Anyone raise Highlanders?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by GuineasRule, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. GuineasRule

    GuineasRule Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2005
    My 2 year old (almost 3) looks to be about to have her first calf. I bought her bred and they did not know when she was due. Anyway yesterday she had some stringy blood on the tail. She has benn sticking close to the run in shed and my older cow has been "babysitting" her. We have checked her every 4 hours last night and every 2 today.

    My major question is, do I need to blanket the calf? I live in Vermont. Lots of snow and about 25* daytime temp.

    I do not have a barn for her. Not to mention I think she would freak about leaving the herd.

    Any advise?
  2. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Bristol, ny
    It seems to me that if any breed can handle those conditions it would be highlands for sure. In fact many breeds would have no trouble with it. However I think I'd be out there every hour myself too. Bring out a thermos or three and some music and dress warm. If she's a good mother and I'm sure she will be then she'll get her dried off and take care of the calf. Keep us informed.

  3. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

    Mar 12, 2004
    Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
    The calf shouldn't have any problem as long as mama gets it dry as quickly as possible. As they are very good mothers, and there is also an auntie available, the calf should be just fine. There coats protect them so well that they do not begin to loose body heat until about 18 below.
    Our last calf was born during the wettest and coolest May we've had in a long time. Rained steady for two weeks after she was born, never seemed to phase her a bit.
  4. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 6, 2005
    Where we live it is usually warmer than that, but we have very low temps at times too. We have had Jersey calves born in below 10* temps in the middle of a snowstorm and they did fine. We did take a large round bale out and spread some of it in a big circle so that the cows would have a dry spot to calve in. They did just fine. As long as the calf gets licked off and stimulated by its mother, it should do great. As I said, we have Jerseys and Highlanders are more fit to take the extreme temps than they are. I would certainly NOT blanket the calf as that can lead to pnuemonia if its not neccesary. Just keep an eye on the calf and make sure its active. When we had highlanders, they calved in the snow on our other property and did fine. Update us and tell us what she has! Oh, and blood on the tail *before* labour is not always a good thing, so I would watch her very closely.......
  5. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 18, 2002
    SE Washington
    When I still lived in Montana we run black baldies. We calved in March and April when temps could and did get down to -20*. And we did it out in the open, if the wind was blowing we could try and get them down into the trees, but they usually didn't stay there.

  6. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Aug 10, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    Once the calf is dry, there is little to worry about. I'm so busy right now, I haven't had time to convert your temps so I could offer an opinon but generally, my highland calves are vulnerable when they're wet and once they're dried off, weather seems to have no impact on them. I've seen my calves out running and playing in blizzards that would make me think hard about going outside.
  7. Rmfcasey

    Rmfcasey New Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    I have had cows calve in extreme cold. Make sure the calf gets cleaned off quickly. See that the ears and tail get dried off as their tips will freeze.

    Rose Manor Farm
    Highland Cattle in SE Minnesota