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Very Aggressive Heifer

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Smoothy

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I had a first calf heifer calve this morning and had quite an experience. First of when the mucus plug hit the ground she turned around and went crazy, she was pawing and bawling then when water broke same deal plus she started going around ramming the other cows. So now comes the calf and as soon as it's out she turns around puts her head down and starts bulldozing the poor little guy across the lot. At this point I quickly snag him and bolt for the barn. We put up a creep pen in a big pen and brought her in and she was trying to bite his head and paw him down. We artificially gave him colostrum and been bottle feeding him cause I'm worried she will kill him. Has anyone had this sort of issue and if so did Heifer straighten out or should I put her on the trailer?
 

dun

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I've seen it before but it only lasted for an hour or so. The one we had that kept at it longer was her second calf. Our vet took th calf for his daughters to bottle feed and the cow got on the trailer. She had kept it up for several days. As a side note, the vet still has the calf. Her name is Lil Orphan Annie and her and her daughters have raised a bunch of good calves for him without ever any issues.
 

Son of Butch

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Rush of hormones overwhelmed her brain (only my theory) she should calm down tomorrow to tolerate her calf.
Hope you'll update as to how it goes.
We've had heifers that were awful mothers, but improved with 2nd calf and beyond with no issues.
 

Kjfred

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If you can restrain her and get the calf to nurse it might get her motherly instincts jump started. Had one heifer last week that did about the same thing. Got the calf nursing after a few hours and she came around. That calf was very persistent so I'm sure that helped too
 
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Smoothy

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I brought her in the barn about 3 this morning when I was feeding calf she was a little more manageable I put her in a pen next to calf l. Wife said at 8 when she checked on them cow really was mellow. When I get home gonna try to get her in the headlock and see if that works today no way was that happening yesterday I think she would have jumped through the rafters!!
 

M-5

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Smoothy":3ao48mru said:
I brought her in the barn about 3 this morning when I was feeding calf she was a little more manageable I put her in a pen next to calf l. Wife said at 8 when she checked on them cow really was mellow. When I get home gonna try to get her in the headlock and see if that works today no way was that happening yesterday I think she would have jumped through the rafters!!

You should be able to tell when you get there if she is trying to mother it thru the pen. may not have to head catch
 
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Smoothy

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Well got home and same deal com just wants to head but calf into ground. Ran her into chute and put calf in front of her and she thrashes head. Now the calf is afraid and takes off. I guess I'm ok with bottle feeding cause I'd rather feed than risk loosing calf. Other question is this gonna be a trend with her or should I give her a second chance?
 

Bigfoot

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Smoothy":3j2ktnpw said:
Well got home and same deal com just wants to head but calf into ground. Ran her into chute and put calf in front of her and she thrashes head. Now the calf is afraid and takes off. I guess I'm ok with bottle feeding cause I'd rather feed than risk loosing calf. Other question is this gonna be a trend with her or should I give her a second chance?
W
I would probably sell her.
 

Double R Ranch

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If she's still that bad I would ship her if she were here. As Dun said, for slaughter. Don't pass on the problem. I give them time for the hormones to settle down. After that it's off they go. Only time I would think twice about shipping is if she had a really hard painful delivery. I might give her some extra time then.
I would hate to bottle feed the calf and have a repeat again the next season. Waste of time and money when there are plenty of good cows out there.
Maybe you can graft the calf on someone else?
Good luck! Let us know what you end up doing. :)
 
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Smoothy

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Thanks guys for responding I'm probably certain she's going on the trailer I'm busy enough and don't have time for welfare cases. Calf is doing good, I guess positive outlook is an alive and healthy calf I'll take that any day
 

Katpau

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I have had a few cows that make a bunch of noise and appeared a bit aggressive with their calves immediately after birth, but not to the extent you described. I even had one who acted aggressive towards her own calf if we approached it too close. She was weird. It was like she was angry at us for handling her calf and would take it out on the calf. Never to the point of acually doing any damage, but she would knock it over and push it along. I guess that was her way of getting it away from us when we were trying to weigh and tag. Those cows never hurt the calf and would settle down by the time the calf got ahold of a nipple, but I would not take the chance on a cow who acts like you are describing. I should know, because I made that mistake once.

