Abandoned Lost Calf

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cblucas3
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Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by cblucas3 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:16 pm

Every night a black calf comes out of the woods onto my property. Not sure where he goes. With the calf being so dark it's difficult to see him. I've used a powerful light and binoculars but still lose him eventually. Other nights I just see the reflection from his eyes. It's as if he is waiting for me to go away. So tonight I'm out in the field with the light off being quite while stargazing. I heard something heading my away through the tall grass. I turned my light in that direction and it was him 20 feet away! Of course he scampered off and took a last look at me before disappearing into the woods. Got me wondering if there is a way to trap or catch him. There is no infrastructure. It's simply an open field and a treeline. Don't know where he came from or who owns him. I just want to help the little fella out and find him a home. I'm in a rural town and there are a few small pastures around that maybe he can find a home in.
Any tips, instructions or suggestions please let me know.



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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by wbvs58 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:31 am

I'd start by leaving some feed out for him. Maybe some alfalfa hay. If you are patient he may connect the hay with you. You might tempt him out during the day.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by greggy » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:32 am

Feed and temp fence panels....once used to eating there, you could contain....but why worry if it is not yours ? Here it is a headache if you have someone else's stock on your land....if you contain them it is even more of a headache..... we have laws about everything....

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by M.Magis » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:40 am

Find out who’s missing a calf and let them know where it is.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by cblucas3 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:30 am

Wow. Nevermind. I have tried are considered these. I made the choice to help this calf so I asked for advice on catching him. Not a life lesson or something so blatantly obvious. Wow.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by SBMF 2015 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:49 am

How big a calf are we talking about? Is it causing a problem?
Cattle go to cattle. Multiple times we have had cattle just show up in our pasture. Cattle are herd animals. They want to be part of a group. Is there a halter broke pet cow in the neighborhood that you could borrow? Stake it out in the open and feed it. The wild calf will come out and "group up" might take some time.
If it's not hurting anything, I wouldn't stress over it to much.
Never fear them, but ALWAYS respect them.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by kenny thomas » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:11 am

You say there are a few pastures around you. Good chance he goes back to one of those places each day and comes to your place to eat the grass each night. Leave it alone
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by farmerjan » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:13 pm

Agree totally with Kenny. If you see him at night, and not during the day, he is sneaking off from where ever "home " is , and coming for some good eating where no one else is. I'd let any neighbors closeby that there is a black calf showing up in your pasture at night so if they are missing one it might be in your field. Let them worry about it.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by cblucas3 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:48 pm

All incorrect. He stays in the woods and comes out at night. I assume to grass and there is a small pond which he seems to head toward at night. Also to everyone that read my post. I must apologize that worded it wrong about the owner. I meant that I don't know the owner but he gave up after several times trying. It started when 2 or 3 calves we're seen on my road. I was told about it but I hadn't seen any calf's at that time. The owner showed up on the road and I told him he was welcome to come on the property and look. I didn't see him after about his third day trying. All I know is he is not from around here. I sent him a message via someone that has his number about myself spotting the calf. I never seen any others. I did also contact the sheriff's non-emergency number in case this man had made some type 9f report. Anyhow I was told a few days later that the two messages I relayed were given to the owner and he just decided to give up. I don't know every detail. All I know is the calf is not from a pasture around here. He stays in the woods during the day. I've heard him crashing around in there. It's very difficult to walk in there with heavy low brush. In all my years here I can tell the sound is him. Deer are silent and are seen frequently Also racoons and such are small enough to not make noise. Funny thing, the deer are not as skittish as he is. Go figure.
Thanks SBMF 2015. I was thinking along the same lines.
Lastly, he's not causing a problem He is abandoned, and I simply want to help him out. I imagine he is terrified and lonely because they're "herd" animals. There is a fenced pasture across the street with about 4 cows of what breed I don't really know. I will talk to the owner. I have watched to see if he does indeed go there. So far he heads in the wrong way towards the pond. Also if he ever did go over there it is fenced in and close to a fairly busy road. I would imagine he would have tried but as skittish as he is the first vehicle would send him scampering. Not stressing about it. If nothing can be done without to much trouble then so be it. I would like to make at least an attempt hence my original post.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by Dsth » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:45 am

I commend you for trying to help this lost calf. It sounds like it is pretty skittish so I would think it has been on its own for some time and has adjusted its life style to remain that way. with no luck finding the owner, I would probably take grain out for it about the same time everyday so it hopefully falls into a daily routine. You could at least keep an eye out for it and monitor its health even if it is from a distance.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by WFfarm » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:41 am

You might be able to attract it into a pen with a salt lick. Cattle on grass will usually always be craving salt especially if it's roaming wild.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by M.Magis » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:20 pm

It's not going to live in one little woodlot. That may be where you see it, but it's going to move more than you think. In all likelihood, it'll end up back home or the closest herd that it can get to.

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Re: Abandoned Lost Calf

Post by farmerjan » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:20 pm

The salt lick would be a good idea to at least get it used to coming to the same spot. Also you might leave a little feed for it. It will get your smell, and maybe in time it will be less spooky. But I can tell you that some will go feral, and that they prefer it that way. If it is a heifer, then as it gets older, it will come in heat and go looking for a bull. If it is a bull, it might go across a fence into someone elses place looking for a cow or two to breed. If it stays that wild, then the best thing would be for someone that is a good shot, to take it down and put beef in your freezer.
Since you know some history behind it, then I would assume that the other 2 wound up in someone else's field and they were able to catch them.
Years ago we had 2 that disappeared and they were seen miles away a few weeks later. Went totally wild and were seen a few times and were headed further away and no one could get near to them to even herd them in with their own cattle. Finally they just disappeared. We figured someone either caught them and sold them, or they were killed. We gave up.

Had a group get loose at a pasture with a down tree out on to the power lines. All but one wound up in the neighbors a few weeks later. The one was seen a few times by people that rode horses along the trails through the power lines but never where we could find her to catch her. A year later had a different neighbor call and say he had a heifer in with his bulls that he thought might be ours. Sure enough it was. Wilder than a deer. Jumped out of the barn through an old window, but got back in with the bulls and they left her there until we got there with the trailer and we loaded her and a bull that turned around and came back off the trailer and we slammed the gate. Took her to the barn lot with good high fences and was ready to ship her to the sale the following week. But, she decided she liked being fed and settled right down like she'd been there all her life. She had 3 calves before coming up open again and getting sold.

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