2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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lilfarmangel
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2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:17 pm

I don't know which other form to submit my concern to, but since these are dairy calves I was hoping this would be to place to be. VERY long story short, I ended up with a bum calf - the cow (registered jersey bred to an angus) dropped the calf a month early and died 4 days later - If you want the story, I'll tell it but for now there's another issue that's got me puzzled. My husband & I had already decided to buy a young dairy heifer and since we already had the bum calf it wouldn't be that much more effort to bottle feed a second. So we got a 3 month old, 3/4 jersey-1/4 holstein heifer, she was just days from being completely weaned. The bummer was 1 month old by the time we brought her home. Just last week I noticed a few minutes after I gave him is bottle he was searching for the heifers teat!! And she was letting him!! My first reaction was, "Cool!! She'll turn out to be a nurse cow." Then my second reaction was, "I wonder if he will cause her any damage?" The local vet said probably not but maybe separate them just to make sure. Now I'm wondering if the vet knows what she's talking about. Anyone out there with experience in a situation like this???
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby dun » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:47 am

Separate them! There is a possibility that the heifer could have mastitis from this early sucking when she freshens
The sucking after their bottle is a pretty common occurence. "Normally" they will stop once they are completely off the bottle, but not always. The can become habitual suckers that will suck on anything that will let them.
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:17 pm

dun wrote:Separate them! There is a possibility that the heifer could have mastitis from this early sucking when she freshens
The sucking after their bottle is a pretty common occurence. "Normally" they will stop once they are completely off the bottle, but not always. The can become habitual suckers that will suck on anything that will let them.

At 4 months old she already has keratin? I thought Mastitis occurred in full bags. So you're saying, this could make her more susceptible than normal because of him?
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby dun » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:30 pm

lilfarmangel wrote:
dun wrote:Separate them! There is a possibility that the heifer could have mastitis from this early sucking when she freshens
The sucking after their bottle is a pretty common occurence. "Normally" they will stop once they are completely off the bottle, but not always. The can become habitual suckers that will suck on anything that will let them.

At 4 months old she already has keratin? I thought Mastitis occurred in full bags. So you're saying, this could make her more susceptible than normal because of him?

You run the risk of the teat canal being opened which allows bacteria to enter the udder. I would also think that a continues "hickey" on a teat would lead to inflammation that could be detrimental to the udder.
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:42 am

dun wrote:
lilfarmangel wrote:
dun wrote:Separate them! There is a possibility that the heifer could have mastitis from this early sucking when she freshens
The sucking after their bottle is a pretty common occurence. "Normally" they will stop once they are completely off the bottle, but not always. The can become habitual suckers that will suck on anything that will let them.

At 4 months old she already has keratin? I thought Mastitis occurred in full bags. So you're saying, this could make her more susceptible than normal because of him?

You run the risk of the teat canal being opened which allows bacteria to enter the udder. I would also think that a continues "hickey" on a teat would lead to inflammation that could be detrimental to the udder.

Ok, that makes sense. I have seperated them for feeding. I give him his bottle then give him his grain pan. Once he's started eating the grain (has the milk flavor out of his mouth) he doesn't try to nurse on her. Maybe he's just greedy and wants more milk. :lol: He doesn't try to nurse her any other time.
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby dun » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:45 am

lilfarmangel wrote: I have seperated them for feeding. I give him his bottle then give him his grain pan. Once he's started eating the grain (has the milk flavor out of his mouth) he doesn't try to nurse on her. Maybe he's just greedy and wants more milk. :lol: He doesn't try to nurse her any other time.

Once they get that sucking deal turned on they tend to get stuck in that gear till they get distracted. Grain is the best thing to distract them with at his age. The sooner he's eating 2-3 pounds of grain a day you can wean him cold turkey.
They always try to con you into more milk, don;t fall for the con job.
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby vclavin » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:02 pm

I heard that as well. Vet said he would check out this heifer I paln to buy and said he could tell if she would have trouble or not. Something about her bag being hard would be a red flag? Anyway, the dairy guy said he only saw it happen one time. I'll know tomorrow.
Valerie
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:07 pm

vclavin wrote:I heard that as well. Vet said he would check out this heifer I paln to buy and said he could tell if she would have trouble or not. Something about her bag being hard would be a red flag? Anyway, the dairy guy said he only saw it happen one time. I'll know tomorrow.
Valerie

How old is the heifer you're looking at?
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby vclavin » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:36 pm

lilfarmangel wrote:
vclavin wrote:I heard that as well. Vet said he would check out this heifer I paln to buy and said he could tell if she would have trouble or not. Something about her bag being hard would be a red flag? Anyway, the dairy guy said he only saw it happen one time. I'll know tomorrow.
Valerie

How old is the heifer you're looking at?


