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Hormones during calving

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leanin' H

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Had a cow calve and she always gets spun up for three of four days after she calves. She is a fine mother but she will stomp a mud hole in your guts if ya get to close to her calf. It’s funny how different cows can be at calving. This Bally faced cow mellows right out at about day 5. Y’all have any good calving stories? I’ll never forget Soap’s son tagging his pant leg to a calf’s ear accidentally.
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Faster horses

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We had a lot of sickness in our cow herd after calving from 1988 til we got on mineral in 1994. We bought some registered cows and they brought in disease. Our calves would stop running and playing, would have a high temperature. We would doctor them and then in a couple of days their fever would be up again. We had to doctor most of them more than once. They got everything. Diptheria, pneumonia, overeating, you name it. They had no immune system. But that's another story.

We had one old cow we would NOT doctor her calf. Interesting that out of 95% we had to doctor, it was never her calf. She was woofy. She was a smaller Black Angus and she had a topnot between her ears, so we called her 'Woodpecker.' If her calf had gotten sick, it would have died because of her. She put Mr. FH in the pickup and/or under the pickup so many times until he wouldn't even tag her calf. At one point she tried getting in the cab of the pickup. She would even take you if you tagged another calf and her calf wasn't with her. We finally could afford to get rid of her and that was a happy day. Whew! The things you do when you are young and poor.

We AI'd to a bull called RR Traveler 5204. Those were bad even as heifers. They weren't bluffing. They don't get better with age, either. Too bad, they were really nice heifers with terrible dispositions. At our place cattle had a good reason NOT to be bad because we handled them quietly but firmly and with respect.
 

deff

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We range calve in March in the mud and snow. Whenever a storm hits, we blanket the fresh calves and haul the chilled ones in to warm up. I tag and tape weigh calves while they are still "greasy" because I'm too old and stiff to chase them down anymore. I want a cow to be attentive and care for her calf but if she decides to chase me around the truck, she goes to town the next Fall! We cake break and make pets out of our cows and that helps a lot! The most hormonal cow we have on the place is the Jersey milk cow! She gets pretty crazy for the first three days or so after she calves.
 

Evans

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Years ago I bought ranch cows that were used to looking after themselves. Most did not appreciate any assistance. Problem was I had no natural shelter on my place so I had to run them in because they were calving early in bad weather.
They would charge into the corral fence if they saw you twenty yards on the other side.
One calved three pens over from the pen I put her into. She was hip locked. That was fun.
Some would just go nuts and attack their own calf every time it tried to stand up.
Used to tranquilize some of the idiot moms after they calved but it would still take 45 minutes for the shot to have some affect because they were so cranked up.
Had one mom that I didn't think was to bad. She always calved alone at night but her calf was always on the wrong side of the fence when I would come along. Then I realized it was because she was sending her calf through the fence.
Had crazy ones attack my tractor. Its real easy to buy junk cows at an auction but you sure learn from therm.
FH your right about not getting better with age. Those hateful ones just get smarter.
 

Faster horses

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A good mother is one thing. Pure poison crazy is another. I’d much rather a cow blow some snot than walk off and leave their calf. I’ve been rolled up like a rug more than a few times. Back in my USU days, those chianina cows made ya step pretty lively.
Our neighbor tried Chianina cows...until they busted his brand new extra stout corrals.
Didn't take him long to get rid of them. Woah, those cattle were WILD. And BIG. Very big.

But I do have a funny story about a Chianina bull. There was a rancher to the SW of us, in a different county that was a pickup man at rodeos. Charley was salty himself, great guy. We went there to look at a horse. While we were walking to the corral to see the horse, Charley said, "just a minute. I gotta let the bull out." He walked over to a railrod car, went up the steps and opened the door. Out strolled, yes he strolled, a big white Chianina bull. He could barely get out of the door he was that tall. He meandered down the steps and went on his way.

