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Calf blankets

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Jinglebob

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Several years ago I was calving some cows for a guy and we got some chilly weather. I went to the local ranch supply store and bought some "bubble wrap" insulation. I think it came in a 4 or 8 foot wide roll. I'd just cut some off to fold and fit over a calf, leaving his head sticking out, and used gray tape to attatch it under his chest and flank and under the tail. By the time he wiggled out of it, he was warm. Seemed to work pretty good and didn't cost that much.

Thought some of you folks calvin' in the cold might be able to use this idea.
 

Jason

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Sounds like a plan for cattle with no hair :wink:

Actually when the lil guys get dry they take a lot of cold.

The black calves this time of year just absorb the suns heat and turn into radiators. Get close and you can just feel the heat coming off them.
 

smalltime

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Thats adamn good idea.I have used calf blankets .One time in the middle of the night I had the barn full so I thought Iwould put ablanket on acalf that was just born outside.I pulled it over his haed and started to ty it on when that hiefer came unglued.She knocked me out of the way and proceeded to beller,pawand tromp that calf until that blanket came off.At one time she had three feet on him at once.That heifer never forgot me or that blanket.Old 620 is one of the reasons I don't tag calves anymore or calve in the winter. :D
 

Jinglebob

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Jason said:
Sounds like a plan for cattle with no hair :wink:

Actually when the lil guys get dry they take a lot of cold.

The black calves this time of year just absorb the suns heat and turn into radiators. Get close and you can just feel the heat coming off them.

Sorry for trying to offer some advice to someone who obviously has wayyy more years of experience than I do!

Yes, as my old Dad used to tell me, when a calf gets his belly full of milk he can take a lot of weather, but sometimes when it's wet and cold, a STOCKMAN likes to help the mamma out. Don't suppose you ever put a cow in a shed to calf or a calf in somewhere to warm it up or dry off? :?

As for feeling the heat coming off from one, I have found calves laying on an ice bank who I thought were dead, but after getting some real warm fluid down their bellies and having them laying on the heater vent in the bathroom, covered with blankets and quilts, they sure enough came back to life.

And last january I had three, 15 year old longhorn cows calve, when it was below zero. They were good mamma's so the calves were fine. Didn't even lose any ear. But I sure didn't plan them to calve then, it was a bull getting out at the wrong time. And the calves weren't black either, but they sure did grow big as their mamma's got skinny this summer and fall.

Sorry if my "handy hint" didn't do you any good there Jason! :wink:
 

greg

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Sounds like that would work,esp if the tape was Red Greens duct tape,we start calvin Mar.20 so hopin spring has sprung by then, and don't need to use your suggestion.
 

Cal

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I hadn't thought of bubble wrap. I think alot of the good it would do would be to stop the wind until the little guy got up and got ahold. Seems like windchill makes a big difference. A few years ago at the Black Hills Stock show someone was selling a wool calf coat, and I'll tell you that (the smell of it, I'm sure) would damn sure make an old cow come unglued.
 

PPRM

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Jinglebob,

Is that the Plastic stuff they use for packing boxes?

My only thought is I wondered if it didn't breath,

PPRM
 

CattleRMe

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Jinglebob i could see that working. When we have a cold calf we put it in the calf warmer. My dad constructed it out of an old dryer with a heat lamp mounted on the top. The calf goes in and comes out all nice and warm. :)
 

Jinglebob

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PPRM said:
Jinglebob,

Is that the Plastic stuff they use for packing boxes?

My only thought is I wondered if it didn't breath,

PPRM

It's an insulation material that they put on sheds and houses. If you put your hand against it, your hand starts to warm up instantly, even if it's cold. I think it might have the same material as in "space" blankets that they advised you to carry around for a survival kit in your auto, a few years ago. Then it has the bubbles on the other side also or sandwiched in between, like the stuff they send wrapped around things in boxes.

No, it doesn't breath.

