Pregnant Heifer Care

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Celtic Herritag, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Celtic Herritag

    Celtic Herritag Celtic Heritage Farms

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Location:
    CA, Usa
    I've got a heifer who'll be 2 in October. She's currently over gettin' friendly with the bull. ;) Nice brangus bull very pretty and stocky. I've got a small ewe flock so the process isn't completly unfamiliar, but what sort of care will she need, as far as vaccinations, nutrition, housing, etc. We've got a barn but it was used for hogs, so the pens are completley too smal, perfect for lambing jugs though :D. What size of a pen should she have. Any advice apreciated.
     
  2. twstanley

    twstanley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    Do you have pasture available? Keeping her on pasture would be the healthiest thing for her.

    Calculate when her due date is, figure her earliest exposer to the bull then add 9 months and 10 days +/- a few days of course.

    Keep a good mineral block or mix available, I also feed 'range cubes' which are processed compressed alfalfa for a supplement for our pregnant and nursing cows/heifers.

    When her udder starts to fill, her vulva gets swollen and loose and she starts getting some mucus from the vulva she is getting close to calving. At that point you can move her to a closer pasture or a calving pen if you like.

    What breed is your heifer? If you bred her to a bull from a bigger, stockier breed, she may have a bit of trouble calving by herself. You should have contacted your vet ahead of time and be prepared to assist her with pulling the calf and possibly have the vet come out and help if needed.
     

  3. Christina R.

    Christina R. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    720
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Northern Arizona
    Good Morning,

    On the technical side, cattletoday.com has 2 archived articles that I read a few times before Corabelle calved for her first time last year. Here's the links
    http://cattletoday.com/archive/2002/January/CT183.shtml
    http://cattletoday.com/archive/2004/February/CT311.shtml

    It seems to be written for large beef operations, but I gleaned stuff for my little one dairy cow act.

    On the less technical there is an article I've seen referred to by another user that was written by a great lady who runs Lazy J Ranch.

    On the personal experience side I have 2 suggestions, as questions come up, post them here. I always had questions on how much hay and grain to feed. That seemed to be what I was most concerned about suring her first pregnancy. Secondly anytime I vaccinate I call the manufacturer and get the vaccination that they say is safe for pregnant and lactating cows. I put out loose goat minerals on a free feed basis. It is supposed to be important pre, during, and post pregnancy.

    Hope some of this helps.
     
  4. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

    Messages:
    14,609
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction
    I believe there is one vaccination she should have had before she was bred (should not be given to a pregnant cow). You might want to check with your vet on this one (or make sure to read the package directions really good!).

    Good luck with the breeding, hope it's a heifer!
     
  5. MRSSTEAK

    MRSSTEAK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    Location:
    Idaho
    I have 2 cows that calf every year. I just make sure they always have a mineral block w/ trace minerals in it available to them 24/7. They have access to pasture all spring and summer. We feed alfalfa/grass hay all winter. The only thing I would worry about, is this will be her first calf and she could have problems. Keep a close eye on her around calving time and be prepared to assist if needed. One of my 2 cows lost her first calf because we weren't sure when to step in and help. It suffocated because the sack around it broke then it went back inside her. Who knew? :shrug: We did have to pull it, but it was too late. We learned the hard way. But from then on she never had a problem since. I don't pen mine up when they get close. They have their babies in the 7 acre pasture they are in and after they are born, I give the baby 2 shots. Vitamin A&D and a Bose (sp?) We haven't lost a calf since that first one. We've been raising our own beef for about 6 years now. I would never buy beef in the store again.
     
  6. Celtic Herritag

    Celtic Herritag Celtic Heritage Farms

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Location:
    CA, Usa
    She is an angus hiefer, we bred her to a bull known for calving ease and light birth weights. She's kept on pasture, with a trace mineral block. I was planning on giving her free choice alfalfa all winter when our grass declines, and supplement with oat, barley, corn mix if we have a really bad winter and our grass is eaten to the ground. Definatly keeping an eye on her for her first calf, I've got a good friend that's been through just about every difficulty related to livestock, and we plan on having the vet aware in case we have an emergency.