Twin calf abadon

Jesusfreak101

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@farmerjan I forgot to type thank you, i also have another question i can't remember when to start feeding grain i thinking it was 1.5 months old? The other thing I was think about (didn't experience before) was whether it was ok for her to eat goat grain she recently started to nibble on the goats grain when i feed up.
 

farmerjan

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Well, that explains it better. I was under the idea that she had just calved that day. So it sounds like you did the right thing since you have been taking care of the cattle for awhile and have learned the herd.

There are alot of different genes involved with cattle as far as the ability of any to feed their calves. If a cow has a calf, and it seems to have milk and yet the calf gets weak, or sadly starves to death, that cow could have any of a half dozen problems. We had a bought cow, that calved, beautiful udder. Saw the calf nursing. Several days later, the calf was missing. There had been some coyotes in the area and a neighbor farmer lost 2 calves to the coyotes, so we figured they must have gotten the calf. Cow bred right back, so the next year she again calved. Saw the calf up and nursing. 2 days later the widow lady that owned the pasture, called and said the calf looked weak. She called alot about trivial things, but was a nice person, so I went up to check on them. The calf was weak. So we got them both in a little corral pen of panels that was there and I got the cow cornered with some grain and I couldn't get any milk out of her udder. So we moved the calf back to the barn with the cow. Got her in the head catch chute and there was no milk coming out of any of the 4 teats. I put the calf on a bottle and it really just took off and nearly swallowed the bottle whole wanting the milk in it's poor little empty tummy. Kept it on a bottle for about a week, then had a cow have a dead calf that I managed to get it grafted on. The cow went to the stockyards.

If you get a cow that has no milk, there is no reason to keep her. Period. No more chances or anything. You cannot justify the time and effort to try to figure out the problem in a commercial herd. Sounds like this cow is doing okay with her other twin so it just may be that she didn't want a 2nd calf. Some just don't. I wouldn't worry about the calf having problems in the future as a cow if the momma is raising the twin calf up now. If the twins are mixed sex, one heifer and one bull calf, there is no sense in keeping the heifer as there is a 90% chance she is a non productive free martin.
If the calf that the cow has kept, isn't growing well, it could be due to lack of milk, or problems with her udder as you have suspected. You are obviously attached to the bottle calf as happens with most bottle calves. Keeping it as a possible future cow is a toss up. But any cow that does not raise her calf now, in our cow herd, does not get a pass, unless there is a really good reason. Lack of milk is not a good reason, that is the number one reason to get shipped. Don't waste your money and time feeding that unproductive cow. She could also not being producing much milk due to her possibly being old too. If there are certain "families" of the cows that seem to not have milk or very little milk, then you shouldn't keep any heifers out of those cows to keep as future cows.

Knowing more details, I totally agree that you did the right thing. And with a storm coming, the calf could have very well gotten sick or died being out in it. Hope that all continues to go well.
 

farmerjan

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You can start feeding grain as soon as she shows interest in it. Most dairies will start offering it at 1-2 weeks. The sooner they get to eating grain, the faster they will grow as they will get the needed protein and all. The sooner they will be able to be weaned off milk too because they are consuming enough to continue to grow and not get stunted. It will start to develop her rumen also. The goat grain will be fine but if you can get her to eat out of her own bucket a 16-20% calf starter will supply more of her needs as it is formulated for just calves. But any grain is better than none, and there is nothing in goat feed that I am aware of that will hurt her. Encourage her to eat all she wants, they will seldom be able to overeat grain at that size since their 4 stomachs are not developed enough to contain too much in their gut tract. Overeating usually occurs in animals are in the 500 lb range and bigger as they can eat and hold alot more grain and it can founder them. Being in with the goats is a plus because she will follow their lead to eat. Calves learn alot by mimicing their mommas.
 

Jesusfreak101

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I really need to get a picture of them together it so cute she go lay her head on panda(adult female goatl back and they both just stand there.
Okay i go ahead and get some next time I go to the feed store. She been eating hay, grass and alfalfa as well. And her twin was another female. His grandparents are giving us both of these calves out of the herd.
I do like her she cute but all baby animals are. It would be hard to process her or sale her however if she unable to be productive or produce healthy offspring she pointless and as much as cows eat cant have a unproductive animal. This calf has six teats, we keep open minded about everything.
 

YourRabbitGirl

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The herd came by stopped to check her out then walked on she been running around ever since my husband decide he had to let or six year old in there with the calf i am overly cranky about for more then one reason. I have to check on what her twin was. Husband trying with regular milk now he forcing it some not sure that the best ideal.
It's such a difficult thing to do, I hope you can still keep the task, please continue on taking care of them, There is good karma in what you're doing. keep it up..
 

farmerjan

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One plus, both being female so no concern about one being a free martin. I wouldn't be too concerned about keeping either as a future replacement. It is a start for you, and if one or the other doesn't breed, you can make a decision then. If your heifer stays friendly, when you wean the other calf , if you can keep them together the other will get calmer and quieter due to the having them together. Then they will hopefully both become friendly and more able to handle them. I don't know what your grandparents do as far as policy for keeping replacement heifers.

If the one still on the mother doesn't seem to be growing as well as the other calves her age, you can wean her off early ( 4 months or so) and pen her with your bottle baby, and although she will not be happy about it, she will learn to eat grain with your calf after a bit, and get to where she looks to you for her food.

Be careful of too much alfalfa as they can get foundered on it due to the high protein content. For some reason, young growing animals seem to have more problems than an animal that is more mature. I feed alfalfa to my nurse cows, and we feed some to our ewes pre lambing, as well as early in their lactation in order to get them milking good. . But we do restrict it so that they do not overeat it. They like it, and will overdue it, just like someone that likes candy and would like to pig out on candy. So, all I am saying is that you have to be a little careful of feeding alfalfa, especially to younger growing animals. to not let them overindulge. Alfalfa has caused founder in many horses, as has overeating grain.

As to the extra teats. It is no big deal. In dairy cattle they will remove them early on. I have several cows with extra teats. In most cases they don't even develop and seldom ever have any milk supply. If they do have some milk, the calf will suck them but they often dry up in short order. That is one of the least of your worries. We don't even worry about removing them on the beef heifers. Sure it is preferable to only have 4 teats but that is a minor thing.
 
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