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Isabella's calf is here

655 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Carol K
Hello; I just wanted to write and tell you that Isabella my birthday present last October finally had her calf. I thought she was due the first week in May but I guessed wrong.

We came home from church today and found her in the field with her new calf hiding in the grass. Because of this wet spring the cattle can't keep up with the field.

She is a heifer and very very skinny. I would guess she might weigh 40 - 50 pounds. My husband could pick her up easily.

Now for the bad part, we had Isabella in the field with the beef cows -big mistake- when we got home the other calves were trying to nurse off her. Isabella was very nervous and very busy trying to keep the calfs off her :waa:
We immediately moved Isabella and calf in the yard and let them alone. It took most of the afternoon to get the new calf to nurse. I called the lady I bought her from and she told me that if she hadn't nursed by this evening to milk her out and at least get some milk down the calf. At five, we tied Isabella up, gave her some feed and squeezed out some milk and forced the calf on her. This was not as simple as it seems but we got the job done and the calf is nursing off Isabella and already perking up. I milked her out some more a few hours later and put that in the freezer in case we would need it. Also, about thirty minutes after the calf started nursing, Isabella began a stingy mucus discharge. I sure hope she doesn't have a placenta still in there.Does anybody know if that is normal? I will wait and watch for a little while longer. Other than that, she looks healthy and has warm ears.

I just was pretty excited and wanted to share the good news. :D

Arkansas Transplant
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congratulations on the new calf and glad you got some milk into her. Did you check the field to see if the placenta was there? It may not be, but that doesn't mean she didn't expel it either, she may have eaten it. My cow had some awful discharge for over a week and I knew she expelled her placenta, but it is possible a little got left behind, she may discharge for a while just cleaning out, but keep a good eye on her, watch her temperature and don't be afraid to call the vet-it's cheaper than losing the cow. If the discharge is smelling, I'd call the vet in.

Thanks for the advice, I won't worry about the discharge. I am worried about the calf nursing. We have only seen her nurse on one quarter. On the advice of the former owner, I milked out some in the other three. For a first time milker (both her and me) she is very gentle. I think she likes to have her very full bag rubbed and then milked.

I am in a quandry about the calf, If there isn't any big change I will milk her tonight and try to bottle feed the calf. This is something I do not want to do. But I feel it's my fault with leaving her out in the field with the other cows.

Thank you

Arkansas Transplant
I would think the calf is nursing, do you ever see one teat a little shiny and maybe not as full looking as the others? If that calf is not nursing, it will go downhill pretty quickly, is the calf getting up and moving around? It should be dancing all over the place at times, they start to run around very early.
The calf probably will not need all the milk that the cow has at the moment, so you must milk her out twice a day, and keep on milking her until she has no milk left or she could get mastitis, it will make your hands ache but you have to do it.freeze the milk or give it to the chickens if you have them, or try bottleing the calf. Keep a good eye on the both of them, make sure the cows udder is not hot. Do you have a good book on cows? I'm pretty new to this also but I liked The Family Cow by Dirk Van Loon. By the way, what sort of cows do you have?

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