3-4 weeks old
Valerie
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Low birth, high gain, fertility, and carcass.
A little about us-
http://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/producers/mo-clavin/

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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:46 am

vclavin wrote:
lilfarmangel wrote:
vclavin wrote:I heard that as well. Vet said he would check out this heifer I paln to buy and said he could tell if she would have trouble or not. Something about her bag being hard would be a red flag? Anyway, the dairy guy said he only saw it happen one time. I'll know tomorrow.
Valerie

How old is the heifer you're looking at?


3-4 weeks old
Valerie

Ask lots of questions of the vet. Like "will just the bag be hard or the teats as well?", "is there a visible opening in the teat when this happens?", "Since the bag is so small at this age, could there be damage higher up than the bag?"
I'm dying to find out what you learn!
Thanks a million!!!
'lil farm angel
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby vclavin » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:24 pm

Lil farm angel,
The dairy guy called this morning and decided to keep the heifer for his herd. He did tell me that in doing some checking with other dairy guys, he was told to wait till she was one year old and then it would be easier to tell if there was any damage. Not much info, but hope this helps you.
Valerie
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Bosworth, Mo
Low birth, high gain, fertility, and carcass.
A little about us-
http://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/producers/mo-clavin/

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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:17 pm

vclavin wrote:Lil farm angel,
The dairy guy called this morning and decided to keep the heifer for his herd. He did tell me that in doing some checking with other dairy guys, he was told to wait till she was one year old and then it would be easier to tell if there was any damage. Not much info, but hope this helps you.
Valerie

Wow!! Wait a whole year?? More patience than I have! I think I'll just seperate them for feeding. He doesn't do it at all any other time, just after he's had his bottle and only if he hasn't eaten any grain after his bottle is empty.
Thanks for the tip Valerie, I really do appreciate it!!
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby vclavin » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:26 pm

lilfarmangel wrote:
vclavin wrote:Lil farm angel,
The dairy guy called this morning and decided to keep the heifer for his herd. He did tell me that in doing some checking with other dairy guys, he was told to wait till she was one year old and then it would be easier to tell if there was any damage. Not much info, but hope this helps you.
Valerie

Wow!! Wait a whole year?? More patience than I have! I think I'll just seperate them for feeding. He doesn't do it at all any other time, just after he's had his bottle and only if he hasn't eaten any grain after his bottle is empty.
Thanks for the tip Valerie, I really do appreciate it!!


Your welcome. The 3 heifers we are still bottle feeding are in training-lol. We have adjustable dog collars on them and teather them to the gate far enough apart so they can't suck each other. They know they get the bolltle only after they are attached to gate. They come up now to their "place" at the gate and wait for their turn. We also , after everyone is fed, attach a leash to the collar and lead them from the gate before turning them loose. They are doing quite well.
Valerie
0 x
Skyline Farms Angus
Registered Angus Breeding Stock
Bosworth, Mo
Low birth, high gain, fertility, and carcass.
A little about us-
http://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/producers/mo-clavin/

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lilfarmangel
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Re: 2 Month old bum calf trying to suckle 4 month old heifer

Postby lilfarmangel » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:57 pm

vclavin wrote:
lilfarmangel wrote:
vclavin wrote:Lil farm angel,
The dairy guy called this morning and decided to keep the heifer for his herd. He did tell me that in doing some checking with other dairy guys, he was told to wait till she was one year old and then it would be easier to tell if there was any damage. Not much info, but hope this helps you.
Valerie

Wow!! Wait a whole year?? More patience than I have! I think I'll just seperate them for feeding. He doesn't do it at all any other time, just after he's had his bottle and only if he hasn't eaten any grain after his bottle is empty.
Thanks for the tip Valerie, I really do appreciate it!!


Your welcome. The 3 heifers we are still bottle feeding are in training-lol. We have adjustable dog collars on them and teather them to the gate far enough apart so they can't suck each other. They know they get the bolltle only after they are attached to gate. They come up now to their "place" at the gate and wait for their turn. We also , after everyone is fed, attach a leash to the collar and lead them from the gate before turning them loose. They are doing quite well.
Valerie

WOW! That's a good idea! I'll have to start working with that one to get my little heifer used to being in one place for feeding!! Thanks for the tip!!
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"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
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