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Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf
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cr39
Posted 2/18/2010 21:02 (#1081471)
Subject: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Northeast Kansas
Our heifers started calving almost a month ago, and it is going alright so far.

One heifer had a dead calf. The next day we bought a calf from a dairy, cut the hide off the dead calf, and put it on the live one. We also put O-NO-More calf claim powder on it. We turned it in with the cow, but the cow did not want it. So, for the past two weeks we have been putting the heifer in a stantion in the barn and letting the calf suck on her. At first the cow will kick the calf, but will then let the calf suck. We are feeding the heifer corn and hay while this is going on.

I just wondered what everyone else's experiences with orphan calves were. I'm pretty sure if we let the cow and calf out with the others it wouldn't work. I think I will give it another week, or else just bottle feed the calf.
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tc806
Posted 2/18/2010 21:15 (#1081499 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Casey IL. ( I -70 ) then south on rt.49
I have always found it easier to just bottle feed. After 30 days or so you should have it on feed. I have turn them out and bottle fed they will learn who and what you have for them. After will they will learn to rob. Bottle easier.
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wade4545
Posted 2/18/2010 21:30 (#1081535 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Stick with doin what your doin. We had one last year that took a month to finally let it suck out in the pen. Can be real frustrating after awhile....
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Joelt
Posted 2/18/2010 21:32 (#1081541 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


perryton, tx
There's more than a little luck involved. I had a calf last year that i tried to adopt on to two different cows who lost their calf. We did all of the same things you did but neither cow would take him. Then a friend of mine's dad had a cow with a stillborn calf and he suggested we try to get her to take my calf. We turned him in with her and he went right to sucking and she never made any attempt to kick him off. She ended up raising him all the way to weaning with basically no intervention from us. I cant explain it-kind of like hitting the lottery or something.
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Sidehill
Posted 2/18/2010 21:48 (#1081585 - in reply to #1081541)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Iowa
Some guys have good luck doing it others dont. I have a neighbor that says if the cow wont take it in a day, it never will. He used to have a cow that he could put any calf on and she would take it plus her calf. I cannot even get my cows to take both twins. Last year I had a cow that was lackign milk and a cow that had a still born on the same day so I pulled the dead calf over the live one, put clame on it, put them in a pin and all that cow wanted was out if the pin and to kick the calf when he went to try to suck. A few years ago I had a cow that had a calf in a snow storm so it took a few days to get the calf healthy enough to suck mom, by the time he was healthy she didnt allow him to suck. She was a good cow so we kept her, since she did have a calf and later that summer she had 4 calves getting extra milk off her.
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cne7430
Posted 2/18/2010 22:19 (#1081659 - in reply to #1081585)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


central NE
ropun does the trick most of the time for me
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bandrcattle
Posted 2/18/2010 22:34 (#1081690 - in reply to #1081659)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


south west ohio
yes ropun or ace is the trick
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play in the dirt
Posted 2/19/2010 00:33 (#1081879 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



south central IOWA
It could be hard for the heifer to get used to it since they sometimes don't know any better. Keep doing what you're doing.
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Rich
Posted 2/19/2010 04:35 (#1081929 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Kansas
I'm confused if your dealing with a heifer or a cow. It was mentioned above, Heifers don't know any better. Your having to teach a newbie the ropes. A cow on the other hand, some are just plain knotheads and will eventually get to a point they do give up and let the calf suck but they will not look for the calf or hunt it up. That calf will have to be a go getter to survive on that cow.

Another trick I have promoted with great personal success before is pancake syrup.

Water it down so you can spread it easier. Smear it all over the calf. Especially in places that the cow will usually clean and lick on such as the rectum, navel, face. Then smear it all over the cows nose, face, shove it down her mouth. So all she smells and tastes is that syrup.

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ahay68979
Posted 2/19/2010 08:44 (#1082077 - in reply to #1081929)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


Saronville NE
This will sound insane but we have had good luck with is take PB blaster (like a WD40 but has a really strong smell to it) spray it in the cows nose, then spray a healthy dose all over the calfs head and back, it has very rarely failed around here. Neighbor told me to try it, seems to work.
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John SD
Posted 2/19/2010 08:51 (#1082086 - in reply to #1082077)
Subject: LOL! ahay......



PB works a lot better than WD for the intended purpose. I guess it stands to reason that it would work better for other "off label" uses too! One thing I really like about PB over WD is that you don't need a straw on the spray can to get it to spray where you want it. The WD straw is always getting knocked off or lost.

