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Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:21 am
by JCcattle
2 new bred heifers, due any day, have been keeping them in barn for nights during this deep freeze here in Canada. They pushed over a couple fences and got to a few pails of barley chop and had a feast. I’m guessing it was 2.5 five gallon pails between them. Now I’m paranoid for them and their unborn calves... is there anything I can do to stop bloating or acidosis?!?!? I gave them a crunchy old hay bale they’ve torn into it.. so they get water? It happened in the last 6 hours that they got into the grain. Please help

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:22 am
by JCcattle
** I mean can they have water or is it best to keep them off for a bit to prevent bloating ...

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:42 am
by Nesikep
I don't have experience with this, but until someone pipes up with concrete instructions, I'd probably let them have SOME water, but not a huge belly full. Hopefully someone else comes along here

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:58 am
by JCcattle
Ok thanks.. just got back from checking them again.. sleepless night for me!!! One is chewing her cud, they both aren’t bloated, the other has her tail out and stamping / kicking her feet, mooing at her belly and lay down in the gutter for a few moments right in front of me... so now I hope it’s labour and not signs of acidosis??! Reading up on it sounds like it takes a little longer for it to happen if it does? But I have no experience with it. Only have dealt with the odd bloats.

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:30 am
by Black and Good
JCcattle wrote:Ok thanks.. just got back from checking them again.. sleepless night for me!!! One is chewing her cud, they both aren’t bloated, the other has her tail out and stamping / kicking her feet, mooing at her belly and lay down in the gutter for a few moments right in front of me... so now I hope it’s labour and not signs of acidosis??! Reading up on it sounds like it takes a little longer for it to happen if it does? But I have no experience with it. Only have dealt with the odd bloats.


That description sounds like early on labor pains. With first calf heifers its common for the belly kicking and stuff when they start getting discomfort. Good Luck keep us posted. B&G

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:35 am
by JCcattle
I’ll keep you posted! Be heading back soon to check..

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:13 am
by JCcattle
Well she just birthed a nice calf on her own!! See how it goes from here!..

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:25 am
by MRRherefords
Great. Always love the unassisted births.

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:39 am
by Black and Good
JCcattle wrote:Well she just birthed a nice calf on her own!! See how it goes from here!..


Great! Glad to hear it. B&G

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:06 pm
by JCcattle
Yes I love it too!! And what do you know, the second heifer just popped her calf too! Maybe the large amount of grain induced them?! They were right ready, udders full and all. My husband swept up all the grain they scattered and it amounted to a full 5 gal pail (so they just shared 1.5 pails instead of 2) I’m guessing they will be ok other than some extra gas.. I’ll update again later so you can know what happened. Thanks for your thots!

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:19 pm
by OwnedByTheCow
Great to hear! Heifers or bulls?

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:57 pm
by JCcattle
Both are bulls! Nice little ones that have both eaten. Bought these heifers in November and very happy with them :) SimAngus crosses. It’s brutal cold even in the barn it’s -10C and their ears will probably be a little short.. tried to dry em off but it’s just so cold.

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:09 pm
by Supa Dexta
Duct tape their ears around their neck if you're worried about it.

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:25 pm
by JCcattle
Supa Dexta wrote:Duct tape their ears around their neck if you're worried about it.

Never heard of that one before! :idea: But that should work better than all these ear muff thingies that cows immediately try to rip off the babies!

Re: Heifers got into barley chop help!!

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:28 pm
by angus9259
If you get concerned they got into some feed they shouldn't, you could give them a tube of mineral oil to keep the bloating down and some magnesium oxide to move the contents through their belly faster.

I've heard mixed reviews on giving baking soda as sometimes it can foam while it's neutralizing the acid and cause bloating when there otherwise wouldn't be any.