2nd calf heifer with no milk

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Sd1030
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2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Sd1030 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:54 pm

Been awhie since ive posted asking for thoughts, but i have a young cow that calved her second calf this week and she had no milk. Heres a little history on this cow, last year i had to pull her calf and it was dead once i found her and got it pulled. A friend had a orphan calf that we grafted onto her and she raised if fine. She took the calf with very little work at all and had plenty of milk. Since she did well with that calf i decided to give her another try, and now i got a calf im having to bottle feed. My question is what could possibly cause her to not have milk? I could be wrong but i dont think it’s nutritional because she seems to be in good body condition. Currently im strip grazing my cattle on fescue based pasture, feeding a little hay, and keep free choice minerals out. I know i could give her a shot of oxytin(spelling) to see if shell come to her milk, but ive been told it could causs her to throw her uterus, so im reluctant to do that. Shes most definitely on my cull list at this point, but im just curious at what could cause this. Has anyone else experienced this in the past? Any suggestions on what i could possibly do besides the shot to see if her milk will come?
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby TCRanch » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:49 pm

Have you stripped her teats, checked for any signs of mastitis?
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Sd1030 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:00 pm

When you say stripped her teats im assuming your referring to trying to milking her by hand. If thats what your meaning, yes i have tried and i got no milk. No signs of mastitis that i can tell. If that isnt what you were meaning, could you explain yourself so i can learn something new.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Silver » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:11 pm

Never heard of oxytocin causing a prolapse, in fact it should be the opposite as it helps shrink the uterus. But giving it only helps let the milk down if she has any, it won't create it, and if the calf has been nursing she would have let her milk down by now. I would bet if you supplement the calf for awhile (don't fill him up or he won't work on her) that she will come to her milk. She raised a calf last year, so if she's healthy there's no reason for her not to do it again.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby turklilley » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:18 pm

She's dried up. If she hasn't been fresh herself she's dry.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby TCRanch » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:20 pm

Sd1030 wrote:When you say stripped her teats im assuming your referring to trying to milking her by hand. If thats what your meaning, yes i have tried and i got no milk. No signs of mastitis that i can tell. If that isnt what you were meaning, could you explain yourself so i can learn something new.

That's basically what I meant. Checking to make sure the teats weren't plugged, milk wasn't watery or clumpy/yellow. I've also used a teat cannula with actually better success than just milking by hand. Side note: make darn sure her teats are clean before inserting a properly sanitized cannula. That said, the only time I've had a milk production problem is because of mastitis; since you've checked/ruled that out I hope someone else can help and sending good luck!
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby talltimber » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:40 pm

I've had cows be a little light on milk before right after calving. I have given the calf a bottle, to keep it going, but left hungry enough to beat the cow up some. Get them up and feed her a while and see. The ones I have had do that always came to milk after a week or so maybe, sometimes not that long. The calf will tell you when he's getting some because he won't want the bottle as much. My cows wasn't in bad condition either. They're gone now.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby farmerjan » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:44 pm

Not to be a wise guy, but are you sure it is her calf? Sometimes a cow will claim a calf that is not hers.....Anyone else have a calf that maybe had twins? Was she due about now so within the general time frame? I am no fan of fescue, but have never heard of it causing an animal to not come into their milk.
Oxytocin will not cause them to prolapse, but as stated it will not bring her into milk but help with the letdown. A shot won't hurt her if you want to try it. We had a sow one time that the vet said to use oxytocin on and after 5 days she came into her milk; don't guess a few times would hurt.
I'd bottle feed the calf, leave it with her and see if she comes into her milk. If you are sure it is her calf.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Sd1030 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:00 pm

Thanks for all the input. I thought about it and i should have mentioned i think this calf is about 20 days early, going of my records from when i saw the cow in heat last year. With that being said could that possibly be part of the reason she has no milk? Ive talked with a friend and weve talked about what could cause this as far as early calving and being dry and they mentioned lepto, as a possible cause. I wasnt expecting this cow to calf this soon and found the calf one morning after work. The calf wasnt very active and when i checked again that afternoon i felt the calf needed a bottle. Well to make a long story short we had to tube the calf for 2 days and have just recently got it to nurse a bottle. Weve got it in a barn under a heat lamp, separated from mom right now, because of nasty wet weather conditions. Hoping to get the two back together soon. Been a major learning curve for me, and I appreciate all the input.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Sd1030 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:03 pm

Farmerjan i guess its a small chance it could be another cows calf, but im pretty positive its her. Hadnt really thought of that, thanks for mentioning that.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Sd1030 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:16 pm

Also let me clarify the barn i have the calf in isnt setup for me to put the cow in with the calf. I do have the cow up feeding her and hopefully ill be able to get the 2 back together this week and see what happens. Looking like ive got a bottle baby as of now though.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Silver » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:48 pm

If that calf is 20 days early it's hair will be short and kinda felt-like, and it's teeth will be hardly through. It will be obvious.

Edited to add: If she is 20 days early it would explain the milk shortage
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby talltimber » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:01 pm

I'm assuming you are trying to milk the cow some with her being separated from the calf? LIke every day, at least. I think that the stimulation of that calf beating her for something to eat will help the cause too?
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:42 pm

If the cow is low on milk production, it won't take very many days til she completely dries up without the calf pumping on her. A 3 -year old is usually in the worse BCS of any cow in the herd.
IF, she is 20 days early, yes that would explain her not coming to her milk, but, a calf sucking her should bring her into her production - if she has proper body condition.
Not her calf would also explain no milk. Arm her & see if she is pregnant.
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Re: 2nd calf heifer with no milk

Postby Sd1030 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:27 am

Update: after working with the cow some (trying to milk her) the cow has come to some milk. Working with getting the calf strong enough to nurse as it has been pretty sick( pneumonia i think) but things are improving day by day. Hopefully things will be better in a few more days. Heres something ill ask to see if any have experienced this, in the early attempts of milking the mama, the only thing that would come out was a clearish gel like substance that had a orangish color to it. A good friend thats been fooling with cattle for 30 plus years said its the first time she has every seen that. We called and spoke to a vet and he says it sounds like a fescue issue to him. Says thats classic to what fescue can do in horses. Yesterday she had milk though and we tried to assist the calf in nursing her and also milked her once the calf give out. So hopefully things are headed in the right direction. Strangest thing i think ive seen though.
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