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How Long??

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ezeranch

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How long can a newborn calf go without eating? We had a cow calve on Tuesday. I have been checking on them everyday but haven't been able to get very close. The cows bag is so swollen and I haven't seen the calf nurse. Granted I haven't been able to spend much time watching them either. What are some signs I can look for to tell me if she is nursing?
 

Mike

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Couple more days and you'll be able to know for sure if it's not.

Rigormortis will have set in.

Clean teats? One of the front ones slightly smaller and/or wrinkled?

A calf born on Tuesday should be sucking 5-6 times per day by now, at least.

A calf should suck within the first few hours after birth to get immunities from colostrum.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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If the bag is tight it might also be sore so the cow won't let the calf suck. You might have to get her in milk her out and tube the calf. Better sooner then later.
 

Denny

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In my experiance it would be to late by now anyhow.Get close to the calf see if it has some yellow **** on its tail and rear end if it does and it's belly is full it most likely eaten.
 

kolanuraven

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I'm REALLY not trying to be a smartarse here ( eventhough it comes easy to me)....but are you sure you need to own your own cows right now as opposed to working for someone and learning first?

There are sooooo many things that pertain to calving and raising calves and maintenance and care of a herd, no matter the size.
 

cowzilla

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When you

OWN cattle
you learn things pretty darn fast :lol: :lol: In this area in this time of year if we are not sure Stick your finger in the calfs mouth to see if its warm. If not you have a problem.
 

ezeranch

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This is our third year calving and I have had two bottle babies in the past. I wasn't trying to ask a stupid question, we don't run a huge operation (25 head) and this is the first time we have had a calf that we question wether or not it is nursing. I am pretty sure it is I just didn't want to stress it or the momma out by putting them in the barn if I didn't need to so I thought I would ask the question.
 

Faster horses

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Questions are welcome. But the time has come (past) for you not to wonder anymore. You best be finding out. IF that cows bag is that tight, something is amiss. So the best way is to get her in the chute and see
if her teats are sealed shut and then milk her, feed the milk to the calf and hope for the best. The calf needs to get colostrum in the first 24 hours and the first HOUR is best. Let us know what you find out.
I hate for calves to starve to death.
 

Kato

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Sometimes a heavy milking cow will get ahead of the calf, and her bag will get so hard and sore she won't let the calf suck. I'd follow the advice you've gotten here. It's good advice.

You may need to milk the cow more than once before she settles down to a level the calf can handle. Keep doing it until the calf can take care of things on it's own. Watch the calf for scours or pneumonia because if it didn't get enough colostrum, it's become a high risk calf for those problems.

Good luck. :D
 

leanin' H

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I'd always err on the side of caution, cause dead calves don't sell too well. When in doubt, investigate and don't be afraid to ask questions. But know that with a lot of work and worry you can do this. Apparently some folks forgot how it was when they were learnin' and we all learned as kids or later. But you owe it to the cattle to do right by em'. That's why we check heifers instead of sleepin. Good luck and good learning! If you are willing to WORK and try and dust yourself off a lot, you'll be fine. Get milk in thier bellys and they are pretty tough little buggers. :)
 

Texan

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Don't worry too much that you might have let one get by without knowing for sure if it has sucked. I expect most of us have probably done that at one time.

Everybody has different practices when it comes to calving and all of us don't calve in barns or calving pastures. Night calving is the cow's job around my place. I might see a cow with a new calf from a distance the next morning and write it down in my book and then not see her close enough to tell if the calf has sucked for a few more days. I try to see them all, but sometimes sht happens.

To answer your question about how long they can live, I've had calves live six or seven days without sucking. By this time, I'm pretty sure you'd know it if that calf hasn't sucked. Calves that haven't sucked in a long time are pretty desperate. In my experience, they'll bawl a lot and will even come toward you if you get close. Also, a calf that old that hasn't sucked will be so gaunt that you'll almost be able to see through him.

Other than fill, the yellow crap is what I always look for. Unless I see a calf actually sucking and swallowing, or unless I see him really full, I don't feel sure about it without seeing the yellow crap. If you still can't tell when you get him caught, try smelling his breath. Stick a straw up his nose to make him cough and you should be able to smell milk if he's been sucking.

Some good advice here, so shake off the poor deliveries that came with some of it and try to realize that everybody is just trying to help. Luck.
 

Bird

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Don't worry too much that you might have let one get by without knowing for sure if it has sucked. I expect most of us have probably done that at one time.

Everybody has different practices when it comes to calving and all of us don't calve in barns or calving pastures. Night calving is the cow's job around my place. I might see a cow with a new calf from a distance the next morning and write it down in my book and then not see her close enough to tell if the calf has sucked for a few more days. I try to see them all, but sometimes sht happens.

To answer your question about how long they can live, I've had calves live six or seven days without sucking. By this time, I'm pretty sure you'd know it if that calf hasn't sucked. Calves that haven't sucked in a long time are pretty desperate. In my experience, they'll bawl a lot and will even come toward you if you get close. Also, a calf that old that hasn't sucked will be so gaunt that you'll almost be able to see through him.

Other than fill, the yellow crap is what I always look for. Unless I see a calf actually sucking and swallowing, or unless I see him really full, I don't feel sure about it without seeing the yellow crap. If you still can't tell when you get him caught, try smelling his breath. Stick a straw up his nose to make him cough and you should be able to smell milk if he's been sucking.

Some good advice here, so shake off the poor deliveries that came with some of it and try to realize that everybody is just trying to help. Luck.
If there is any doubt offer a bottle. If they turn it down they have probably already sucked the cow and don’t like the store bought. Lots of times I will prime the calf with bottle,cube the cow,and shove the calf toward cows bag and many times the calf will latch on
 

Texan

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If there is any doubt offer a bottle. If they turn it down they have probably already sucked the cow and don’t like the store bought. Lots of times I will prime the calf with bottle,cube the cow,and shove the calf toward cows bag and many times the calf will latch on
Good advice, Bird. Welcome to Ranchers.
 

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