baby nurse. If you can, you may wish to keep them together for a few days and keep an eye on them. Perhaps, if all goes well, she will go ahead and raise her calf, especially since she seems to have milk. If she still kicks at it, I guess you have a bottle calf for a while.<br>: Good Luck.<p>: We had a cow (past tense) that would deliver and lick off her calf, but would refuse to let it nurse (at least for about the first 12-24 hrs). Her first calf was born in a horrible wet snow. We barely got to the calf in time, had to tube it and bottle feed it for a couple of days, we then penned it back up (nested in a bale of alfalfa) with his mother - she reclaimed this calf and took great care of him. Her second calf was born, she licked him off; but when he went to nurse she kicked him to where he flew/rolled about 20 ft. Gave him clostrum/bottle . Later we put "Calf Claim" on him and she licked/mothered him and finally let him nurse. Another happy story - great calf. With her heifer this spring, she did the same thing to - but, kicked it so hard that it must have gotten internal injuries and died in about a week (despite clostrum/electrolyte etc). 5 year old good producing cow met sale barn. We gave her the benefit of the doubt after the first calf, but had her calf survived this spring, we were going to sell her this fall anyway. We did have one heifer that calved this spring that had a little trouble getting started. The calf seemed a little weak (didn't see him born or up, not sure if she kicked him), got cow in headgate, milked her and bottle fed him. Within a few hours he was up and nursing fine (on cow). Both are fine now. Hopefully, we are not asking for trouble again, but we plan on giving this cow another chance because we are not sure if he was just born a little weak or what. Sometimes heifers are just "goofy" and need some help. The calf kicking would make me leary, but if all goes well this year and you have the time and energy to watch her next year - you may wish to give her one more chance (especially if she is a good cow). Else, wean early and sell one (hopefully) bred cow.<p>
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(User Above)":38vmfsan said:
: One of our Limousin heifers delivered a healthy female calf.<br>: Now she refuses to let her nurse. She simply won't stand<br>: still and kicks at the calf. We had no trouble feeding<br>: the calf with a bottle until last evening, when the mother<br>: turned violent and charged the gate. The baby seems to have<br>: been able FINALLY to nurse off another recent momma. <p>: What would have made her NOT want to nurse? She seems to have<br>: a full udder and it doesn't look discolored.<p>: Should we wait to see if the reluctant mother will ever let<br>: baby nurse, or is she just a good candidate for butchering<br>: in a few weeks? <p>Sore teats and udder are probably the problem, the best way to handle that is to put the new mom in the chute with a kicker in plaace and help the calf to nurse. This may take several times. But if the calf is already nursing another cow chances are she will never accept it now. The smell of the other cows milk is in its feces now .
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Thanks to all who replied. It took a couple of days and we had to give Spunk a bottle those days,<br>but now momma accepts her and she's nursing really well. Momma sometimes has TWO calves on her at <br>once ... one behind and one "forward." Looks really strange, but at least she is accepting baby<br>and not "kicking" which may have been just her pushing Spunk away until she realized nursing wasn't <br>going to hurt her.<p>
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