Stop heifer from kicking new calf

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Or put her in a chute with the drop down panels on the side.. then you can get the squeeze the cow and hopefully get the calf on. Heifers are stupid sometimes with new calves.. good luck!
How old is the calf? Had a heifer calve earlier this year and she would do the same thing the first few times the calf would try and nurse. I guess she finally figured out what was going on and started letting the calf nurse after a little while.
Well, there are several ways - some you will maybe like, and some you will not like. I have seen them all done with varying degrees of success.

1. Pen her up and hook a rope around one of her back ankles. Throw it up over a rafter and haul the leg up - good and high. You'll quickly tire of this if she does not take to the calf in a few days. Usually the cow tires before you do.

2. Milk her almost all the way out - maybe her bag is sore. Pail, bottle or tube the calf to make sure it gets what it needs.

3. Pen her and lay a licking on her every time she beats up on the calf. After a couple of these she will not move if you simply threaten her. Just stand there with the stick over your head and she usually will fraaze while the calf sucks. Not always the best choice - but some are very stubborn.

4. Hobble her. But watch out if she really goes crazy - she may fall on the calf - or you if you are in the way.

5. Put her in the squeeze - it works for a while, but if she does not take quickly you will tire of this.

6. Forget it - pull the calf and pail bunt it - sell the heifer - last resort - but it really feels good to stop beating your head against the brick wall.

Good luck - I have enough cattle that none get more than a couple of days of this crap before someone - not me or the wife - goes for a trip. If you have only one or two, and work out it, still becomes a pain and #6 starts to look like the best choice.

Have fun - fortunately this is not an overly common occurence.


There is usually a reason they kick. Either the maternal hasn't kicked in or some situation with the udder.
You can put a rope around her just forward of the udder and cinch it up tight, after the calf has nursed some from all 4 quarters you can release the rope. If she hasn't taken to the calf, put her in a chute and let the calf nurse. But if it persists, check the udder and see if maybe there is a problem, i.e., edema, mastitis.

If you give her a few cc's of Oxytosin (sp?) when she's restrained, she won't be able to hold her milk up either. It stimulates uterine contractions and in most cases seems to help those maternal 'urges' kick in. Wait about ten minutes after giving her the shot (intramuscular - I usually inject it into the hip) and then let the calf have a go at her. She will NOT be able to hold her milk back.

Take care.
One thing not mentioned - sometimes there is no solution - rare, but I have had animals NOT accept their calf. Period. They do not last long here.

CattleAnnie - interesting - I have not used the hip for an injection in many years - everything we do here goes in the neck. I seldom use a needle more than one inch in length - but upon occaision will use a one and three quarters length needle for deeper shot - I never put more than 10 cc's in one spot. Is the location because of convenience, or is it because she's easier to approach for the injection?

Just curious,


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