Spooked Calf

Help Support CattleToday:

insurman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2012
Messages
236
Reaction score
12
Location
Central Texas
Thought I would share my exciting Fathers Day with everyone..

Central Texas, drought, 100+ everyday and no rain in sight.

Last week Friday I have a second calf cow in labor, 65 -70 lb heifer born early afternoon. By Saturday afternoon cow/calf are back mingling with the other 8 cows and 7 calves (all calves less than 3 weeks old) in that one particular pasture. Sunday morning it is blistering hot and this solid black heifer is curled up in the direct sunlight, 2+ hours later she is still sacked out and everyone else is 30 feet away in the shade under the trees. I decided it was time to wake her up and get her to move along by her momma in the shade (which I have done many times over the years), well that was my mistake on this one..I walk up and just touch the hip of the calf and this is when the fun began.

She popped up, squawked one time and took off like she was shot out of a cannon. This group was in the third pasture from the county road. She went thru 3 sets of barbed wire fencing across the county road, thru the neighbors fence, down that fence line thru another fence then a hard right up a diveway and thru another fence prob close to a half a mile or more away. Not one time did she slow down. I gave chase on foot but really just trying to see where in the hell she went..

Alerted neighbors, got permission to go into properties to look and from noon to dark I went looking by foot 3 different times at about 1.5 hours at a time. Did not find a thing, no sign of it, etc.. The pasture they were in was over a little hill so I brought the momma up to the pasture on the road so that when she finally started hollering for her calf she would be closer to where it went out. At dark I gave up and said to myself that if not back tonight or in the AM then it is gone.

I pulled up early Monday morning and I could not believe that the calf was just standing next to momma like nothing ever happened. She had to go thru three more fences to get back to where she was. The calf is doing great and all seems well.

At almost 59 years of age I cannot ever remember being so damn sore...running, over fencing, thru fencing, walking thru the woods and pastures in 100+ heat and finally today I didn't feel the need to take any Advil.

Needless to say I will give it a real second thought before doing that again.
 

Animal Track Farm

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
54
Reaction score
8
Location
Northeast Georgia
Thought I would share my exciting Fathers Day with everyone..

Central Texas, drought, 100+ everyday and no rain in sight.

Last week Friday I have a second calf cow in labor, 65 -70 lb heifer born early afternoon. By Saturday afternoon cow/calf are back mingling with the other 8 cows and 7 calves (all calves less than 3 weeks old) in that one particular pasture. Sunday morning it is blistering hot and this solid black heifer is curled up in the direct sunlight, 2+ hours later she is still sacked out and everyone else is 30 feet away in the shade under the trees. I decided it was time to wake her up and get her to move along by her momma in the shade (which I have done many times over the years), well that was my mistake on this one..I walk up and just touch the hip of the calf and this is when the fun began.

She popped up, squawked one time and took off like she was shot out of a cannon. This group was in the third pasture from the county road. She went thru 3 sets of barbed wire fencing across the county road, thru the neighbors fence, down that fence line thru another fence then a hard right up a diveway and thru another fence prob close to a half a mile or more away. Not one time did she slow down. I gave chase on foot but really just trying to see where in the hell she went..

Alerted neighbors, got permission to go into properties to look and from noon to dark I went looking by foot 3 different times at about 1.5 hours at a time. Did not find a thing, no sign of it, etc.. The pasture they were in was over a little hill so I brought the momma up to the pasture on the road so that when she finally started hollering for her calf she would be closer to where it went out. At dark I gave up and said to myself that if not back tonight or in the AM then it is gone.

I pulled up early Monday morning and I could not believe that the calf was just standing next to momma like nothing ever happened. She had to go thru three more fences to get back to where she was. The calf is doing great and all seems well.

At almost 59 years of age I cannot ever remember being so damn sore...running, over fencing, thru fencing, walking thru the woods and pastures in 100+ heat and finally today I didn't feel the need to take any Advil.

Needless to say I will give it a real second thought before doing that again.
I had a simalar experince with a heifer calf I bought at the sale barn. It was calm enough at the barn and on the ride home. Put it in my barn to get it use to me and quarantine from the other cows. After a couple of days I let it into the pasture where it would be it and my minature donkey. The donkey saw it then it saw the donkey. She took off through a barb wire fence across my yard and into the woods across the road. Luckily we live on a fairly long private dirt road with few neighbors. I gave chase but lost it. I looked for the next 3 days and might get a glimpse of it peeking out of the woods at the other cows in the big pasture but, it would run off if you went towards it. Finally it must have gotten lonely and came down to the pasture fence next to the other cows. I grabbed a bucket of feed and called the cows down to the corral. Opened a gate near the corral and she came down and went in to join them. That was a happy day. Wound up selling her right after that.
 

wbvs58

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
6,798
Reaction score
2,463
Location
S.E. Queensland, Australia
My place has a lot of old fencing with a low wire about 6-9" off the ground with the thinking that it will stop calves from crawling under (this was all put in by the previous owner), most is caught up in grass and vegetation now. I have never seen a calf go down low, whenever they go through a fence it is always through the middle wires, whether being pushed or spooked or on their way back to be reunited with their mother.

