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Cows/Cattle/baby calf wont eat or nurse


Karin wrote at 2012-12-25 19:39:33
Something's not quite right here.  You (not you Eileen, the questioner) say that the cow wasn't producing milk and yet had an  enlarged udder and a mass growing on it (???).  If the udder is enlarged that means the cow IS producing milk.  Which means the vet is correct about the calf and its mom!

The calf is either sound asleep (they do sleep out on their sides, you know), or very much sound asleep.  Calves do dream, and it can get a person worried or thinking it is dying, but it probably is not.  It won't accept the bottle likely because it has already nursed and laid down to sleep.  

I've no idea how old this calf is or anything of that matter when the questioner asked this question.  It almost sounded like the calf's only a few days old, so it would be too late at that time for a calf to start developing a swollen tongue due to calving troubles.  Then again we've no idea of the calf came out without trouble or not!

So I think it would be best to not do anything, but let Nature take its course.  I believe that the cow is doing a good job of taking care of her calf, and the questioner may be interfering unnecessarily.  I've heard that the less you interfere with a cow and her calf, the less troubles will develop as a result.

Just some food for thought.



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Eileen DuJardin


I can answer most types of cattle questions, primarily beef types. Genetics, breeding, basic care, herd health and management, and showing. I'm knowledgeable in forages and feeding. Non emergency health and soundness questions. I am not a veterinary, and can't answer critical care questions. Call your local large animal vet for that service.


I've been a registered cattle breeder for over 20 years. My husband and I run a 250 acre cattle ranch in Texas. I've raised dairy cattle, commercial cattle, and registered and show cattle. I'm on our county Beef and Forage committee.

American Simmental Association. American Brahman Breeders Association. Falls County Beef and Forage Committee. Texas Farm Bureau

Associates Degree in computer science.

Awards and Honors
Many ribbons and placings in cattle showing, with most recent being: 2011 Fort Worth Stock Show, Senior Champion Simmental, and Houston Livestock Show Reserve Champion Senior Simmental.

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