Guess my cows weren't very scared of anything like that. 'Course if they were real good mamma's, the calf probably didn't need the blanket! :lol:

I've stuck it on a few at night when it was wet and blowing out. When they warm up and dry off inside of it, they get up and the ol' cow tears it off or they walk out of it. Don't think I ever had to take one off, tho' I picked up quite a few and used them again. Little duck tape and BINGO, good as new! :lol:

In case you can't tell, I'm kind'a cheap and look for cost saving ideas all the time. I like to spend my money on wine, a woman and fun and just HATE to waste it on foolish stuff! :wink:
 

PPRM

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IC,

Thanks for clearing it up. I calve in pretty good weather generally, but it is nice to have some ideas for the occasional oddball,


PPRM
 

passin thru

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I think I will carry some of that wrap and try it sometime Jinglebob. I can carry it along with my can of petmilk
 

Jinglebob

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Yup, whatever gets the job done.

Reminds me of when I was a kid and dad would bring in a chilled calf. He'd mix up a concoction with some raw eggs and whiskey and condensed milk to try and pour down the calf (that was before we knew about esophogul(sp) feeders). I always thot' that he was pretty special to take that good care of a calf and then later in life found that the egg and wiskey probably weren't really doing very much good. Probably just bringing them into a warm building, house or vehicle, did almost as much good as anything we put down them.

But a can of milk can be real handy. And I like it too! (said in his best Irish brouge)
 

Faster horses

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We always keep canned milk on hand at calving time, have done so for years.

The very best stuff we have ever found to warm up chilled calves is Etherated Camphorated Oil. We have had this discussion here before and I guess it is not available anymore, not even in Canada. Good stuff, too.

I always thought it was so cheap the vets didn't want to sell it. But I know for sure they used it. Old Dr. John Wilson in Sheridan, Wyoming is the one who told us about it in the early 70's.

We still have some we guard closely. Doesn't take much, so a bottle lasts a long time. But not forever...
 

Kato

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Add a good dog to that, and life could get even easier! We had a really cold calving season a couple of years ago, and decided to give ear muffs a try. After a day or two the cow would get them off the calf, then the dog would bring them to the porch. He never missed a muff. 8)

The dog we have now would more likely be found under a tree with the bubble wrap popping the bubbles. :lol:

It does sound like a good idea, especially for us girls. I've had the situation where a cow calved in a cold spot, and I've had problems moving the calf with my bad back. :?
 

passin thru

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That reminds me, they sell these plastic sled especially for dragging calves through snow. I got a cheap plastic kids sked and keep it handy. I think it will probably rot waiting for a good snow.
 

Denny

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passin thru said:
That reminds me, they sell these plastic sled especially for dragging calves through snow. I got a cheap plastic kids sked and keep it handy. I think it will probably rot waiting for a good snow.

I bought a sled for ice fishing.I had no intention of useing it for that it has 10" sides and is big enough to hold five 5 gallon pails of grain throw a calf in it and leed the cow to shelter it slides real easy and is very quiet the cows follow it very well.You can even drag it easy on a hay pack.My old sled I am useing as a mineral feeder I built it it weighs at least a 100#s leave it to a welder to over build something.
 

CattleRMe

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:cboy: To bring cold calves to the barn Dad built a calf sled. The bottom of it is a small car hood. He then built the fence around it out of hog pannels complete with a small gate to open and close to put the calf in and out. It can be hooked on the back of the four wheeler or a pickup and the cow just follows her baby in. It's also light enough a horse and rope can drag it in. :cowboy:
 

George

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Much to my wife's dismay I have been known to put "frozen" calves in the shower in the basement. Hot shower, blow dry and back to momma - - We had one that was so frozen the only things moving were his eyes. Made a full recovery.

I have been told the cow will not take the calf back but have not had problems with mine.
 

Cal

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Jason said:
Sounds like a plan for cattle with no hair :wink:

Actually when the lil guys get dry they take a lot of cold.

The black calves this time of year just absorb the suns heat and turn into radiators. Get close and you can just feel the heat coming off them.
The damndest thing happens around here, though...about every 12 hours or so it just get darker than the ace of spades...and all the cows don't know enough to quit calving.
 

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