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Old 04/07/13, 09:29 PM
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Strong calf okay in rain on pasture with mama?

I have a question that is hard to look up and find info on due to common key words. Our cow birthed a beautiful, strong bull calf and the weather 12 hours later is going to be windy, thunderstormy with a low of 56 degrees tonight. She won't come in the barn with the calf, my hubby went through hell trying to bring the calf in because we were afraid that it was going to get chilled. We weren't sure if it was okay to leave a newborn calf out there with his mama. We already had one storm go through and she didn't come in. So do most beef farmers just leave them with the moms regardless of weather, or what?

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Old 04/07/13, 09:49 PM
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I am assuming the baby has nursed and the mama is taking care of him?
If he is nursing good and getting around all will be well.
It is key that he has had his first milk and that the mama is doing her job with him.

Yes, I think most beef farmers do leave the mama cows to take care of their babies.
It isnt exactly a blizzard, you know?

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Old 04/07/13, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gone-a-milkin View Post
I am assuming the baby has nursed and the mama is taking care of him?
If he is nursing good and getting around all will be well.
It is key that he has had his first milk and that the mama is doing her job with him.

Yes, I think most beef farmers do leave the mama cows to take care of their babies.
It isnt exactly a blizzard, you know?
LOL!!! No, no blizzard. LOL I guess I am just so used to sheep, who always come in when the weather is rainy, etc... The cow was just standing there in a downpour. LOL I'm so used to bottle calves who are so darn touchy... never actually had a calf born with the mama til now. Thank you for politely telling me I am an idiot. LOL
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Old 04/07/13, 09:57 PM
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And yes, she is doing a great job with him and he is spunky, stuffed with milk and thriving.

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Old 04/07/13, 10:01 PM
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You are not an idiot.
If you were to go out there on a stormy night to a place where the cattle had no shelter at all,
you would find the mama cows position their bodies in such a way to protect the babies from the wind.
They use their bodies to keep the wind and rain off their calves.
As long as the little ones have bellies full of warm milk and the mama is attached to them, and knows she is in charge of them,
she will sort of stand over her calf and shelter it.
It is very sweet to see.

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Old 04/08/13, 09:45 AM
 
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range cows are expected to take care of a calf under those conditions. If the calf is dried off and nursed it should be all right.

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Old 04/08/13, 11:15 AM
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I learned a long time ago to quit killing my calves by interfering with mother nature. The first few years I had cows I killed several trying to "help".... the past ten years I have simply waited for my cows to show up with a new calf at side. Havent lost a single calf since I started this practice. Rain wont hurt a healthy calf with its mother around.

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Old 04/12/13, 03:02 PM
 
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56 degs would be warm compared to the Michigan calves who have been dealing with 35-40 with rain rain rain and wind. My neighbors still have their cows/calves out on pasture with no buildings

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Old 04/12/13, 08:34 PM
 
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Had a little Dexter Heifer born this morning in the rain. Momma and baby are fine! We have another calf that is 9 days old and it's been outside almost the entire last couple of days in rain, wind and colder weather than what you are experiencing. I always worry and wish the cow would calf in the barn but that almost never happens!

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Old 04/12/13, 11:26 PM
 
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Not sure how many know this, but as I learned in the human public health world, being in cold temperatures does not cause an increase in getting colds.

The misconception started because in cold weather, people spend more time indoors in closer contact with each other and therefore spread more disease. We would actually be healthier if spent more time outdoors in the cold - fewer bugs outside.

I expect the same would apply to cattle and calves, assuming they are getting adequate nutrition to keep their internal heater going, and support their immune systems.

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Old 04/13/13, 09:39 AM
 
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Barns and loafing sheds are places where e.coli and other various nasties live. Best place for a calf in wet weather is out on pasture.

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Old 04/13/13, 10:35 AM
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Sweet of you to be c oncerned but like everyone has said. As long as the calf is nursing well, Momma will protect her baby and make sure he is ok. They can provide a pretty big windbreak when they need to. They have been doing this a long time.

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