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what would cause a heifer to deliver 5-6 weeks early?

mncowboy

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Had a heifer deliver 5-6 weeks early, both feet were down and the head/tounge presented itself. Reached in and retrieved the feet and out it came. I'm assuming the calf maybe died while inside which perhaps caused the deliver. The heifer hadn't bagged up or anything either. Any thoughts?
 

WalnutCrest

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Roughhousing is a potential explanation.

Neospora is becoming more and more common; one of the side-effects can be abortions. There is a simple blood test you can do to check to see if this is the problem. Many vets poo-poo the need to test for it; we've found it invaluable information when making culling decisions. Three years ago, it kept us from buying two high dollar cows and two high dollar heifer, any of whom could have been a real expensive train wreck. I think the vet on the other end of that deal learned something as a result of my insistence the seller get his cattle tested for neospora.
 

MRRherefords

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We had a cow abort 6 weeks prior to due date, because she ate a lot of pine needles that were in her hay. There is a kind of poison in them that ended up causing the abortion. Needless to say, we are quite careful about how many pine needles get into their hay.
 

dun

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We had a heifer do the same thing. Vet couldn;t think of anything specific but there are so many reasons that even with tests you may never know
 

TCRanch

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We've had 2 preemies that early (still have them) and both mama's died from hardware. Just had another one abort a couple weeks ago & she has a uterine infection. Retained the placenta 3 days but that's not uncommon & the vet thinks she probably already had the infection which may have caused/contributed to the abortion.

You generally never know why.
 

Stocker Steve

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WalnutCrest":j98m2v64 said:
Neospora is becoming more and more common; one of the side-effects can be abortions. There is a simple blood test you can do to check to see if this is the problem. Many vets poo-poo the need to test for it; we've found it invaluable information when making culling decisions.

You found carriers by 100% testing?
 

SIMMGAL

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Many things can cause an animal to deliver early. In fact, I had a calf born about 3 weeks early the other day. Only weighed 40lb sopping wet, but she's really active and is looking good so far. Still haven't figured out what made her come so early since her dam is usually goes 2 weeks past her due date.

I have noticed that weather can be a big factor. My cattle love to calve in snow storms and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Haven't had an extreme in cold cause an abortion yet though. Anything that stresses out the cow enough can cause her to pop early. There are also a few diseases that can cause abortions, so testing might be an option.

Sorry for your loss!
 

angus9259

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M-5":1nqumdd0 said:
Could be a number of things bUt I think it occurs most often from rough housing around the feeders or hay . That's just my opinion and nothing scientific about it

I've always been concerned about this. I calve in groups so I will pull off 10 cows at a time that are close to calving and put them in my calving pen. Won't run the whole herd up there or it will spoil the pen. After a couple of days and the newborn calves get their feet about them, I run the pairs back out with the herd where there's always a major tussle to reestablish whatever dominance was in question. Lost a calf this fall after such an incident and couldn't help but wonder if that was the cause....

Seems to me that if a cow / calf can't handle a little rough housing without aborting late term like there, there must be something else wrong...
 

M-5

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angus9259":37ady93a said:
M-5":37ady93a said:
Could be a number of things bUt I think it occurs most often from rough housing around the feeders or hay . That's just my opinion and nothing scientific about it

I've always been concerned about this. I calve in groups so I will pull off 10 cows at a time that are close to calving and put them in my calving pen. Won't run the whole herd up there or it will spoil the pen. After a couple of days and the newborn calves get their feet about them, I run the pairs back out with the herd where there's always a major tussle to reestablish whatever dominance was in question. Lost a calf this fall after such an incident and couldn't help but wonder if that was the cause....

Seems to me that if a cow / calf can't handle a little rough housing without aborting late term like there, there must be something else wrong...

That's not always the case imo. 99 times out of a 100 there is no issue but sometimes all the stars line up and it just happens . Also this time of the year they get a little more rambunctious with spring in the air
 

SIMMGAL

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M-5":3h2urxul said:
angus9259":3h2urxul said:
M-5":3h2urxul said:
Could be a number of things bUt I think it occurs most often from rough housing around the feeders or hay . That's just my opinion and nothing scientific about it

I've always been concerned about this. I calve in groups so I will pull off 10 cows at a time that are close to calving and put them in my calving pen. Won't run the whole herd up there or it will spoil the pen. After a couple of days and the newborn calves get their feet about them, I run the pairs back out with the herd where there's always a major tussle to reestablish whatever dominance was in question. Lost a calf this fall after such an incident and couldn't help but wonder if that was the cause....

Seems to me that if a cow / calf can't handle a little rough housing without aborting late term like there, there must be something else wrong...

That's not always the case imo. 99 times out of a 100 there is no issue but sometimes all the stars line up and it just happens . Also this time of the year they get a little more rambunctious with spring in the air

Mine sure were with this weather change yesterday!

So, if I want them to all calve at once, I just need to get them all stirred up and rowdy! :lol2: :lol2: Ok, that was a bad joke!

I think I'll just stick to a synchronization protocol... :lol2:
 

WalnutCrest

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Stocker Steve":1igq78k5 said:
WalnutCrest":1igq78k5 said:
Neospora is becoming more and more common; one of the side-effects can be abortions. There is a simple blood test you can do to check to see if this is the problem. Many vets poo-poo the need to test for it; we've found it invaluable information when making culling decisions.

You found carriers by 100% testing?

I think I'm answering your question ...

Yes, there is a blood test to check for neospora. I culled females who tested positive. I didn't wait around to see if they'd start aborting lots of calves or dropping brain-damaged calves.
 
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