Ken S - NEED HELP with calf (bonding on a new calf)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Ken, Thought I would ask for you since you raise cattle. We had a first time heifer lose her calf this morning and she was trying to steal the other calf born this morning. So we bought a jersey bull calf from some dairy farmers we know and skinned the dead calf and put it on the jersey. The heifer has accepted it and it is nursing. Do you know how long we need to keep the skin of the dead calf on it?
We wouldn't have probably tried this but she was insistent on taking the other calf.
-- beckie (email@example.com), January 03, 2001
I'm not Ken,and i'm sure he will answer you,but here's my 2 cents.We did that with a first freshener,but instead of using the hide we used the afterbirth.We put two calves on her(she was dairy)after she lost hers.It only took that first night,but we kept an eye on everyone.They did well.If she was that eager to steal a live calf from another mom you have a great mom who would probably accept anything!!!With or without caping....in the cow shed spirit.....moooooo teri
-- teri (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.
If she was already trying to adopt another calf there was probably no need to put the dead calfs hide on the new calf....she probably would have accepted him anyhow. I've had good success with just putting them both in a pen and letting them get acquainted. Instinct usually takes over. The cow might kick the calf away a time or two but generally will accept it. I'd say you can go ahead and take the skin off the new calf. I've never had a cow that wouldn't take a calf if a little patience was taken with her.
-- Amanda in Mo (email@example.com), January 03, 2001.
Thanks for the responses. We tried putting the calf in with her without the skin, but she wasn't really paying attention to him and booted him around pretty severely a time or two. That is when we decided to skin the dead one and as soon as we put the skin on the new calf, she took right to him and so far they are doing fine. Just wanted to know how long to leave the skin on him - I thought at least overnight and maybe a day or two, but didn't know.
-- beckie (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.
If this happens again, or to graft an extra calf onto the cow, use molasses on her nose and on the top of their tail area. Works great, everyone smells and tastes the same to her.
-- PLTaylor (email@example.com), January 03, 2001.
From what I've heard about sheep, once the baby is passing feces from the new mom, he smells right and you don't have to continue with the hide.
-- melina b. (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.
Agree with the above. You can probably take the skin off of the calf already, if she has accepted it.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (email@example.com), January 04, 2001.
Thanks for all of the answers. We went out this morning and the calf had lost his extra coat and the mommy was still taking care of him. His tummy was full, so he is eating well.
I will keep the molasses in mind though.
-- beckie (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 04, 2001.
I've had luck sprinkling baby powder on the new calf. Only had to do it for 2 or 3 days. This was even with the cow's own calf still alive and well. I kept them penned up together for a few weeks then turned them out together. Momma even brought the adopted calf back to the barn. Good luck.
-- Marlene Leiby (email@example.com), January 09, 2001.