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New Calf Tossed By Bull Repeatedly

(9 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by SouthernHomeMakerAKDA
  • Latest reply from pinkpoultry

  1. SouthernHomeMakerAKDA
    Member

    We went to the pasture this morning, and our Highland Cow had rather unexpectedly calved (The fellow we bought them from had no idea when she was due.) It's a bull calf. Our small herd are in a rather confined area - 2 cows, one heifer, the new baby, and the bull.

    The calf is being repeatedly tossed by the bull (he has horns) and has been thrown 6 or 7 feet in the air several times. The other cow and the heifer are also horning it and herding it. Mama cow sticks with the calf, very closely, but seems rather bewildered, or something? and doesn't really protect the calf real well.

    Has anyone else had this? Is it something we should be concerned with? Is it normal with Highland Cattle or cattle in general? Is it just a dominance thing? My grandfather had beef cattle for years, and we worked with them and never saw this happen. We are kind of at our wits end.

    Also, the calf hasn't seemed to catch on to nursing. He keeps going to the back of Mama, and missing the teats completely. How long should we let this go on before we take it and bottle feed. :)

    Thanks! :)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. Lorna
    Member

    Hi Southern homemaker
    I would seperate the new born calf and the mother into a place by themsleves, have you a shed/house you could confine them in? This would keep the cow and calf safe and give them the chance to bond.
    I know years ago when we had calves the cow and calf was put inside by themselves but like you have said we never saw this in ours either.

    Hope things look up with the calf.
    Sara here at admin would know what to do as they have cattle.

    Best Regards
    Lorna

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. SouthernHomeMakerAKDA
    Member

    Thanks, Lorna. We have split the pen in half now, leaving Mama and Baby on their own. We will see how this goes.

    Thanks again! :)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Lorna
    Member

    This looks like a good link for Highland cattle
    http://www.bairnsley.com/Calving%20Page.htm

    I remember when we had difficulty getting calves to suckle my Mum would have taken calf to the cows teat (if cow lets you, as they can be protective) and put a little milk in its mouth and put the calf to the teat, hope something helps but I would seprate them somewhere safe.

    Best Wishes
    Lorna

    ps just read your update that is great they are in their own pen

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. Hi SouthernHomemakerAKAD,
    Glad you have separated cow and calf from the others. As Lorna says I would try to show the calf where the teats are if the cow will let you go into the pen with them and as long as you won't be in danger from the cow.
    How long has it been with out milk. If the calf still won't suckle after showing the calf where the teat is then I would get some milk from the cow and bottle feed it to the calf so the calf gets the cows colostrum.
    Hope the calf will suckle and hope the cow is not agressive and you can get the calf to suckle safely.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. SouthernHomeMakerAKDA
    Member

    We, unfortunately, can't handle the Mama. They are rather wild. We have been working on taming them down some, hence the smaller and more confined area, but they are still very wild. If we can get close enough, we may try that. Maybe get her eating some grain or something. We will have to see. :)

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. Hi SouthernHomeMakerAKDA,

    Get her to eat some grain and then get a halter over her head and tie her to something so that you can then milk her or get the calf to the teats safely without the cow hurting you.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. grishipol
    Member

    Hi,

    I keep Highland cattle and they are calving at the moment. I always know that a new calf is likely when the cow leaves the main herd and goes off and hides. Normally she calves by herself and then stays away for a day or two before introducing her calf to the main herd. Even once the calf has been introduced the mother will still hide it for a sleep and is happy to go some distance (1/2 a mile) from it to graze. The whole herd usually comes running when I catch the calf to tag it - they can travel that half mile remarkably quickly...!

    Alex

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. pinkpoultry
    Member

    Hello,
    Thats difficult if they are so wild. Like mentioned above, get Mam some cow cake or something to keep her occupied, show baby where the teat is, if the baby wont suck, you may want to try this....random but it works. Get a Mars bar, nibble all the choc off so you have the nougety caramelly bit and chew it up a bit then stick it in the babys mouth to the roof of their mouth, this will make baby try to get it off with his tongue by sucking-when he starts sucking, stick the teat in his mouth then he will realise and learn that sucking the teat equals food.
    Or just milk the cow and then bottle/tube feed baby. He will need milk now. He will get very weak without milk.
    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Posted 8 years ago #

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