Cows/Cattle/beefmaster calf

Advertisement


Question
we have a calf that was born 2 days ago  out of a 1st time heifer, and i've noticed that when the calf is trying to nurse the cow keeps on kicking her back feet and she ends up hitting the calf to get it off, but she cares for it and calls it when its not around just when the calf is trying to nurse. although she lets the calf nurse for little bit and kicks again. i saw also that the calf has an underbite. i really dont know what to do or what could be the problem. thank you

Answer
It would be a good idea to pen the cow and calf together for a few days if you can.  Sometimes heifers are just nervous with their first calf.  And keep in mind her udder is full, and therefore uncomfortable, which is probably why she is kicking.  Does she kick when the calf is on any of the teats, or just certain ones?  Sometimes the cow will let the calf just nurse the front ones, but not the back ones.  Again, it's painful for the heifer with a full udder.. and it's going to be full until the calf nurses it down.  

If you're worried that the heifer is not letting the calf nurse at all, you'll have to put the cow in a chute or restrain her in some way.  I've had to put them in a chute, and put a set of "kickers" on the heifer to keep her from kicking the calf off.  The trouble is if she kicks the calf enough times, he'll stop trying to nurse at all and the calf will starve.  You could also try feeding the calf on a bottle.. again, only if you don't think the calf is eating.

It could be that the underbite is affecting the nursing also.. perhaps the teeth are sharp and that's why the heifer is kicking.

I'd keep a really close eye on the cow and calf, and try to determine how much, if any, the calf is actually eating.  You don't want to wait too long to intervene if the calf isn't eating enough.

Hope this helps!  Good luck to you.

Eileen

Cows/Cattle

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Eileen DuJardin

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Education/Credentials
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.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.