Sucky day......

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Well-known member
Oct 31, 2006
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Alberta, Canada
Sometimes things happen and you wish you could turn the clock back to fix it before the end result...

Yesterday I went out to feed and the only one that didn't get up to go eat was Lady Lou Lou (22 month old heifer), I immediately got this sinking feeling in my stomach..I went up to her and she got up right away but her right rear leg was dangling below the hock...I had such high hopes for her and the future of my seed stock herd..She calved at 21 months and had a beautiful 73 lb bull calf unassisted; her Gelbvieh family have always done very well for the breed and I was lucky to purchase her dam.

The vet was out today to take a look because I had moved her and her 5 week old calf in our corral system but I knew it was futile.. :cry2: So we put her down and buried her. Now I have a calf that is too young to ween and quite wild . I did get him to drink two litres of replacer today from a bottle. It was challenge but once he got a taste he knew he was hungry..I do not have a cow to graft him to but I do have a Holstein due in two weeks that I might be able to graft him on to ,,so for now I hope I can get him to drink milk replacer. I put Stormy (last years bottle calf) in with him for now to keep him company, so I hope she is kind to him. I can always take him to the auction, but I feel like I owe it to Lou Lou to look after him ...

It couldn't have been one I my cull list cows that broke her leg.. :roll: It just well,, no other word for it,,, SUCKS !!!!!!!!! :(

Sorry for the long story and rant ......... :cowboy:

Lou Lou

Her first calve, a steer..
HD, I understand. That's a sucky day for sure. I feel your pain.

Last March (08) I lost one of my Jersey nurse cows with a 4 week heifer calf at her side. Then this past Dec. I had to shoot the other Jersey due to a broken hind leg. She had a very nice 6 month heifer at her side (her first and only calf).

Sorry to hear about your day. Many of us have been there and yeah, it sucks.

Thanks Katherine, and yah I know all too well that is part of the business especially around this time of year with cows in heat..The sad thing is she was AI'd on her second heat last Sunday and she wasn't in heat at all this time but got caught up in some other cows BS..

First one I have had in the beef bus. though . I would see the occasional break at the dairy in the freestall barn ,but never at the hock,,some big b@tch must have just nailed her as that is a very hard break to get.

I got her little guy to drink another litre of milk tonight so that is good for today. I will give it ago first thing in the morn..

Fwiw she calved March 12 had first heat the 25th and was Ai'd the 12th of April.. That hurts even more as I was looking forward to her Ozz calf next year..
In my opinion, the folks who are really good at this biz are the ones who are compassionate and really care for their animals. Unfortunately, those are also the people who take it the hardest when something like this happens. Sorry for your loss, good luck with the calf.
HD, That is Sucky. We all know here at CT there is NO ONE who cares for their herd more then hillsdown.
Crap happens. But, lots of good things going on, chin up. :nod:
I lost one this week too. It does suck. Buzzards found her before I did I just hope her calf finds a wet nurse cause I ain't bottle feeding another calf.
Sorry to hear what has happened HD.
I know that stuff happens, but you still feel bad about it. Hope you feel better tomorrow.
That is a sucky day... I know how you feel, sorry for your loss.
Everyone has already said it - but sorry for your loss. It does SUCK! no matter how you lose one - but to raise a heifer up to calving, get a live healthy calf, was a "miss fertle myrtle" on top of all that - SUCKS!!
I agree
I hate it when stuff like that happens...we had one break a leg couple years ago, its the pits. I know how you feel, sorry for your loss and I wish you Luck with her calf.
sorry for your loss.i know it isnt easy loosing a heifer that you had such high hopes for.hope you can get the calf to take the bottle good.
Well I got him to drink 2 pints again this morning but it was a battle , and not nearly enough, . He starts drinking and then he tastes it and blah..It is really good replacer 202020 all milk and very expensive he should be grateful that he is getting the good stuff at $120.00 a 25 kg bag... :shock:

I moved him to the my pole barn because we are expecting snow again and he did get a little chilled last night..I wish I could just let him run around with the other calves and cows but I would never be able to catch the little turkey again unless he was on deaths door. If I knew that he would just become a sneaky snacker and fend for himself that would be fine with me but I do not think he will as he always stuck very close to mom..

I will keep trying, he is getting the good calf starter the dairy rations 18% protein the expensive stuff and the tasty stuff..I feel so sorry for him though because he has to be locked up and he bawls constantly..I may take him out ( he has a pretty fuschia halter that he can wear) and tie him to a long lead so he can be with everyone for a while, of course I will have to stay close by so he doesn't go nuts and accidentally strangle himself.. :roll:

What is the youngest that you guys have successfully weened a calf in this situation ?
Sorry for your trouble HD. It seems like it's always the best ones or the favorites that we lose.

We have been hauling calves to the neighbors as she is losing calves and we are having heifers dry up.
Gosh, this really is a bummer. Five weeks old is pretty young to try to wean, do you think he would do a bucket feeding better than the bottle?? My brother did have a three month old ET that the surrogate died, the calf did make it but did not grow as well as her contemporaries. We should have bottled her for a bit in my opinion. Hopefully your little guy will develop a taste for the replacement.
Thanks everyone and Keren you give me hope. I let him out with a small group of my AI cows last night and he was happy right away and started eating hay again, this morning he was eating calf starter with some other calves but the little guy balled alll night long and kept me awake with worry . It breaks my heart..

I tried milk again this morn and he drank one pint under protest, so that is it for now. I am hoping he will steal as the opportunity arises , he already tried to sneak from Grandma but she will only let her calf drink. Magic should be due soon as she has a huge udder already and I will make her take him. I just hope he hangs on until then.

Oh btw, I tried 2 kinds of replacer and even real milk from my neighbors dairy in a bucket and from a bottle NO GO on any of them ..He just wants to drink from a cow. Stubborn little bugger.. :lol2: Let's hope that works to his advantage.. :nod:

Thanks again for all of the encouragement, and if you have any other helpful tips let me know please.. :tiphat:
If he's managing to sneak a few mouthfuls here and there, plus eating hay and calf starter, I think he'll hang on fine until your next cow calves down.

Actually I forgot to say, we had an interesting limo calf in the range cattle this year at work. Mum died at four weeks old, and due to circumstances in that herd it was decided that no extra work would be put into the calf. This is a herd that only see people four or five times a year. Now dont everyone go shooting me for this, they are not my cattle I just work for the people and do whatever the boss tells me. Its not how I would have handled the situation but anyway, its relevant for this discussion.

It was assumed the calf would die. Many months later when the mob was brought in to vacc, backline and separate off those to be culled, sold, steers, etc. There was one calf that looked to be about four weeks old, but on closer inspection it was the one whose mum had died at 4 weeks post calving. The calf would have been close to 10 months old, it looked terrible, was the size of a 4 wk old calf, but, it was alive. Stayed alive on starvation drought pasture, basically, cow herd wasnt getting any grain or hay.

We separated it off, kept it in a pen for a few weeks, tried the bottle but it wouldnt have any of it. So we just got it on calf starter and hay. After four or so months of that, it looked healthy, still small for its age but healthy, and visibly growing.

Now at about 14 mths old, she is the size of a five month old calf, and the jersey nurse cow just calved, the 14 mth calf is sucking the jersey. Which goes to show they dont really forget how to nurse, and she's growing like buggery now between milk and grain. I do think she'll grow out large enough to go back with the breeding herd, she'll just be a year behind everyone else.

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