Expanded the herd

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nocows
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Expanded the herd

Postby nocows » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:37 pm

Picture of the 4 bred heifers we bought to expand our herd, this was our first experience with first calf heifers..... Didn't work out quite like we planned but I guess that's part of it. We only ended up with one calf that survived of the four bit of a rough start. Might go back to buying bred cows or pairs for now.

Just luck of the draw they were all measured and checked prior to the sale...... Guess I am not good at picking them out yet still learning.

The young heifer in the bottom of the picture is one we bottle fed, she's about a year old now.


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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby TCRanch » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:33 pm

Oooh, definitely not a good start, sorry about that. Only 1 calf out of 4? Not sure I'm following you: did the heifers successfully calve and you lost 3 due to pneumonia, scours or something else? Or did you have 3 dead calves at birth due to mal presentation, too big, etc? That's assuming you even know what happened. I'm a firm believer in having heifers pelvic measured (which I just did this week) BUT that's assuming they're bred to a bull that correlates to their measurements and you also have to account for the possibility one of them will simply end up growing a huge calf.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby nocows » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:33 pm

Yeah after going back and reading that it’s hard to follow.

First heifer had her calf unassisted in the middle of the night, when they were checked early that next morning she had cleaned the calf off and it looked otherwise good but it was dead not sure what happened.

Next two were watched like a hawk checked every two hours or so all night long. Once they showed signs of calving we jumped right in. Both heifers needed help the calves had to be pulled and were dead. We’re guessing complications due to the size of the pelvic they were just too small.

Last one had a healthy calf unassisted it’s the little gal in the picture.

Theese were bought from a reputable local heifer replacement farm. We have family that have bought from the same farm last few years with good luck.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby ddd75 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:29 pm

3 out of 4 having dead calves isn't good at all.. thats downright disgusting. I'd be calling up this reputable breeder and asking whats going on.

how long have you had them?
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby A.J. » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:42 pm

Sorry to hear that. Calving heifers can be so frustrating/disheartening at times. Hopefully the calf that made it will grow out well for you. Hoping for better luck for you with your next calves.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby farmerjan » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:32 pm

Sure hope you have some better luck. That is one reason why we DO NOT BUY BRED HEIFERS anymore. Have bought some that didn't know anything about, bought some that were bred to calving ease bulls, bought some from very reputable breeders and had crazy stuff like malpresentation, heifer not cleaning the sack off the head.... you name it. I will buy a bred cow but not any heifers. You could give them to me and I would probably hesitate. That is another reason that we breed and calve out our own at a little older age. I like them to be 27-30 months at first calving. They are grown better, and seem to "know" what to do. More settled I guess. We calve about 10 -20 heifers that we have raised, every year. Just not any more bought ones. That way when there are problems, it is our problem.....
But there are people who do great at calving heifers. God bless them. I admire that they can. But, I also do not want to pay the higher cost of bred heifers compared to older cows. Just me and our operation.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby Supa Dexta » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:00 am

If you were checking every couple hours and pulled the calves when labour began - you would have seen if they were alive for the first part of the delivery. How hard were the pulls and how long did it take to get them out?
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:38 am

Supa Dexta wrote:If you were checking every couple hours and pulled the calves when labour began - you would have seen if they were alive for the first part of the delivery. How hard were the pulls and how long did it take to get them out?

Or, did you possibly jump in too soon? there is a fine line when to help & when to wait. sorry for your rough start. I think I would be cashing in!
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby slick4591 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:34 pm

I hate that for you as I know the feeling all too well. My problem with my heifers was feeding them too much during the third trimester. Nowadays they barely get to smell any sack feed during that time.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby papavillars » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:28 pm

I do not sack feed at that time. Only a few cubes and great hay/ minerals. That is not saying you were doing wrong. Not your bull so sometimes results are in the wind.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:45 pm

Maybe you should change your "handle name". :hide:
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby nocows » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:18 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Maybe you should change your "handle name". :hide:



You know that has crossed my mind..... :shock:
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby nocows » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:24 pm

We had a lot of help from family that are seasoned cattle farmers, I believe everything was handled correctly just had some extremely bad luck.

The cows were bought in a large group I then picked mine out of the group and family took the rest. Overall considering the amount that was purchashed the numbers weren’t too bad I just happened to pick 3 of the heifers that had trouble.

Appreciate all of the response and comments, just felt like sharing our experience. I enjoy all of the knowledge that is shared on this site. I’m usually on here reading new posts daily, I enjoy reading about other people’s experinces.

Take care.
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JW IN VA
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby JW IN VA » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:26 pm

farmerjan wrote:Sure hope you have some better luck. That is one reason why we DO NOT BUY BRED HEIFERS anymore. Have bought some that didn't know anything about, bought some that were bred to calving ease bulls, bought some from very reputable breeders and had crazy stuff like malpresentation, heifer not cleaning the sack off the head.... you name it. I will buy a bred cow but not any heifers. You could give them to me and I would probably hesitate. That is another reason that we breed and calve out our own at a little older age. I like them to be 27-30 months at first calving. They are grown better, and seem to "know" what to do. More settled I guess. We calve about 10 -20 heifers that we have raised, every year. Just not any more bought ones. That way when there are problems, it is our problem.....
But there are people who do great at calving heifers. God bless them. I admire that they can. But, I also do not want to pay the higher cost of bred heifers compared to older cows. Just me and our operation.

Me either. I know some folks can only get into or expand cattle that way but unless I had a year with no heifers born,I wouldn't buy any for replacements.If I was buying,they would have their calves by their side or would buy older cows from someone I knew well and knew about their cattle.
We have bought a few cows in the past.Some of them did real well for us-as well as our cows but they were never"our cattle" completely.Still we never got hurt on any of them and some did well for us.
Problems can happen to anyone.We once used a bull on some heifers that calved easily and used him again the next year.Second year was not good.Had two to pull out of the 8 or 10 the same day losing both calves.Neighbor used the same bull on mature cows and pulled several there.What changed from one year to the next?I still don't know.
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Re: Expanded the herd

Postby farmerjan » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:49 pm

nocows wrote:We had a lot of help from family that are seasoned cattle farmers, I believe everything was handled correctly just had some extremely bad luck.

The cows were bought in a large group I then picked mine out of the group and family took the rest. Overall considering the amount that was purchashed the numbers weren’t too bad I just happened to pick 3 of the heifers that had trouble.

Appreciate all of the response and comments, just felt like sharing our experience. I enjoy all of the knowledge that is shared on this site. I’m usually on here reading new posts daily, I enjoy reading about other people’s experinces.

Take care.


It does sound like the luck of the draw and nothing you did wrong. Believe me, I can sympathize. I am a walking "Murphy's Law", if it can go wrong it will. I was considered accident prone as a kid and my grandfather would NOT let me drive his new truck when I was in my 20's because everytime I drove a Chevy something broke. He was a Chevy man. It was a big joke in the family.

Sorry for your luck in picking out the ones that had the problems. Hope this next year will go better for you.
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