young hiefer calving,

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by farminghandyman, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    After noon everyone,

    had a interesting after noon, went to town this morning in the old truck (1953) and picked up 50 wood fence posts, and some hi mag mineral for the cows, to keep them from getting sick on the new grass coming in the pasture, went out and was put out a few bags of mineral and noticed one small heifer, a yearling, that was having difficulty getting up, and I drove the truck down to where she was, and she was having a calf, (the thing is she is so young that she should not even be bred yet alone calving, how she got pregnant is more than I know, {ok stop laughing, I know how} but she had to become pregnant when she was less than 4 months old, probably less than 300lb, (I would guess she is not hardly 700lbs now, And jsut over a year old), walked her up to the corrals and shut the gate and then got the work pens ready, and finally got her in the pen,

    got her in the work area, and got her caught, and put pulling chains on the calf's feet, and started to hand pull, and to my amazement the calf was still alive, and pulled it out to the hips and they locked in the birth canal, ended up getting the mechanical puller, (basically a strap that goes on the cows back legs, and a pipe that has a jack on it), and you hook the leg chains on the jack and carefully pull, the puller slipped under the heifer (she had fell to the ground) and thus the pressure was not great, but the calf popped out and was alive, and breathing good,

    the heifer (I was wondering if it had damaged her hips,) jumped up to get me for hurting it, and stood nicely, that was amazing that that small of heifer could pass that calf so easily, the normal would have been to C section it) and that would have been a fun one, but when I could hand pull out the head and most of the body I knew it would come, with out the C section,

    the heifer wants nothing to do with the calf, (cow logic is calf hurt me, stay away don't hurt me any more), but ran the cow in and milked and feed the colostrum milk to the calf, and calf is standing and wanting more and momma is doing good, (the heifer is too small to really raise the calf any way, and would not produce enough milk to feed it the way it needs to be feed, so GOATs to the rescue, he will soon think that goat milk is mommas milk, and momma looks like a plastic bottle, actually calf will probably think it is a goat soon, as it will be raised in the goat pen, with the goats, LOL

    Just happy that both calf and heifer are alive and doing well,
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Young heifers calving happens. We had it happen, 14months old and calving. Surprised us, we weren't expecting it. Well she was down, we pulled the calf, didn't come out hard (we manually pull). Well, she didn't want the calf, so we tied her up let the calf nurse, did this twice a day for 3 weeks. Finally after the 3rd week, she took to the calf, and ever since has been a great mother. So, if you want to take the extra minute, try what we did. It might pay off, it might not. But it does work, patience is key.


    But your not the only one out there, it happens, heck we tried to keep a heifer from the bull. She got out, went through two fences to be with the bull all night. She had her 2nd this spring and takes care of her calves.


    Jeff
     

  3. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Good job! Yes, they can get bred that small...as you well know now.

    With cow prices going up even $5 today, it would be a good time to ditch that cow. A cow with bad maternal skills doesnt deserve to live.

    Glad everything worked out for you.
     
  4. melwynnd

    melwynnd living More with Less!

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    I don't know about that. If you are planning on pulling the calf off and milking right away, bad maternal skill don't mean a thing, in fact, it's nice to not have them fret too much. If she's a beef cow in the herd, then get rid of her.

    Sherry
     
  5. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    Didnt read where she was going to be a milk cow.
     
  6. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    its a beef cow, but I am not to concerned about her, as I have had many cows that when they had a hard pull and trouble the first year, they were liery of the calf, but turned out to be the best mothers ever,

    I did hurt the one leg of the calf a little and it would as of yet not be able to get up and go out on the range, (yes it can stand and walk but still not in 100% shape), jsut glad to have both alive, healthy, and going, I have had much worst out comes in the past, prolapses, split hips, not catch them in time and a dead calf, or lose both out in some remote hole in the pasture, (when your not expecting one that young to even be pregnet you don't watch it very close), and when you have them on over 700 acers of grass and field residue, I felt good jsut saving both, all of the old cows have calved out, and in theory the calving was done, LOL
     
  7. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If the heifer were older I'd worry more about the lack of maternal skills but I would think that she's more than likely just immature. I'm not so sure I'd keep her around because the hard pull may have caused some damage and she may not breed back so regardless of different reasons, I might be inclined to agree with opus.
     
  8. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    farminghandyman,

    I am not trying to pick on you regarding this, so please dont take offense.
    Excellent maternal cows is how I make my living. This includes cows calving.....on their own, without intervention. This also involves cows having the maternal instinct to immediately lick the calf off and drop her milk and let the calf suck. Any cow, on this operation, that proplapses, doesnt milk, has any resemblence of an ugly udder, requires pulling a calf more than once, or has any trace of a bad attitude.....gets sent down the road immediately.

    The longer I am on this forum, the more I realize this is more of a list for those that have a couple cows as pets or something to that nature....which is absolutely fine and dandy.
    Just thought I would explain a little clearer why I posted as I did.
     
  9. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Opus I do agree with you,
    I am not a big rancher, in my opinion a small cow farmer, we have usally ran a 35 to 60 head cow calf herd, (depending on drought conditions, a few years ago I had to down size the herd by nearly 50%) and I grew up on the place and have been at this for nearly 25+ years, on my own and before that with my dad,

    she did not seem to be hurt and got up fast and is doing well and I feel at this time she deserves another chance, as she is so young, and part of my reason to take the calf off besides her reluctance of of the calf, is her own size,

    and I have the milk goats and have milk in excess, and milking them twice a day, so feeding the calf is not a problem,

    I would rather her finish crowning up for now and not try to support a calf at this stage of her life,

    yes she did not mother the calf as I would have liked to see, she ran over to it and licked it a little and lost interest (which is not unusual in my experience if it is a fairly difficult birth),
    and at her current size,

    I was amazed that she had the calf as easy as it was,

    some may disagree with me as to my reasons, but my plan currently is to keep her as a replacement cow, she is a nice and good looking cow and her trying to get me was a natural reaction to her hurting, she is not a mean critter,

    we have had about 40 calves this year and this is the first one I have hardly have to look at, let alone help, in any real way, I just found it very odd for a heifer this young (and so did our local vet I called to day) to be giving birth, and both heifer and calf surviving,

    normally if I do have to help a cow it is some thing that is really wrong, , calf up sided down, breach, or one leg back , or head bent over and back something that really needs intervention.

    and when I thought we were done with the calving of the cows to have this one was a surprise.
     
  10. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

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    I have had a heifer that age calve before, not an issue one. Certainly does surprise you though when it happens.