We never did find out how Charley got the bull in the railroad car. 🤣
 
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gcreekrch

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Have lost track how many taggings in 40 years but only had one step on my chaps and knock me over and two in later years come over the quad after me.
One of the quad jumpers calf got scours and was flat out when I found it with Mom standing guard. As calves are worth more than me, I pondered for a bit how I was going to get it to the wheelbarrow in the basement we used for scour calves before we built the heated shop…..
I drove up, got off and loaded the calf on the back rack without her moving a muscle. She stood guard out our basement door for two days while we had the calf on IV. The day it got strong enough to leave the house we took it and it’s stinking wheelbarrow with Mom in tow up to the barn.
It was pretty wobbly but was a nice spring day with bright sunshine and it was pretty nice for a calf to lay on some hay just outside the door. Wasn’t long and Mom had given him a good bath and coaxed him to standing and having a suck. She stood there until he laid down again and then went to feed. I put him in the barn that evening and gave him an electrolyte. Performance was the same next two days. Fourth day I let him out, she fed him and then led him to the feed row.

The next day I decided she didn’t need to be with the calving heifers so set the gate and went to herd her out with the quad. She was calmly munching hay when I drove up beside the calf and nudged him with my boot toe to get him up. As he was having a good stretch and I was thinking how well that battle had gone I took my eyes off Mom. Next thing she was bunting the quad and making a heck of a racket. She apparently decided I was no longer needed! She did move off to the gate eventually.
The next spring she had a good heifer calf that stayed a long time but the old girl managed to become one of only two lightning struck cows we have ever had.
Miss her still……
 

leanin' H

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My dad and I worked for a doctor who was running 100 head of cows on his dads place after his dad passed away. He came out almost every weekend but we fed and checked water and calved his cowherd all winter. Two years prior he had lost right at half his calves due to wrong bulls, poor management and horrible help. He had offered dad a $20 bonus for each live calf. He had a big calving barn with multiple suites and a long alley way and because he was so gun shy over his losses, insisted that every cow calved in the barn, even on nice days. We ran an old Hereford cross cow in one night and she had a pretty calf unassisted. The next evening dad went In To tag the calf and was ejected over the 6 foot panels. Which isn’t an easy task as he was almost as big as the cow. I gave it a try and was promptly flung out unceremoniously as well. That mild mannered little cow had transformed into a rabid beast 😁. We nicknamed her Kamakazi. She was plumb nuts for about a week. But when we turned her and the calf out, she turned back into a mellow little cow. She stayed on Doc’s place for quite a few years and she always acted the same way. She raised a beautiful crossbred Simm calf that my brother bought and won reserve champion at our fair. Doc had a passel of kids and when they got old enough, they took over the cowherd. Dad got a pretty great bonus as we only lost one calf when his momma had him in a creek. The next year the bonus wasn’t offered. 😁
Like Gcreek mentioned, I miss the cows with a story, with personality, much more than the others. I don’t care if a horse bucks if he is honest about it. Same with cows. It’s the ones who crawfish ya that I hate.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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A wise cattleman always sends his wife, mother, granny, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, or kindly helpful neighbor lady out to do the tagging. :sneaky:
 

webfoot

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I had one some years ago where the cow lost its calf. I got a calf to graft on the cow. This new calf wouldn't suck. This cow stood like a statue. Three days out in the middle of the corral I am pushing the calf under her. Squirting milk on its nose and into its mouth. No suck. Every day I end up tubing it to get something in its belly. The whole time the cow stood better than a milk cow. On day 4 the calf finally figured it out. Day 5 I go in to push the calf over to the cow. The cow escorts me out of the corral. She liked the calf. The calf liked her. But neither one of them liked me.
A couple months later the youngest daughter went to push that calf into the chute. That calf kicked her. I heard the smack from 50 feet away. But she got her revenge. That was the day she learned how to castrate a bull calf. "Hand me your knife."
 

Alaska-Rancher

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We range calve in March in the mud and snow. Whenever a storm hits, we blanket the fresh calves and haul the chilled ones in to warm up. I tag and tape weigh calves while they are still "greasy" because I'm too old and stiff to chase them down anymore. I want a cow to be attentive and care for her calf but if she decides to chase me around the truck, she goes to town the next Fall! We cake break and make pets out of our cows and that helps a lot! The most hormonal cow we have on the place is the Jersey milk cow! She gets pretty crazy for the first three days or so after she calves.
On occasion we have one of those onery mother suckers, I give them 2 chances then they are gone. Last one puched me 6 feet into the snow bank mid-april, thought i was a gonner too, so did she! I won she went down the road in the fall
 

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