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What would you do?

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#1 CowboyRam


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 12:22 PM

I had a calf that I had to bring in to get warmed up and dried off, once I took the little guy back to the mama, well she would not let him suck, so we ran her in the chute and gave her no choice.  Got her milked out and kept her in for a day; let her out and she run off from her calf, and would not let him suck, so we pulled the calf off her hand to bottle feed.  At this point I now had to two calves to bottle feed, and one crazy cow that just wanted to run someone in the ground.  


I thought about taking her to the sale, but decided to keep her; mostly because of the uncertainty of the cow market.  I am going to put her on pasture this summer, and sell her as a bred cow this coming fall. 


What would you do, would you sell her now knowing that you are going to really take it in the shorts due to cow market now, or would keep, get her bred, and sell her in the fall?


What is better to do with bum calves, do you guys think it is better to sell them right away, or bottle feed them, and sell with your other calves?  I chose to sell my bum calves this year.  

#2 Tx Jim

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Posted 17 April 2020 - 01:04 PM

I'd keep until she been pregnant several months then sell her.

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#3 danwi


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 01:14 PM

Put the cow and calf in a box stall or small pen together, we have a couple of pens available in the barn and a 12 x 30 in the front of the cow yard when we need it. Feed the calf a couple of good meals to get him up on his feet. I know some cattle are wilder then ours and it may not be as easy but we will throw a halter on them and tie them to a solid post if we have to and teach the calf to eat. It may take a few days but the calf will usually find a way to sneak meals from its mother. We had one last year, we had an old halter and just enough rope so we could catch and tie her up so we left that on her for a few days . One other thing is feed the cow a little grain so she is busy eating while the calf drinks. We have noticed when calves are up and out with other mothers they can steal meals from other cows when their calf drinks. I would say that cow should be on the short list to go but then again next year may be totally different, don't know why they leave the calf sometimes took to long to calve or a natural instinct to leave so predators didn't find it or what? One other thing we will do right away to get the cow to like a calf is sprinkle distillers grain or ground corn or something else on the calf so the cow licks it good sometimes she may even get help from another licking the calf. "Disclaimer" We are getting older and wrestling with big dumb cows is not as easy and is less safe. If you have pasture for her you might as well put her out at least until the price gets better.

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#4 PaulN


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 01:24 PM

I agree with Jim, get her bred back and sell later.

As for the calves, you have no choice. you'll have to bottle feed them until weaning. But in my own experience, a bottle fed calf will never do as well as one with it's own mamma. They may be healthy, but they never seem to catch up with the other calves. One glimmer of hope, sometimes a calf will learn to steal, if another cow will stand for it. That will benefit the calf greatly, but there is no guarantee it will happen.

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#5 8350HiTech


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 03:09 PM

You are in a much different part of the country, so I have no idea how it is there, but here if I had two beef calves needing bottle fed I could sell them for way more than they should be worth considering the time and milk replacer, so under normal circumstances I would sell them in a heartbeat. Private sale though, not interested in sending them to auction to get whatever random number that someone decides that night. As for th cow, my inclination would be to sell now and put that money, whatever it is reduced right now, toward a cow that will actually raise a calf for you this year. But, that’s assuming you’re still going to get at least $400 or something. If if you’re going to get much less than that, I would consider keeping her until bred, though I would question what she’ll be worth in the fall. None of us really know.
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#6 CowboyRam


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 08:20 PM

On Tuesday of this week had the cow sale still been going that cow would have been gone, and was going to take her to the sale next Tuesday.  I had a few days to think about it and i'm going to keep her, and sell her this coming fall.  


I sold both of the calves.  One was a bull calf out of a crossbred cow, and the other was an Angus heifer.  I sold the bull calf for $350, and the heifer for $400.  I figured I would have at least $400 per calf in replacement milk, that pretty much takes out all the profit.  I listed those calves on Facebook, and was surprised on how many responses I got.  Way more people looking for bottle calves than what I thought there would be.  

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#7 carcajou


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 08:48 PM

I would not breed her,  just setting someone else up for grief.  I would fatten her up and sell her for hamburger.

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#8 PaulN


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 10:01 PM

I think you made a wise decision by selling those calves. I would say you got a fantastic price!

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#9 IHCman


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Posted 17 April 2020 - 10:33 PM

You are already done with her but when trying to get a calf to nurse on an uncooperative cow, Rompum (sedative) is your friend. 1/2cc to a full 1 cc will mellow her out enough to make it easier to get the calf to nurse. Also seems once they go to sleep and wake up its like it resets their brain or something, they are more willing to accept the calf. Our vet also mixes up a calf claim concoction that is mix of Rompum, Oxytocin, and some other stuff. Mellows them out, helps them let their milk down, and helps kick in their motherly homomones. Seems to work but sometimes I like straight Rompum to knock their ass out.


Definately sell that cow, either now or as a bred one later in the year. Normally I myself would never breed a cow like that and sell her as a bred one. I figure If she is to goofy for me I don't want someone else to get stuck with her either. 


As for the bottle calves I think you made the right choice by selling them for the money you got. You'd have alot into milk replacer and calf feed that you probably wouldnt' make any money on them and you'd have alot of labor into them. What we usually do with bottle calves is usually feed them until something else loses a calf and then adopt them onto the cow that lost her calf. Sometimes it goes good, other times you wish you'd have just sold the calf and the cow.


We're calving right now and it was a nightmare this last week with temps in the teens and 20s with a nasty wind chill. Everything that calved had to be brought into the barn for a day before going back out. Going to have some calves loose some ears even though I brought them in as soon as they hit the ground. Had a tiny calf that was born a little early get chilled. Warmed it up, fed it colostrum replacer, took about 3 days till it could stand good enough to nurse. Got it sucking on the cow easily. Next morning calf was doing great, that afternoon calf was dead, figure the cow might have stepped on it in the pen. Wish it would have just died right away and saved me all that work, but thats the way it goes sometimes. Dad had a cow that had twins that same day so we adopted one of the twins to my cow. Weather is warming up now with highs in the 50s and won't even go below freezing tonight so calving will be alot easier now and alot more sleep.

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#10 mlappin


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Posted 18 April 2020 - 05:43 PM

We’ve decided as well not worth raising orphan calves, with the time and cost they never make a profit

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