Disposition after Calving?

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Stocker Steve
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Disposition after Calving?

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:13 pm

I have a high headed heifer, out of a group I purchased, that settled down significantly after she calved. Seems to have been a positive experience for her. Have you seen this kind of change before?
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby TCRanch » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:54 pm

Yes! I had one I swore I was going to sell as a cow/calf pair just to get rid of her (retained her in a weak moment because of lineage). Little mama did a complete 180. I also had a bottle calf I retained that was beyond obnoxious. She just had her 4th calf and has turned out to be one of my absolute best cows. Heifers are the equivalent of teenage girls; sometimes it just takes them a little longer to mature.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:30 pm

Mine is on the cull list, but that may change.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby TB521 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:02 pm

Had a heifer a couple of years ago that was high headed. Then became a pet as soon as that calf hit the ground.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby Brute 23 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:37 pm

Some is just age and settling in. I have a lot that are kind of wiley at a young age. Seems like when they get with a big herd a year or so they really settle down.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby 5S Cattle » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:09 pm

I have a heifer that's already caught me not paying attention in the pen and straightened my back out for me. She calved last night and is already worse. Was chasing the kubota today when I pulled up and checked her calf. She's gone when this calf is big enough to go to the sale
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby Nesikep » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:59 am

Yeah, I just had that happen with one of my heifers.. she was kinda tame for a while, then I had to chase the bejesus out of her to get her up to the corrals.. she calved a couple days later (the reason I wanted her up) and she's been in my pocket ever since.. She's a great momma, super attentive to her calf, not the prettiest but might last a while anyhow
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby wbvs58 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:52 am

Usually the progesterone during pregnancy settles them down once they are in calf. I used to use depo-progesterone injections for a lot of behavioural conditions in small animals even after it became medically unfashionable.

Females of all species are a lot easier to get on with when pregnant or lactating or both although in humans lactation will stop them from breeding back, might have to cull a few to improve that trait. You know what they say about keeping them barefoot and pregnant.

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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby lithuanian farmer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:34 am

Had a group of heifers, 11 if remember well, a couple years ago. Only three were human friendly, others would run away from you. Had them escaped from pasture one day and they wouldn't let you closer than a couple hundred metres... Lost them out of sight at around 11.30pm. Next morning they were in the back yard... Now almost all, except one, are cows, having their 5th calf. They have changed drastically once they got bred, so were AI'ed for the first calf. Now all let human be close and touch them, can work with newborn calves easily.
Have noticed that almost all heifers tend to settle down once they are pregnant or at least after the first calving. From the group of 10 we were calving in fall, two aren't human friendly. Not aggressive, just don't want me to touch them. Others became very calm.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby collegeboundgal » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:11 am

We have one that is going this Saturday. She was always a little high headed and flighty (red flag 1) but after she calved made the mistake of charging the husband as he was feeding, checking the herd over and looking at the new calf. Made him have to take a few steps back before she stopped (red flag 2). Then a week or so later I was with hubbs and walking through the herd taking some pic's as he was rolling out the hay and this same witch lost sight of her calf (that was with the other 4 or 5 calves whose mamas were chilling out filling their gut) and took a few quick steps toward me like she was thinking of a charge. (Last red flag) I am the head Witch around here so she is GONE. Calf to. I don't need that attitude in our herd. We MIG so are on foot around our herd a lot moving fencing with small kids sometimes and am not interested in increasing our chance of injury or death.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby A.J. » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:20 am

collegeboundgal wrote:We have one that is going this Saturday. She was always a little high headed and flighty (red flag 1) but after she calved made the mistake of charging the husband as he was feeding, checking the herd over and looking at the new calf. Made him have to take a few steps back before she stopped (red flag 2). Then a week or so later I was with hubbs and walking through the herd taking some pic's as he was rolling out the hay and this same witch lost sight of her calf (that was with the other 4 or 5 calves whose mamas were chilling out filling their gut) and took a few quick steps toward me like she was thinking of a charge. (Last red flag) I am the head Witch around here so she is GONE. Calf to. I don't need that attitude in our herd. We MIG so are on foot around our herd a lot moving fencing with small kids sometimes and am not interested in increasing our chance of injury or death.


Wise decision sending her down the road. I like my mommas being protective with predators, but not acting like that with me or family checking on them. I won't have one around that I have to worry about mowing me or anyone else down. Not worth the risk.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby bird dog » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:50 pm

I like to put my open heifers with some older cows that are calving before I breed them. I usually do it with a group that they will stay with. They get used to me being around a lot and they see from the old cows that the dog and I are not a threat.

It seems like the old cows also show them how its done. I have noticed that they latch on to one that doesn't bully them around and will help watch the calf while the cow grazes. If one old or young shows any aggression (besides the normal head shake) at any time towards me or the wife, she will not get a second chance.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby Brute 23 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:41 pm

bird dog wrote:I like to put my open heifers with some older cows that are calving before I breed them. I usually do it with a group that they will stay with. They get used to me being around a lot and they see from the old cows that the dog and I are not a threat.

It seems like the old cows also show them how its done. I have noticed that they latch on to one that doesn't bully them around and will help watch the calf while the cow grazes. If one old or young shows any aggression (besides the normal head shake) at any time towards me or the wife, she will not get a second chance.


Monkey see... monkey do. Works with dogs, kids, etc for both the positive and negative.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby TCRanch » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:41 pm

I calve out my heifers in the barn and make darn sure they watch me tag/work their calves, just so they know what to expect going forward. Doesn't mean subsequent tagging/working always goes smoothly in the pasture, primarily because there's always a few calves that are skittish/psycho/bawlers/runners. I don't care how calm the mama's usually are, when their newborn calves are pitching a fit, all bets are off.
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Re: Disposition after Calving?

Postby Angus Rocks » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:57 am

I had a cow that after she calved she went crazy if you come around here calf till the calf was about 2 months old and I liked the cow otherwise so I kept daughters out of here the first daughter was a little crazy and then she lost her calf last year so 2 marks against her out she goes and then the next daughter calves yesterday and won't let her calf suck so get her in chute and calf eats fine and then go last night to do it again and Mom is nuts pacing fence and ran at me once so I don't need her around got her sister in the replacement group but I don't think she going to stay either. So much for hoping on hope that daughters wouldn't be like Mom
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