How long now, do you think?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by DisasterCupcake, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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    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. demccall

    demccall New Member

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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.
     

  3. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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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.
     
  4. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  5. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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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/cowcalfweekly/1224-combating-cold-newborn-calves
     
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  6. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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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
     
  7. Gravytrain

    Gravytrain Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  8. MO_cows

    MO_cows I calls em like I sees em

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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.
     
  9. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  10. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  11. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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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. MO_cows

    MO_cows I calls em like I sees em

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  13. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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    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.
     
  14. Chief Cook

    Chief Cook Well-Known Member

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    So sorry for the loss. Good luck next time around.
     
  15. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  16. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  17. Jlynnp

    Jlynnp Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  18. MO_cows

    MO_cows I calls em like I sees em

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    Sorry you lost the calf.
     
  19. DisasterCupcake

    DisasterCupcake Crazy Goat Lady

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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. Gravytrain

    Gravytrain Well-Known Member

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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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