Ken
 

Katpau

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
718
Reaction score
236
Location
Roseburg, Oregon
We have had that happen more than once. We try to avoid going anywhere close to a lone calf, during that brief time between when they are newly born and still catch-able and when they join with the other calves in what I call the "calf nursery". Startling a calf who is hiding all alone without his mother can end up with a panicked calf exiting the scene. Usually they are fine as long as mama is right there, and if they do freak out, most cows will go with them, but not always.

We had one cow who herself was a laid back sweet heart, but she had some high strung calves. They were fine once they had joined the herd, but easily freaked out for the first week or so. On two different occasions her calves headed for the hills in a panic, just because we looked at them wrong. Meanwhile mama stood there chewing her cud and watching them go. The second time this happened was especially frustrating. We had just got out of the side by side and were checking cows when her calf freaked and headed for what was a pretty tight fence about 100 yards away. I wasn't concerned and figured she would stop there. A different herd of our cows was watching us from the other side. She went right through the fence and kept on going right through the second herd. As she went up the hill a good distance away, she came to another fence separating us from the neighboring ranch. I was sure she couldn't squeeze through, since the perimeter fence was really tight.... I was wrong! After a brief struggle, she squeezed through and continued up the hill, disappearing into the woods. I figured she would come back, so we left things as they were. It was about 8 in the morning and I figured we would check towards evening, assuming she would be back. That evening we found the cow calling with a hoarse voice and walking the fence, but no calf. We split up and headed onto the neighbors to look. This was before we both had cell phones, but we were in a dead zone anyway. We were not smart enough to carry two way radios in those days, so there was no communication between us. Paul took the west miles of fence-line on foot and I headed East with the RTV.

After an hour or so I returned empty handed and found Paul carrying that 80-90 pound calf back towards the cow. He had no way of contacting me so I could come with the RTV and help. We now always carry a radio. He was exhausted and in a pretty nasty mood. He had found her hiding in a valley a good distance away with a hill that blocked the sound of mama's calls. He had managed to grab her before she realized what was going on, but there was a pretty good struggle after that. I am amazed he was able to get her and carry her that far, but he is pretty stubborn when he decides he is going to do something. I discovered long ago that if I want something difficult done, just tell Paul "There is no way anyone could do that. Don't even try." Somehow he will manage to do it, just to prove me wrong.
 

coachg

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
845
Reaction score
1,646
Location
Pisgah, Alabama
Had a nice heifer calf born last year to a older momma. Hot and evidently momma didn’t get her cleaned up . Flies covered her and laid eggs on her back towards her tail head .. I was going to spray her and possibly give her some meds . This calf was a couple of days old and jumped up and ran across the pasture to the woods on a creek that crosses our farm . Ever time I tried to do something for her same result. She lost all her hair and her back looked like raw meat . When I finally got her sprayed it did clear up but she never had hair grow back . lol
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
17,244
Reaction score
2,551
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
I had a simalar experince with a heifer calf I bought at the sale barn. It was calm enough at the barn and on the ride home. Put it in my barn to get it use to me and quarantine from the other cows. After a couple of days I let it into the pasture where it would be it and my minature donkey. The donkey saw it then it saw the donkey. She took off through a barb wire fence across my yard and into the woods across the road. Luckily we live on a fairly long private dirt road with few neighbors. I gave chase but lost it. I looked for the next 3 days and might get a glimpse of it peeking out of the woods at the other cows in the big pasture but, it would run off if you went towards it. Finally it must have gotten lonely and came down to the pasture fence next to the other cows. I grabbed a bucket of feed and called the cows down to the corral. Opened a gate near the corral and she came down and went in to join them. That was a happy day. Wound up selling her right after that.
that's what happened to my friend when he brought home a 2 year old bull of mine... the cows came running, he'd never seen a black cow and thought they were bears or something, and he took off, broke fences, corrals, etc and was found about a mile away, friend was able to go up to him and get a rope on his neck, around a tree a few times, dragged him back to the farm, and loaded him back in the trailer, he was going to bring him back to me, and once he was in the trailer he was totally cool again.. he left the trailer in the field with the cows and he settled down.. let him out 2 days later and no more problems.

I have a nice heifer that's really spooky, don't know if I can work it out of her.. she likes scratches, but is just high strung as heck, she'll bolt for *anything*
 

Logan52

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
86
Reaction score
30
Location
central Kentucky
Over my many years I have had similar events, three times I remember well.
It is always with the cows that like to hide their calves, and they stay hid for twelve hours or longer, hardly batting an eye. The cow may be far away and sometimes I get worried. After walking and walking I finally find the calf. It is so still I poke it with a stick to see if it is OK. They jump up like shot out of a cannon and go off at a run, hardly pausing for a fence.
By then I do have something to worry about but they always got back together on their own.
 

Similar threads

A
Replies
15
Views
3K
A
Replies
3
Views
3K
Anonymous
A
A
Replies
0
Views
2K
Anonymous
A
A
Replies
3
Views
2K
Anonymous
A
A
Replies
7
Views
2K
Anonymous
A

Latest posts

Top