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How long should new mama leave her baby?

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:01 pm
by homesteadrookie
I really am a rookie with cattle! We've had a small herd of 7 for about a month. Yesterday one of the heifers dropped a calf. They were walking around the pasture in the evening and were together this morning. But all afternoon (on a stormy day!) mama has left the baby lying in the woods and is an acre away with the others. Is this normal? I'm a little worried about coyotes bothering the baby. Thanks for any advice or ideas!

Re: How long should new mama leave her baby?

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:57 pm
by dun
You will run into a couple of diffgerent behaviours from cows or heifers. One is they won;t let the calf out of her sight and will keep trying to take it away if you go near it. Others will leave their calves alone but know darn good and well where it is. If you approach where it is the cow will come a hellahoopen and call the calf. Sadly there are the others that don;t really have any interst in the calf. Some will feed it but never really mother up and others will just ignore it. You don;t know what you have till you get some experience with the cow. I would go around the calf and try to make it moo. Just make sure if it jumps up it can;t get out or leave in the opposite direction from it's mom.

Re: How long should new mama leave her baby?

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:27 pm
by Rafter S
Since you said they were together this morning everything is probably okay. It's not uncommon for a cow to leave a new calf hidden for a day or two before it joins the herd. I'd be very careful about approaching the calf if its mother isn't very close. A newborn calf that's startled may jump up and run a long way , through several fences, before it stops (I know this from painful experience). Try to watch them this evening. See if you can see the calf nurse. Even if you don't, pay attention to its flank area (the triangular area between hip, ribs, and spine) when it gets up. If that area looks sunk in then the calf may not be getting enough, or any, milk. If it looks even, or full, then everything is almost certainly fine.

And welcome to the forum.

Re: How long should new mama leave her baby?

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:20 pm
by Son of Butch
:welcome: to the boards
Any pictures to post? I have nothing to add, between the 2 previous posts they pretty well covered it.
Best o' Luck