Calving Dates Unreliable?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Haggis, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    When I bought my Milking Devons back in March, I was told that one 4 year old cow was due anyday; any day was right..., I'm still waiting. I was told that an older cow was due in August, she is having her calf as I write. Her calf is a year old so it kind of figures. The 4 year old's calf is 15 months!!!

    Oh well, "Ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances."

    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  2. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Haggis, I assume that they were pasture exposed to a bull but were they pregnancy checked by a vet or qualified tech? It's good your getting a baby though :D
     

  3. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    WR
    There has always been a bull with these girls; sometimes as many a five bulls, but they were so starved down when I got them that I assumed some of them had aborted due to lack of quality feed and the resulting poor physical condition. The cow giving birth is the "boss" cow of the former herd and mine. She no doubt had the best of what ever was available in the way of feed and shelter.

    I have been keeping a close eye morning and evening for signs of any of them coming in or being in heat but so far nothing dependable; even the bull is batting zero.

    It is likely, barring a vet exam, these gals will be giving birth as it suits them and I will be in the dark until the last minute.

    Maybe I can do a better job of record keeping in their future.

    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    if you aren't able to tell when they are going to calve a vet exam would save you alot of headaches. at least you will get a rough idea.

    also, if someone is not bred...and not coming into heat you can cut your losses and dump the infertile cow. no sense feeding someone who is not going to pay their keep.

    could save you a lot of money in the long run.

    jena
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Good thrifty suggestions. My main problem is that our local traveling vet is 98% about horses, and I don't have a squeaze chute or stanchions set up yet for holding these less than gentle creatures.

    They are not wild but they are not agreeable with idea of being touched, let alone accepting the odd exploration of their nether regions with a Jersey like complacency.

    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    do you know someone with a chute you can use?

    if not, we used to use the old....squeeze them with a gate method. it worked well enough. thank god cows can't kick with their tail up.

    jena
     
  7. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    We have a homemade chute made out of cattle panels (one on each side) and a piece of panel on top and 4 t-posts on each side. We made a gate at the front end out of cattle panel with 2 t-posts to hold it and we use 2x4's and 4x4's we slide into the holes on the back behind their legs. All our cows are halter broke now, but before with our field cows we just put a bucket of grain at the front end and herded them in. :)
    Patt
     
  8. I taught myself to preg test my cows. I have friends who could do it, but wanted to learn myself. I found all the info on internet and copied it off and kept it. I started on one of our cows that I knew was pregnant and then started doing it on cows that were not as far along. Once you know where and what to feel for it becomes easier. A friend of my that used to preg test and AI for a living says if you do enough of them most people can tell if a cow if pregnant at 45 days.

    Bob
     
  9. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I taught myself to preg test my cows. I have friends who could do it, but wanted to learn myself. I found all the info on internet and copied it off and kept it. I started on one of our cows that I knew was pregnant and then started doing it on cows that were not as far along. Once you know where and what to feel for it becomes easier. A friend of my that used to preg test and AI for a living says if you do enough of them most people can tell if a cow if pregnant at 45 days.


    When we didn't have a head catch we just squeeze the cows inbetween two panels.

    Bob
     
  10. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Well, I've found another traveling vet in our part of the country..., she only does horses. So..., one vet is about 98% horses and the other 100% horses.

    I can now see myself learning to explore the nether regions of my cows and heifers for signs of pregnacy. I haven't been shoulder deep in a cow's amperstand since I was a teenager doing the AI thing for a squeemish Uncle, and later turning a calf in an Ayrshire whose calf's head was positioned incorrectly. Yuch!!!

    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  11. If they are reg. take them back all reg. cattle are suppose to be breeders unless agreed they were not at the time of sale.
     
  12. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    unregistered, registered or not, it depends or how they were sold. When I sell heifers, I don't guarantee them bred or will provide a vet certificate dated no more than the day before delivery. If the buyer isn't concerned about heifers being bred because they may not have been mature when the bull went out, I price accordingly and if the get a calf, it's a bonus. If I sell mature cows, I frequently sell them as "pasture exposed to bull x" and will sign a transfer/registration documents accordingly. If a buyer wants more commitment, I'll call the vet or they can do it at their place and I'll reduce purchase prices to accomodate their costs. No registry can force any breeder to do anything except meet breed standards and make a note of any unethical behavior but they will not give you your money nor will they force a breeder to refund money. Occasionally there are circumstances out of our control and they won't get into the legal aspects for fear they end up in a lawsuit. What happens if I sell papered cattle and the new owner neglects them or they get a few mouthfulls of toxic weeds? Why should I be responsible for that? I have great sympathy for this situation and spoke to Hagis about returning the cattle or having refused delivery because they were in very poor condition, through neglect. Haggis is going to have a complicated year this year but he's chose to keep the cattle and work on next year because they are good cattle with good genetics but he's chose to put in a lot of work and money to bring them back to health. That being said, there is a strong chance that at least some of these cattle either didn't breed or aborted because of their poor condition but I don't think that would be factually the responsability of the breeder, there could have been other owners since his name went on the papers.
     
  13. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I had hoped that everything would be as represented, but in the end "Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances."

    I bear no malice toward the nice lady who sold me the cattle, and I have no desire to return the cattle. It would have been nicer for me and Herself if things had gone wee bit smoother, but we have a start in some registered rare breed cattle and in the end it isn't all about the money. We could have spent more money this year frequenting Casinos and hanging out in taverns at night.

    There are a lot of expensive habits one can pick up, fiddling with cattle is not among the worst of them. Should I live so long, 20 years from now this years bad luck will be seen as trivial.

    Besides, if some of the cows won't breed, I have a large extended family all of whom eat beef.

    Well..., it's about milking time.

    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  14. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Whne you buy cattle, it is up to you and the seller to make the deal you want to make. breed associations have standards, but they are just guidelines for people, not rules.

    i bought a bred cow that wasn't. the vet missed it. the owner offered to let me breed her back to his bull, but it wasn't worth the hassle to me to take her back up there. i didn't ask for any money back and was still happy with the deal. she promptyly became pregnant by my bull and had a calf this spring. if i paid more, i might have made a different decision, but i don't buy a bred cow depending on that baby showing up. too much can go wrong.

    buying cattle is like anything else...you need to know what to look for, how to cover your butt as well as you can and make a deal you can live with. if you want a "live-calf" guarantee, then ask for one and pay accordingly. i would never offer that on a cow that is no longer under my care and i don't know of anyone that does.

    jena