I have 2 girls due on the 6 January and was wondering of I should separate them from the rest of the herd before they calve? I have 6 cows altogether ( 2 of them are the babies from these moms) and then 2 older girls. I was just wondering about the safety of the new babies with the rest of the cows or am I being paranoid?
When our first calf heifer was due to freshen this fall, I decided to leave her in with our older cow, but had an easy way to move her out of the paddock if necessary when the time came. As it turned out, we didn't need to separate, but with the previous calves being in with your cows, I would separate them. Just to be sure that the calves aren't taking the colostrum that the cows are producing for the new babies. Cows don't produce more colostrum, so it is a precious commodity that needs to be protected.
Post by midwifejoyce on Dec 11, 2012 9:15:44 GMT -5
I prefer to have them separated but i have done it both ways. This year i had to deal with a yearling sucking on Blossum as soon as the baby was on the ground and Jenny's baby went and hid on the other side of the fence in the brush panicking both her mom and me. My preference is to lock em up in a separate safe paddock or stall. ~Joyce
Me- Wife, Mama, and Midwife
5 kids, 1 son-in-law, 1 grandson
5 dogs big ones and little ones
Bunch of kitties
Blossum- Milking Shorthorn Cow
Stoney - Yearling bull Shorthorn/Simmental
Jenny May- Jersey Cow
Phil-ay- Bull calf Jersey/Hereford
Lots 'o chickens
3 Mulefoot feeder piggies
I have three different fields, and move cows based on a few factors. One field is where the bull lives, and breeding age cows go in with him when I want them bred. The cows stay there until they are fairly close to calving, 2 weeks or so, when I move them to the close field where the cows in milk stay.
When a cow gets very close, I separate her entirely from the herd, keeping her inside in the calving pen at night, or in a smaller outdoor pen during the day. I'm not so much worried about what the other cows will do to the calf, but I don't want another cow to "steal" the calf and feed it milk instead of colostrum.
Also, in the more confined areas, it's easier to help the calf to nurse if needed, and to watch the cow/calf interaction.
This works very well; any potential issues that come up are easy to handle early, before the problem worsens. Long ago I concluded that I'm paranoid about the births and babies, but that's fine, every single one has done well, so it pays off!
I guess I'd make sure they have a place they can get off by themselves until you know for sure how everyone else will act - so if you don't have a big enough area where they can find a peaceful spot, separate.
I don't separate mine, but I've had the same girls together for quite a while, and they all know each other, and have all calved before, so all know what is going on. I do usually keep weaned calves and yearlings away from the milking herd - they are like troublesome teenagers. If you have yearlings, they might worry the new momma and calf by being too curious and over excited by all the smells. They might try to nurse, and interfere with the bonding and steal colostrum. There are some cows that are so maternal that they will steal a newborn calf.
Tig - 3/4 Jersey 1/4 Dexter 11 yr
Lucy (aka "Lucifer") Guernsey 10 yr
Pepper-Angus/Dexter/Jersey 6 yr
Mocha (aka Crazy Cow) 5 yr
Eva Holstein 5 yr
Maggie - HoJo 4 yr
Chloe - Jersey/Dexter 4 yr
Brie - Jersey - 3 yr
For a first calf heifer it is my preference to separate her to calve. I have found that first time calvers are sort of dumb. We had them leave the calf behind and forget about them. We had other bossy cows steal the heifer's calf and the heifer stands there like duh what do i do. They need some privacy and protection during the first couple of weeks to get their routine down.
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