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Discussion Starter #1
Will my hereford that delivered the dead calf be okay if she is not milked?
I'd love to milk her, but I do not have a stanchion, and she is not gentle to touch. She comes when I call her to her bucket, but does not care to be touched. Will it mess up her metabolism if she is not milked, or will she just dry up and be okay?
thanks
mary
 

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Retired farmer-rancher
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She should be ok. Her udder will appear swollen and tight for a few days before she starts drying up. If you milk her out, she will not dry up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ChickenMom said:
Could you maybe pick up a calf at the sale and let her have it? Then you would have one to raise for meat.
DH mentioned that this morning. Today is sale day, but it is also a busy day for both of us. How likely is a cow really to adopt a calf that is not her own? I'm new to this.
mary
 

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Since it is a day later, the calf will not smell like her, will not be a newborn and she is an inexperienced heifer....I think it might be unlikely she would take and mother a salebarn calf. You may end up with a dried off heifer anyway and a bottle calf. :shrug:
 

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Udderly Happy!
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Mary,
You say she is a hereford, she's not gentle to touch, she's a first calf heifer, and you don't have a stanchion. Right now while she's got edema (swollen udder) may not be the best time under your circumstances to try your hand at milking her. Even if they're seasoned milkers, they seem to be a little irratable about being messed with. Just a thought, how much milk will a hereford make? And, how is there temperment?
 

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agmantoo
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Unless I understand why the calf died during birth I never retain the cow. In so doing I never have a repeat from that gene pool. This may seem harsh but if you are producing these animals for profit this is the best solution to avoid future problems. I would sell her ASAP or put her in the freezer.
 

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ozark_jewels said:
Since it is a day later, the calf will not smell like her, will not be a newborn and she is an inexperienced heifer....I think it might be unlikely she would take and mother a salebarn calf. You may end up with a dried off heifer anyway and a bottle calf. :shrug:
Ozark jewels is correct. I know a lot of cattlemen that do graft a calf to a cow that lost hers. There are lots of tricks to use in doing this including skinning the dead calf and tying the hide over the new one. Sometimes these tricks work, sometimes not. Since you don't have a stansion to hold her while a strange calf nurses, you will have a difficult time.
Agmantoo makes a good point, also. Probably your heiffer lost her calf because of size of calf, and inexperience (both the heiffers and yours), but, there is always the chance she would have similar troubles next year. I could seldom afford to keep a cow who lost her calf to see if she had better luck next year. Much better to condition her a bit, then sell and replace her.
Sorry for the bad luck but that happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ozark_jewels said:
Since it is a day later, the calf will not smell like her, will not be a newborn and she is an inexperienced heifer....I think it might be unlikely she would take and mother a salebarn calf. You may end up with a dried off heifer anyway and a bottle calf. :shrug:
That's kind of what I thought. I know it wouldn't work with goats or chickens. I kind of think it would have just made a whole lot more work for me.
mray
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The calf was small, I thought, anyway.
She was bought as a beef animal at the start, and only calved because the little "steer" we bought at the same time turned out to be a little bull.
I've grown kind of attached to her, and we just put another animal in the locker. So we'll just have to see. But I expect she'll go to butcher later on.
mary
 

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If you can put this heifer in a small pen and get a spunky calf a lot of times the calf eventually wears down the resistance of the heifer and she will let them nurse.
 
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