I can just see a guy tryin' to find the WD straw to spray a cow's nose, and about that time gets run over by the mad cow! Hee hee hee!
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d4dave1
Posted 2/19/2010 10:35 (#1082232 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Edson, Alberta, Canada

We have used molasses dribbled on the calf's rear end where a cow normally licks and have even dumped some rolled oats on it as well. This gets a reluctant cow or a dummy heifer doing the right thing with their tongue and makes them look forward to seeing that calf. Whether you tie the cow/heifer or put them in a stanchion is your choice. A person can also hock tie them with a rope above the hock so when they go to kick it bites them just as hard. If you have a GOOD stock dog it also helps to have them barking and growling at the cow when she is just about finished feeding the calf. It fires up the "maternal instincts" but you have to have a dog that listens well and stops when told to stop.
 We have gone as long as a month getting a cow to take a calf then out of sheer frustration I turned them both out as the calf would come when called anyways. As soon as that cow saw that calf running across the pasture to join the rest of the herd then disappear into that herd she got all hot and bothered and was bawling her face off looking for the calf. A short time later she was feeding him all on her own and I was cursing her under my breath.
 We also got lucky back in the 80's and bought a young Holstein calf that we raised by hand. She grew up and the kids wanted to keep her so she ended up being a beef cow....lol. Turned out she would feed any calf that came near her and we kept her for about 15 years. She made life on the farm a lot easier. If I had to do it again I would pick up some bummer Holstein calves and see if I could find another "super-mom".
Regards,
Dave

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Joelt
Posted 2/19/2010 11:32 (#1082311 - in reply to #1082232)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


perryton, tx
Just out of curiosity how did you keep the holstein ready to give milk if she was needed? Sounds like a great idea but i dont know anything about holsteins.
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John In Ontario
Posted 2/19/2010 12:04 (#1082344 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



Ripley, Ontario Canada
I have done this several times, only lost about 3 times, it sometimes takes a month. First in chute 2x a day (less hassle and kicking) then sometimes tied in pen, then in corner of pen with me standing there (sometimes with stick) then me watching over the manger, then in the fall the stupid cow will bawl for the calf when I wean them just like all the others...........
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jfg5
Posted 2/19/2010 12:24 (#1082358 - in reply to #1081929)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


This same idea was the subject of an early Leave it to Beaver episode involving a rabbit. Man, everything you need to know about living you can find on that show.
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Galaxie64
Posted 2/19/2010 14:50 (#1082538 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


SCWY
Strange we have never had a heifer not take another calf they are too dumb to know any better. Worst case we use some of the powder stuff on the back or just ropun the cow. You are more patient than we if she doesn't take it in a few days she gets sold, but we also don't buy calves for them either.
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NEIndiana
Posted 2/19/2010 16:38 (#1082671 - in reply to #1082538)
Subject: What is ropun? (nt)


.
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hot2plant
Posted 2/19/2010 18:43 (#1082836 - in reply to #1082671)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



tranquilizer
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hot2plant
Posted 2/19/2010 18:44 (#1082838 - in reply to #1082836)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



But use the right dose had a cow sleep for 8 hours one time
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Roy@ranch
Posted 2/19/2010 22:06 (#1083240 - in reply to #1082838)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


North Cental Mo.
There is a reversal for it.

Roy
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blr
Posted 2/19/2010 23:33 (#1083418 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


southern saskatchewan
Lost a calf once and the next day a neighbour was over and wanted to get rid of a calf. So he brought it over but the calf was sick and stunk. The cow would have nothing to do with that calf. A couple days later she stole a twin from the pen she was in. After that if they aren't real healthy we just bottle feed till there older also.
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rocknkcattleinc
Posted 2/20/2010 10:55 (#1083891 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


NW Iowa
I've had good luck with baby powder, put them in a pen together for a while, and just dust the heck out of the calf and the front half of the cow, it's all the cow can smell. After a day or so of the calf getting that cows milk they say changes the sent of the calf $hit, then the cow will start to claim it. This has worked for me alot.
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JRthefarmer
Posted 2/21/2010 12:34 (#1085653 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



SESD
The best luck I have is to first of all don't let the cow figure out here calf is dead. If she realizes that, it is darn near impossible. I try to keep the orphan and the cow separate until I'm sure the cow will accept it. I take the hide from the dead one and will open a door and hold the calf in the opening allowing the cow to only smell the old hide. Gradually I will let the cow get more scent of the orphan. I will always get the cow in the calving pen at first until it accepts the calf, this way you limit the orphan scent to the cow and she gets used to letting a newborn suck. Afterwards, get the cow out, hold the calf on the outside of the fence and maybe try to let her smell the old hide on the calf a little as this lets her think her calf is alive and kicking. Then keep them separate till next feeding. Also, by keeping them separate they will bellar for eachother, which is a good sign also.

3 years ago I had a heifer lose one and worked and worked with her. She would let the calf suck in the open pen as long as I was there with her. Finally I decided to leave them together overnight. WHOOPS, she had kicked the calf to death by morning, or I'm guessing by all the hair missing on his neck and head. Funny think is I still have the cow, even though it doesn't take much for her to set me off after that.
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Big Square
Posted 2/21/2010 13:31 (#1085758 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: RE: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf


Eastern Half of Kansas
You did everything I would have done, continue with the heifer til the calf has enough drive to fight for it on the heifer and then turn out.
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kholman
Posted 2/24/2010 12:28 (#1091342 - in reply to #1081471)
Subject: Re: Getting a cow to claim an orphan calf



We've had nearly 100% success using Original Mink Oil for last 10 yrs or so. Keeps your mitts in good condition too when you rub it on the calf.
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