Old mama with twins

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Cucumber35

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Have an old mama cow I posted in my newbie thread... Probably over ten years old. She had twin bull calves at the end of April. Calved on her own just fine and has raised two healthy boys. The last few weeks with the heat and nursing both has really pulled her down though. Every time I checked on her she was lagging behind the herd or off by herself, often near the water trough. Panting pretty good and laying down quite often. Last week I decided to pen her up by herself to get the calves off of her, gave her a good dose of fly spray, and she's had unlimited clean fresh water and grass hay. The last few days I've given her a few cups of grain to nibble and hosed her down to keep cool a few times which she seems to enjoy. Seems to be doing slightly better maybe but it's only been less than a week and it's been very hot here. Here she is with the twins shortly after birth:



And a few weeks ago:



And her today:





So I'm torn whether to take a chance and keep her around to see if she bounces back with prices like they are and the fact I'm already gonna have a light calf crop next year, or just go ahead and ship her given her age. What would you do? I kind of explained my situation in the "new here" thread but if you haven't seen it, basically I have no replacements to calve next year and have already done some culling with more likely to come this fall, just not sure if this should be one or not. Trying to keep from putting too big a dent in next years calf crop if I can help it, and not really looking to buy cows. Curious about other opinions. Thanks.
 

Davemk

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There is nothing wrong with that cow. No way she would go to town this year. pull the calves and kick her back out on grass. Make sure she has plenty of good mineral.

edited to add

Or pull one calf and kick her back out on grass.
 

dun

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Davemk":bkou7he3 said:
There is nothing wrong with that cow. No way she would go to town this year. pull the calves and kick her back out on grass. Make sure she has plenty of good mineral.

edited to add

Or pull one calf and kick her back out on grass.
I agree, if she breeds back, keep her
 
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Cucumber35

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Ok thanks for the quick replies. Forgot to mention I did stick a protein/mineral tub and salt block in with her, looks like shes been using it some too. I have a small lot with some decent grass coming in that if I do a little creative temp fencing I can let her have access to and still get to water in the corral pen. Sadly I don't think the rest of my fences are currently good enough to keep the calves from getting in with her in any other fields at the moment. :hide: She has been locked in by herself just to clarify, calves are grazing with the rest of the herd and already seem to have forgotten about her. The first night though one of them must have been craving milk and managed to find a spot to get out of the field and then find a hole in the fence big enough to get in with her. Kicked him out the next day and locked the herd out of that field and they haven't been a problem since. I purposely took the picture facing the fence that I replaced, the other side is still embarrassing lol. It's a work in progress...
 

bball

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Have one in same situation here, except she's 7. One of my better cows. 2 calfs have really pulled her down this year. I wouldn't get rid of her. If nothing else, she raised 2 solid calfs this year. Seems like she paid for next year's upkeep in advance.
 

greatgerts

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Looks like she has been doing a bang up job raising those bull calves. Yes, she is going to lose some condition, but that is expected when raising twins. If you have decent grass and mineral, I'd get the calves weaned and she should grow well.

Yes, I know you have pulled her off and the calves are still with the herd. That does not mean that they aren't nursing another cow or won't go back to her when you put her back. Also, if the calves have not been banded/cut, that probably needs to be done ASAP as well.
 
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Cucumber35

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Got about half the bulls castrated a couple weeks ago before we had a storm ready to roll through and I was out of time to finish that day and kicked the rest out. Been to hot to work them and get them back through the chute to finish the rest. Of course her two haven't been done yet.
 

Nesikep

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I'd keep her around if she bred back.. over the winter you may want to keep her separate and give her a little more food if she isn't quite in good enough condition. I had a 7 year old cow with twins, she's going on 13 years old now and doing just fine.
 
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Cucumber35

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Old girl seems to be coming around pretty good. I think she's getting spoiled with her little grain treat every day. Hoping to wean everything in the next couple weeks then she will get kicked out with the rest of the herd. Thanks for everybody's vote of confidence. I knew she deserved to stay I just needed some reinforcement.
Took this earlier this evening, she's definitely filled out from looking back at the earlier pics...

 

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