Skinny Pregnant Heifer

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BK9954

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I have a heifer who is due in about 2 months and looks skinnier then she did before. Should I worry about trying to add any weight on her or will this just make the baby bigger?
 

wbvs58

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I would feed her to at least stop the weight loss and get ready to put the feed in once she calves. I would not be too paranoid about the size of the calf as long as you are going to be around to keep an eye on things when it happens.
I feed my heifers both before and after calving and don't have many problems but I keep a close eye on them. I find if they are a bit light on before calving they will be very hollow after and it can be hard to catch up.
Ken
 

randiliana

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I agree, I would want to get her gaining a bit. You will have more calving problems with a skinny heifer than one that is in good condition. Be aware, that the last 2 months, that calf is gaining about 1 lb per day, and it takes a toll on your heifers. I wouldn't worry so much about the calf gaining too much.

Also, I have noticed in the past that heifers that have twins really start losing weight in the last 2 months, so be aware that she might have a set of twins in her. Again, I would want to have her gaining or at the very least maintaining her weight now, you will have many more problems with her if she is skinny than if she is at a healthy weight. More issues than just having calving problems.
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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Might take her to get checked. This is my first time with a heifer giving birth. My second year raising cattle. With only running 14 head right now losing her with a calf would be about 20% of my herd. These are my starters.
 

shortybreeder

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When exactly is she due? And do you have a chute or anything you can put her in? Once you get to the last month you can usually "bump" them to verify pregnancy. I'm in the same balancing act of feeding my cows in their last trimester, without growing the calf. I have one cow with twins and she's getting pretty wide, but hasn't started losing condition. Mine have access to a mineral tub, an Accuration tub, hay, corn stalks, then I give daily corn silage at a rate of about 3.5 gallons (no idea on pounds, sorry) per head.
 

shortybreeder

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randiliana":27ekomug said:
Again, I would want to have her gaining or at the very least maintaining her weight now, you will have many more problems with her if she is skinny than if she is at a healthy weight. More issues than just having calving problems.
+1 on this. Many studies have shown that cows with a BCS of 5 or 6 breed back considerably easier and faster than cows with a BCS less than 5.
 
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BK9954

BK9954

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She is due the 1st week of March or in about 8 weeks. I do have a chute. What do you mean "bump" them
 

shortybreeder

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http://familycow.proboards.com/thread/26032
You can bump their sides to feel if there is a calf in there once it is well-developed. Not going to tell you if there are twins, but can at least tell you if there is something in there. Takes some practice, so you may still feel the need to call a vet to confirm, but there's no better time to start practicing and learning. It's probably a little soon to tell at this point, but in 4 weeks it should start getting semi-obvious.
 

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