Can a heifer never go into labor?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Patt, May 24, 2006.

  1. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming it's not possible but we have a Dexter heifer who it seems like is eternally pregnant. :) We missed when she was actually bred last summer, my father passed away and we were traveling a lot over a period of about 3 months. She's been bagged up heavily for a month now. She's loose in the back and over the last few days her hips have sunk in but not as much as I've seen in our other cows before they delivered. Do I need to have the Vet out to check her?
     
  2. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Patt, I'd get her checked just to be sure. A couple years ago we had a short-legged Dexter bull. One of our heifers was short-legged and especially small. We knew about the possibility of bulldog calves but had never had it happen to us. Anyway, this heifer was obviously bred. She bagged up but never had the calf. We didn't know the due date either. We finally got her vet checked. She had a dead bulldog calf in her. It was so infected we had to put her down. We were tempted to cut it out later to look at it but it was just too nasty. She had had no external signs that she was infected before we took her in btw.
     

  3. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, she was bred to our highland bull so there shouldn't be any chance of a bulldog calf but I think I will see if I can get the vet out this weekend.
     
  4. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    Feeling like I may be asking a dumb question------but-----------
    What is a bulldog calf?
     
  5. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Simply put Dexters have a dwarf gene in their genetics. If you put together a bull and a cow who both have the gene I believe it's a 1 in 4 chance that they will throw what's called a bulldog calf. It's a dwarf that is so genetically messed up it usually is aborted early in the pregnancy. The calf looks like a big head on a small body. Hence the name bulldog. They are working to try to weed that gene out of the gene pool but for now the common wisdom is don't breed a short legged cow to a short legged bull and it seems to usually avoid that problem.
    Dexter breeding in America on a large scale is fairly recent so a lot of people didn't know about the problem. Now hopefully with genetic testing it can be culled entirely. :)
     
  6. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Ita had her calf this evening. Silly cow she just didn't want to visit the Vet! :) We had to pull it it was a hefty bull calf but Mom and baby are doing well!
    Soli Deo Gloria!
     
  7. myheaven

    myheaven Well-Known Member Supporter

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    congrats Im glad the wait is over for the both of you.
     
  8. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    CONGRATS on the little guy, and on the mama doing good! Good luck with them. Bye.
     
  9. Petsguy

    Petsguy Well-Known Member

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    Patt,
    Is this your first Dexter x Highland breeding? I have contemplated that cross. Was wondering what the offspring look like and such. Any input you could throw my way would be appreciated. I was actually thinking about using a dexter bull over a highland heifer. Let me know you thoughts. Thanks.

    Take care,
    Jeff Port
    Smallville Miniatures and Exotics
    Peoria, IL