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Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.

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Old 05/04/06, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
Engorged Udder

Hi - one of our beef cows just had her 4th calf for us. The first two years' calving went fine. Last year and this year, however, her milk came in a full 2 weeks before the calf was born. Her udder is totally engorged. Last year's calf could not suck on it. This year's calf was born yesterday. We haven't watched it every minute, but we have yet to see it nurse. The cow is our most dangerous cow we have after calving. (charging) Taking away her baby to bottle feed it will be dangerous, but we will do it if we don't see it nurse soon (today). Has anybody had this happen with a cow? She is 5 or 6 years old. My dh is leaning toward butchering her this fall because of her dangerous nature and this calving problem.
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Old 05/04/06, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 161
I assume the cows teets are so big the calf is unable to get them in its mouth. I have seen many cows raise good calves with only 2 good teets. I have seen some do it with one but rarely.

If none of the teets are good, you may have to bottle feed the calf until it gets big enough to nurse. I don't know of a solution for a bad bag. We always sold ours for slaughter. Well we just put them in the sale, once the buyers see the bad bag that is where they are heading.
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Old 05/04/06, 06:44 PM
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KS dairy farmers
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KS
Posts: 3,841
Usually a problem like that just won't go away. If last years calf couldn't eat because cow's teats were too big then I doubt anything would be different this year. Just for the fact she is mean I would sell her. Any mean animals on my farm has a very short life. The risk is just too great.

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Old 05/04/06, 06:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
The calf attempted to eat today. I saw it try several times. Twice I couldn't tell if it got a teat in its mouth, but the third time I know it did not. On top of not eating, the poor thing gets 'mounted' by a yearling bull trying to dominate him and knocks him down. Dh is home now. We are going to separate out the bull calf that is hurting the newborn. Dh wants to try and tie up this mad mama cow and milk her out. Oh my. (we don't have a squeeze chute) I don't think it's worth it. It will be so dangerous just trying to get her baby away from her much less tying her up. Pray for us. (o:
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Old 05/04/06, 09:11 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,837
Bad mannered cows have no place on my farm. Bad traits are learned from such animals by the rest of the herd. With the teat problem the situation is even more aggravated. I would put the wheels under the cow and I would bottle feed the calf. This would be the safe and simple solution to what could be a disaster.
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 05/05/06, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
Well, while we were chasing her baby away from her, the mama came through a barbed wire fence half way. Her udder got stuck. She backed through and was bleeding. She started pouring out milk out of 2 teats. (Not out of cuts, but out of the end like normal.) We got her in the corral and put baby in. We thought that the baby could eat now because the 2 teats were normal size again. This morning, the teats are just as big. So it was a bad decision. We should have kept the baby while we had her. Now we have to try and get her away again. The good thing is that they are in the barn/corral, so luring mama out with feed while the baby is napping inside and shutting the barn gate is a possibility. Thanks for all the advice, folks. Bessie *is* on her way out.

Do we still give powdered colostrum now that baby is 2 days old? I know it's late, but it won't hurt, will it?
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Old 05/05/06, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Central Idaho, Zone 5
Posts: 501
I've heard/read on these boards that the calf cannot digest colostrum after the first 12-24 will not have its intended usefulness. I should think it couldn't hurt, tho'.
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Old 05/07/06, 11:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
Baby is still not eating well. She is skinny. Mama came in for feed and so we closed the corral and went and found baby. We brought her in the garage, she ate well out of a bucket (6 cups) over a couple of hours and we let her back out again. Dh is setting up a head gate in the corral. He wants to milk mama cow out so that baby can nurse and mama doesn't get mastitis. I'm not sure it will work. Won't mama cow's udder just get too big again overnight or after baby has a long nap? Sigh. Live and learn. (o:

Thanks for all the help and comments. I'll keep you posted on how milking a beef cow goes. (o:
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Old 05/08/06, 12:55 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Central Idaho, Zone 5
Posts: 501
My cow's 1/4 beef, though you'd not know it to look at her! 'Cause she's bigger than most milk cows. She milks just fine...unless there's a calf of hers that is nearby!
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Old 05/20/06, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
Thanks for replying, kgchis. We weren't able to get the mama even close to the headgate. So we kept them in the corral for a few days and I would give milk to the baby safely behind the panels. Now they are out on pasture and I feed baby twice a day when they come near the house. She still nurses off just one teat, but apparently it is not enough. I offer her 3 qts twice a day. Sometimes she drinks it all, sometimes not. She is still thin. I squirted milk from my bucket on mama cows other 3 teats tonight hoping the baby would try on them, but they are still very swollen.

Btw, the mama will be our freezer cow this fall. For now, we are working on keeping this baby alive and healthy.
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