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Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.


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  #1  
Old 12/31/16, 01:07 PM
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How long now, do you think?

I've been waiting for what seems like forever for my heifer to calve! She's been big as a bus for the last 3 months. Her udder has been filling steadily for the last month, and it has been full for a week.

I really thought she would've had the calf by now. Blood pulled in March was pregnancy positive!

Should I be worried? What do ya'll think of the looks of her?
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  #2  
Old 12/31/16, 01:55 PM
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Do you know the date that she was bred? Add about 283 days to that and you will be pretty close. If you do not know the date, has she started stringing yet? That would usually put her within about a week or so of delivery.
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  #3  
Old 12/31/16, 02:41 PM
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No, I don't know the date
She was with a bull since 2015, tested in march, andand separated in April.
Not stringing, but the vulva is large and 'puffy' looking.
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  #4  
Old 12/31/16, 03:51 PM
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If you had a Vet palpate her in March, he could have given you a very close date of when she was bred. If you did it by blood test, you are on your own.
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  #5  
Old 12/31/16, 06:31 PM
 
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If she was pregnant in March, she should certainly be calving soon. If she didn't catch until April, it could still be in January. She appears "ready" but.......not much help, am I?

Are you familiar with signs that calving is imminent? If not, google something along those lines and keep her close where you can watch her....and familiarize yourself with when to involve your vet. Hope all goes well for her. Please post when you know, okay?

Added: Here's a link to an article about calving in cold weather and helping calves born in cold places. I don't envy you, but I hope this helps:
http://www.beefmagazine.com/cowcalfw...newborn-calves
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  #6  
Old 12/31/16, 07:01 PM
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Thanks for the link I'll def read into it. Lucky we're in the middle of a heat wave here
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  #7  
Old 12/31/16, 08:42 PM
 
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If she was bred March 1st, she was due Dec. 8th. If she was bred March 31st, she'll be due 1/7. My guess is she's due any moment. BTW, it is imperative that the calf is dried very quickly when born in cold weather. It's better if the calf can stay relatively dry for its first few days.
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  #8  
Old 12/31/16, 08:58 PM
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She looks close, watch her but don't bug her. Got binoculars? In the photo her posture and ears look like she is feeling uncomfortable. You should be able to tell when she goes into active labor. Discharges, contractions, getting up and laying down, etc. Once you see feet, if she doesn't finish the delivery in 2 hours she needs help. Good luck! Probably just stress and worry for nothing, heifers are good at that.
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  #9  
Old 01/01/17, 12:29 PM
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When in March did you draw blood? How far along does a cow need to be to have the hormones show up to give a positive?

IF, you drew blood on, say March 15, and the test takes a couple weeks of pregnancy to show, can we assume she is well passed her due date?

Not uncommon to abort at an early stage. She could have been re-bred later than the expected date, if she was still with the bull. Not uncommon for a bull to cause an abortion if left with cows.

A Vet can do a pregnancy and give you far more real information than strangers on the internet.
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  #10  
Old 01/01/17, 12:57 PM
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I assume you have been giving her ample amounts of vitamins and minerals? A deficiency could delay development or hinder birthing ability and initial survival.
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  #11  
Old 01/02/17, 10:38 AM
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Thanks guys! We've been ready and waiting bc I thought she would've been bred early March. Lots of fluffy straw and towels ready for the baby.

I'd have to look at the date on the draw test again, but it was late March that the blood was drawn. So I'm thinking she must've aborted, then gotten re-bred either very late March or early April.

This morning she had a long string. So it's very soon now! She's had free choice cattle minerals and salt and good pasture/hay with plenty of legumes. She IS overconditioned. I have been cutting back on the forage/hay for the past month but her conditioning is still the same. She also gets a small amount of dairy rations every day that I started her on about 3 weeks ago.
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  #12  
Old 01/07/17, 07:13 PM
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No calf yet?
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  #13  
Old 01/09/17, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO_cows View Post
No calf yet?
Sorry for not updating! Molly calved on Friday the 6th. She had an enormous bull calf and he did not make it
Heartbreaking. But, I think she just had way too much to eat. I should have limited pasture more, and kept her rationed on hay
Could have been his size or the freezing temps, or a combination. Definitely will not be calving in January again.
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  #14  
Old 01/09/17, 07:52 PM
 
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So sorry for the loss. Good luck next time around.
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  #15  
Old 01/09/17, 08:14 PM
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Sorry for your loss. I, too, have experienced such a loss. As we share experiences, sorrows and joys, I feel it important at this moment to share some information. It probably wasn't because she was over fed. People that their lives depend on producing live calves pay great attention to bull selection. Rate of growth does not matter if the bull produces calves too large to survive. Take great care in bull selection.
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  #16  
Old 01/09/17, 08:55 PM
 
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Sorry the calf didn't make it. I also believe it is not because she had too much pasture or hay; there's a saying that goes "you can't starve a small calf out of a cow" or something along those lines.
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  #17  
Old 01/09/17, 09:40 PM
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I will also agree that the choice of the bull makes a huge difference, next breeding look for a bull that produces low birth weight calves.
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  #18  
Old 01/09/17, 11:06 PM
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Sorry you lost the calf.
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  #19  
Old 01/10/17, 11:09 AM
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Thanks everyone for the input. It does make me feel a little less at fault that it's probably genetics and not feeding.
I do think she was possibly not appropriately bred, especially as a first year heifer. I guess that was the trade-off I took buying her already bred :/
Next season I want to try to cross with a beefy type Dexter bull. Sure will be an extreme size difference there.
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  #20  
Old 01/10/17, 12:11 PM
 
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Sorry to hear that. Sounds like some lessons learned the hard way. Those are the ones that stick with you. First time heifer calving from unknown bull in January = cozy stall or garage until calf comes with checkups every couple hours when it becomes apparent calving is eminent.
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