self sucking heifer????

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by lorian, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. lorian

    lorian Well-Known Member

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    We got a free jersey heifer, she's about 18 months old. They told us she had been sucked on by a calf and one teat had mastitis, she would be a 3 titter (sp?). Anyway, after we got her home I noticed her other teats looked like they were longer and another part of her udder was getting infected. She's got a little bit of milk in three quarters of her udder now. Can you milk a cow with only 2 teats? I'm a newbie to cows.

    Will she be any good to milk in the future? I've never observed her "self sucking" but I'm confused about how she would have all these problems.
    She's without other cattle now, just an annoyed pony for company.

    Thanks!
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes you can milk only 2 Quaters. Try putting A twitch on her,That way she can't self suck ..
     

  3. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Yes you can milk 2 teats, but wouldn't want to if you are using a milking machine. Why not treat 3rd quarter for mastitis immediately and try to maintain her as a 3 quartered cow?
    If she really is sucking on herself- perhaps you could put her in a stall where she can't reach her udder for a few days and see if you can break the habit?
     
  4. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    She already had a calf at 18 months old? On the self sucking, they sell those flaps to go on calves to wean them, you might put one of those on her.
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Has she had a calf? I somehow get the feeling she hasn't. It would cause her udder to get bigger in the quarter she sucks if she has been sucking herself. They make an outfit that she can wear that would prevent her from sucking. It's very unlikely she will ever be to good as a milk cow.
     
  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Lorian, I think you've got yourself a free bundle of trouble here but probably nothing that can't be sorted out.

    At 18 months she is unlikely to have ever calved - and if she has, she shouldn't have. Where is the calf? The self sucking habit will stem back to when she was bottle fed and she would have had a mate she would have sucked on when she finished her bottle. When the mate disappeared for whatever reason, she would have transferred it to herself. Damage to the udder will occur with self sucking before calving and I suspect that this is what your seeing now.

    As has been mentioned, a gadget (the name of which I've forgotten) can be purchased to prevent her sucking. They are made of plastic, looks a bit like a large comb and fits into the nostrils. The "teeth" of the comb prevent them from sucking as it gets in the way and digs in and causes discomfort. These teeth are rounded and don't cause any damage. I have used it once on a very good cow that we didn't want to get rid of and it was very successful. So the first thing on your shopping list is one of these - should be able to purchase one at your farm retail outlet.

    She has quite likely given herself some form of mastitis and I would suggest having a talk with your vet as to the best way of treating this. DCT comes to mind but this may not be the best way of going about it. There is no reason to believe that this cow will be a 3 titter or even a 2 titter, in fact there is every chance that once calved, she will come into milk in all four quarters.

    Since this cow came to you for nicks, you can perhaps afford to spend a little bit of money and time on her. Gut feeling tells me that it will all work out in the end.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    First thought is why someone would give you an 18-month old heifer without their knowing something major was wrong with it. Sort of like someone giving you a free horse and they your finding out how expensive they are to maintain.

    Take it to your vet and have her preg. checked. While there talk to them about the udder problems. I agree with Rooney, once she calves, the calf sucking on all four quarters may well solve the problem.

    If she is not bred, ask around for a beef farmer who runs an Angus bull about letting her run with the bull for a couple of months to get her bred.
     
  8. lorian

    lorian Well-Known Member

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    She has never calfed.
    The people who gave her to us believed she was being sucked on by another heifer in the pasture.
    One quarter of her udder feels strange (it had mastitis and was treated), it feels really hard and not soft like the rest of her. That infection has cleared up but another one started in another quarter. This second infection seems not quite as bad.
    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your responses. Thanks!

    Oh yes, and why the Angus bull? Wouldn't I want to breed her to another Jersey? I don't quite get that one.
     
  9. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lorian,
    Ken would have suggested the Angus bull as they are a small calving breed and ideal to put over a Jersey. The Angus/Jersey cross produces a very nice eating animal for the home freezer. However, it you want to put a Jersey bull over her and have access to one, go for it. You won't go far wrong with either breed.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  10. PaigeTX

    PaigeTX New Member

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    I caught one of my cows self-nursing yesterday. She is 2 yrs old, and is nursing a 2 month old calf (her first). They were both nursing at same time. She was born here, to a small herd -has 2 other nursing moms around her. She is an Angus/Beefmaster mix (not a dairy cow). Is this a dangerous thing for her? Should I do something to stop it? Anyone?
     
  11. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Self-sucking:
    This is not uncommon, but should not be allowed.

    Buy one of the anti-sucking devices that fit in the nose. Some are metal (better) and some are plastic (generally cheaper). The were once called calf blabs, but the plastic one I own is labled "Sharpvet Calf Weaner". Any Vet supply house will have them, less than $5.

    I'd check the heifer. Are you sure she is a breeder and not a freemartin? The vet can tell in a jiffy. If she breeds you will have only to feed her a while until you have either a nice beef calf or another heifer. If not you will have a fat heifer to butcher. Two working quarters on a jersey will support a calf, but I'd try to clear up the mastitis.