Post by watervalley on Feb 9, 2014 13:22:58 GMT -5
I am a newbie so please be gentle. We just had a calf this morning. We only have 3 head of cattle, the mom, the newborn, a 1 year old steer, and a 1 year old bull. They all share the same pasture with 6 goats. Should I separate out the mom and baby? What should I feed the mom besides hay? I am about to go to tractor supply so any suggestions from there would be good. The calf seems healthy and is walking around. How soon should we tag it and when do we start the registration process? Thanks for any advice. We are excited!!!
I used to put up mom before the birth, but the cows often outsmarted me and had the baby in the woods. So I tried putting the mom and new baby up in the barn for a few days - but it's just more work for me, bringing food and water. These days, the cow has the baby out in pasture, she decides when to introduce the baby to the rest of the herd - usually 2 or 3 days after birth, and everybody gets along. The most important thing is for the baby to get colostrum a.s.a.p. after birth - which you can tell by the look of the udder, usually: at least one quarter looking less full than the others, the hair around teats is curly and stuck together. Just like with a human baby, you can find signs from the calf that it's been eating: the yellow milk poop and lots of clear urine - you just might have to watch the mama and baby for a while. If you can get your hands on the baby, you can feel if it's belly feels fool. Or you can just judge by behavior - if baby looks energetic when it's up, trying to run and buck - it's probably just fine. As to the separating again - mom and baby should be able to get away from the others if they wanted to. If they are all in a lot, then it would be better to separate the mom and baby. When she comes into her first heat the bull (and may be the steer too) will try to breed her - and the baby could get pushed around or stepped on. As to the diet, I wouldn't change anything if the cow is in good condition or unless you see that the cow is starting to lose condition.
Post by zephyrhillsusan on Feb 9, 2014 16:16:02 GMT -5
Just make sure the cow (and all the cattle, for that matter) have loose minerals available. Also make sure there is plenty of water available because now that the cow has freshened and is nursing, she'll be drinking a lot more than before.
I don't know about goats, but we had two sheep in the pasture with our cow when she calved, and the sheep didn't bother the calf at all. They came near to look, then wandered off, and the cow wasn't at all perturbed. If I noticed the other animals disturbing her, that's when I would intervene.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Dexters, and congratulations on your calf! Do you know what it is? I'll share a goof I made as a newbie. I saw a tuft of hair under the calf's belly and assumed it was a bull. Then someone told me that they all have that at birth and to look at how the baby pees. If it raises its tail and pees from under the tail, it's a heifer. Under the belly, it's a bull.
The only thing that I do different here is shut them off from a rather steep & bluffy creek side. I've had the little ones get hung up in the tree roots there a couple times. So now I lock the on what I call the flat side. I'm like Gene and love to watch them together as a family..love the way they babysit for each other. Even the bull helps.
As long as the little guy is dry and drinking he'll be fine feb.can be cold takes a long time for them to get dry sometimes I help them with an old blanket and rub them dry but eatch out for the mother she mite not let you be carful.
I like to use a needlenose pliers to grasp the hairs on a young calf because they are so fine. It's always better to take more than you think you need because you'll probably lose some in the process. I would try for 50-60 on a calf.
Here are some tips for the registration process. I do recommend reading through all the posts before you start. Just holler if you have any questions and someone here will be glad to help.