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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all I braught my first 2 cattle home on sunday a 3 yo dexter cow and her year old daughter both are aparently pregnant but are in less than perfect boddy condition due to droughts (worst in 55 years) and hay shortages in the area due to runaway fires.

I have braught them home to lush irigated pastures and have been feeding them about 1kg/day of of cut clover from the vegitable garden.

any sugestions on how to fatten them up quickly before they calve Im not sure how long they have to go im getting the vett out next week to check them out.

my aim is to have them as grass fed but im not against puting them on a small grain ration if it will help them.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
im also a bit worried that the hefier was bread a bit young but im not sure what I can do about that now.
 

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make sure they have good minerals, maybe hi mag ones...and offer a little grain to start with...buy some calf manna to top the grain with and then once they calve, if they are still underweight....then keep the extra protein and good hay or grass up.....they will need the nutrients to be able to make milk and keep the calf going....
 

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I'm sure the vet will give you good advice. Ask about any worming and vaccinations they may need pre and post calving. See if you an find out what, if any, they've had from the previous owners before the vet comes out.
Be careful pushing the feed if they are pregnant. Especially the last few months of gestation. You'll increase the calf size and could run into big problems at delivery.
Can you post a couple pics of your new girls? Congrats btw on the new additions :D
 

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I think this poster is from South Africa, so advice is going to be tempered somewhat by terminology and what is available there.

Mupwi, be aware that most vets are able to determine pregnancy, but it's not as easy to determine how far along they are. Keep a close eye on the young one. If she's horned, it might be easier to guess at her age.

And yes, we want to see pictures!
 

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I'm sure the vet will give you good advice. Ask about any worming and vaccinations they may need pre and post calving. See if you an find out what, if any, they've had from the previous owners before the vet comes out.
Be careful pushing the feed if they are pregnant. Especially the last few months of gestation. You'll increase the calf size and could run into big problems at delivery.
Can you post a couple pics of your new girls? Congrats btw on the new additions :D
This needs to be stressed and heard twice.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the tip never thought of it pushing up the calf size do you think a pound of corn and a pound of clover per day would be too much?
 

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Good advice above. It's hard to change a cow fast. Cover the basics and get on a nutrition plan slowly with the supplemental ration like you are. Good work.
 

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I got to the feed store yesterday they have quite a selection and im not sure which one to get what should I be looking for in a minral blockfor these cows considering we are going into spring they are pregnant and under weight? protine? phosphate?
 

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Places I've lived, we always made sure they had a mineral (loose is better than a block, if you can get it) that was high in magnesium in the spring. I would think the people at the feed store could tell you for sure what's needed where you are. It would be good if you can get your grass, soil and hay tested for nutrients, then you'd know better what to supplement. Some years we've put up hay that didn't need the protein supplemented, and other years it was low.
 

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I think you want to look for loose minerals in a bag, ones that are high in Magnesium....this helps with the 'richer' grasses in spring and summer....
 

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Definitely worm them! They probably need that more than anything having had to scratch for a living by the look of them, and if they are wormy and you feed them, you'll just be feeding the worms and the heifers won't be getting as much as they would otherwise.

They look like they needed you to come along and look after them. ;) Good luck with them!
 

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Definitely speak to your vet about how to feed these two properly; they are both quite thin and I'm kind of surprised the older one was even cycling. The little one is going to have a hard time growing herself and a calf. She looks way too young to be pregnant.

They sure needed rescuing and I wish you the best in bringing them back to good health and condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi all thought id give you all an update ive been keeping them on grass and hay as much as they want, have given them a mineral block suggested by the feed company and about 6lb of premixed feed per day between the 2 of them. It is a mixture of alfalfa corn oats and im not sure what else I noticed a few almonds in there as-well.

Anyway they seem to be doing well on it and are filling out nicely the hollows around her tale and in her sides are almost gone had to cut right down on the clover though as it isn't regrowing as fast as I would like so they are only getting a bit every couple of days now as a treat.

I got a dewormer and have given it to the cow but the hefir still dosent want anyone near her so I think I might have to rope her and restrain her to get it down just worried about it affecting the trust ive built so far with her. I have just started making progress in getting closer to her and im afraid a traumatic experience like that would put us back again. maby if I get somone else to do it.
 

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I wouldn't use a mineral block. They cattle will spend a LONG time licking it to get their trace minerals. Free flowing minerals are much easier for them to use. Our cows will literally take big mouth fulls at times of minerals (especially kelp). I can't imagine how long licking would take....
 

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I got a dewormer and have given it to the cow but the hefir still dosent want anyone near her so I think I might have to rope her and restrain her to get it down just worried about it affecting the trust ive built so far with her. I have just started making progress in getting closer to her and im afraid a traumatic experience like that would put us back again. maby if I get somone else to do it.
Get a fecal test done. She may not need to be wormed. Your vet' should be able to do that.
 
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