I had a first calf heifer that I found standing over her dead calf. The calf had white eyes and was in a puddle. It appeared it had been born up the hill aways and a struggle had taken place to it's final resting ground. I made excuses for her. Perhaps it was born dead and she pushed it around trying to get it up. Maybe something had tried to get it, and she was defending it. Maybe it had died of hypothermia after falling in the puddle. She was a beautiful AI sired heifer and I had been very excited about her prospects, so I gave her another chance. She even allowed some other calves to nurse on her starting a few days later. That included a set of twins being raised by the same mother. That allowed me to rationalize that second chance.

The following year I called the cows and calves up to give them hay and she did not come. I found her walking around in the pasture calling. She had calved, but there was no calf in sight. My husband and I began to search over the 20 acre calving pasture, beginning where she was first seen calling. She continued to move about calling from one end of the pasture to the other. After an hour, I was standing on a hill looking down at an area on the opposite end of where we first say her pacing and calling. I was about ready to give up when I saw her cross a flat area below and go to what looked like a large puddle. I went down and saw an ear and a bit of the body peeking out from the water. She had made a hole in the sod that was now a large puddle of water and mud while she beat that calf to death.
 
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Smoothy

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Wow katpau that sounds rough. So did that prospect heifer find her way aboard the aluminum chariot to the sale barn? I've made my mind to ship her just got to get a day off to get it done. Another question should I put her in a pen somewhere else to keep her away from the other heifers calving? I'm thinking I'll have a couple in a few days not sure how she'll be
 

Katpau

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Yes, she went straight to the sale barn.

Has your heifer been around calves before? I doubt she would go after another cows calf, but who knows. The one of mine that killed her own calves at birth never bothered any other calves and even let them nurse. However she did not act maternal to them. She kind of ignored them and kept on grazing while they snuck in from the back to nurse. The twins were not on a real heavy milking cow, and they would sneak in on other cows when they were nursing their own calves. When they discovered that the heifer without a calf would let them nurse they took advantage. She seemed apathetic to them. Normally when I have a twin and a cow who loses a calf, I try to graft them. Since these calves had both been on their mother for a few weeks, that would have been more difficult, so I let things be and hoped that maybe the heifer would keep nursing them, but after they were rotated out of the calving pasture I never saw her nurse them again. I think she avoided being near them in the larger pastures.
 
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Smoothy

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No she hasn't but I already cut her out from the heard she's were I feed my weaned calves lot next to calving pen so she's by cows but not in with them thanks for all the advice
 

SIMMGAL

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I've had a few scenarios like this one, 2/3 ended with the cow being sold and me having another bottle calf pet running around my yard. Tried the chute deal with them all, gave them all another year to try again and only one ended up partially accepting her calf after about 2 weeks. Never again. Hope your luck is better than mine!!
 

gizmom

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We had a heifer that was aggressive toward people when she calved. We were trying to build numbers so we gave her a pass. The following year I went to check cattle after church the boss was helping Jacob do renovations on his house, Jacob had a wedding planned for May, this was 2/21/05. I found a calf hung up in barb wire next to a debris pile we had pushed up from hurricane Ivan. I looked around the cows were a few hundred yards away at the pond. I walked up, bent down to grab the calf and heard a horrible growling sound. That was the beginning of the arse whooping,the cow had been on the other side of the pile and I didn't see her. She plowed over me we hit head to head, stepped in my chest and rib cage. I got up turned around and received a head butt mid back which knocked me back down. She continued butting me as I belly crawled to the side of the debris pile. I burrowed into that pile like a bunny rabbit to get away from her. I had one of those Nextel radios in my jacket pocket. I started beeping The boss, when he finally answered I realized I had no air to talk all I could get out was hurt. Apparently the beeping disturbed the witch of a cow (spelled with a B) because she started butting the only part of me sticking out of the pile my left foot. The results of this lesson 6 broken ribs fractured shoulder broken foot and one bruised body. The lesson learned never assume anything and if a cow has a bad attitude she has earned herself a big red x for slaughtering only tag at the sale barn.

Gizmom
 

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