- Jun 1, 2004
- Reaction score
- Out West
Skin in a tube. You have me curious for sure. I've only done a full skin and tied it on before. I haven't seen one do that either. Usually once they've claimed them it's good to go. Interesting. We have had co raising before and don't intervene as long as the cow is staying in good condition.I often skin out the dead calf... but I just skin it in a "tube" and can slide the skin right on the new calf and with the cow licking on it, the skin gets "licked off" in a day or 2 and it works good...no trying to tie it on the calf... but this cow had seemed so accepting of the new calf without the skinning that I thought she was going to do fine. Plus the dead calf was very small and this calf is quite good sized. It was just weird that she would talk to it and let it go right on her and being a beef cow didn't even mind when I put the calf right up to her and got it on the teats the first couple times... her teats were rather large.... but then when she decided she was tired of being in the small barn and lot, she took on a whole different personality...
Oh well, they will keep you guessing.
Have no idea if we will keep the heifer for a cow. I usually do not make them a nurse cow but let them run with the beef cows and their own calf will use what it can and then their milk production will slow to have enough for the calf. I have caught a few calves stealing off a crossbred cow like that in the field... when we raise a group of heifers together, they will get bred together, and calve together... and I am often surprised that after a couple weeks, you will see 2 nursing one cow and then later 2 or 3 on another cow... they seem to co-raise calves. As long as I don't see any "adults" nursing others, I don't care if they co-parent or not. I did have 2 that became problems with sucking other cows in the group and used nose weaners and a couple other things... one I just sold as I could not break her, the other went with other cows and they did not tolerate it and have never seen her do it again...
And it depends on the calf's disposition as it grows. If they become very friendly, then sometimes I will take the time to give them a 2nd calf to raise and let them run with the beef cows with "twins"... but the grass has to be very good to not supplement with some grain because 2 calves pulling on a 1/2 dairy cow will have her losing condition and they get thinner than a beef cow and often do not breed back as easily because they are putting more into the milk than they are into getting their condition back to cycle.
Because this was bought cow that was very good dispositioned, I just didn't expect her to not mother the calf after a few days of totally accepting the calf to nurse in the small barn lot. Since I have no idea of her background, I just went with what felt right and the initial acceptance of the calf made me think she would do fine. Kinda fooled me, but it follows around and seems to be determined to make sure it gets to drink.
We have had grown cows suck other cows on occasion over the years. Have resorted to crown weaning rings installed for longer term. Eventually took them out with no further issues. We have never had one nurse herself although I have heard stories of it happening before. Never seen it for myself.
Cows always keep us guessing don't they? Just when you think you got something figured out someone throws a kink in it.