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farmer Liz

36 Posts


Posted - Oct 15 2014 :  12:48:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all, I just wanted to share our recent experience in case it helps people here.

We have a couple of small jersey cross dexter heifers from our house cows, which we are raising for meat. One of them was on heat and got into the neighbour's paddock and must have found the large angus bull because she didn't come in heat again. She is only 9 months old and even if she was older, would certainly have trouble delivering a large angus cross calf.

We went to our local vet and got a hormone injection called "prostaglandin", which causes the cow to reabsorb the developing feotus. I realise that this is not to everyone's taste, but the reality is that the heifer would have most likely died if we allowed the pregnancy to continue. About a week after we gave her the injection, she came back on heat and seems to have had no side-effects to the drug.

I wanted to share this because we learnt two important lessons:

1) make sure that young heifers on heat cannot get to a bull (and ours tend to come on heat as early as 6 months)

2) if you know that a young heifer has been mated and it likely to have difficulty calving, there is an option to use prostaglandin to end the pregnancy

I also wanted to add that there are options for spaying a heifer, which would eliminate this problem, but they look to me to be painful and unnecessary if we can keep them away from the bull.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

http://eight-acres.blogspot.com.au/

Self-sufficiency and Permaculture in Rural Australia

Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Oct 15 2014 :  04:32:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Never happened to me personally but we are surrounded by large cattle ranches with many cows where you hear of it often. Most of them never know and usually the animals go to term. They are mainly heavy breed beef cows out here.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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maryjane

6764 Posts


Posted - Oct 15 2014 :  05:34:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good advice, Liz. I've never had to do that yet, but I know it's an option. You made a wise choice. The injection is an option everyone should keep in mind when an accident happens.

As I understand it, typical AI protocol also uses an injection of prostaglandin for reabsorption of any unplanned, unknown fertilized "follicles" that may be present in order to make way for the follicle (fetus) you're trying to create through AI.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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kadebg1988

128 Posts


Posted - Oct 15 2014 :  11:13:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Quite funny this should come up in conversation. As a matter of fact this happened to me last year.
Story begins, we sold one mid size jersey heifer to a very sweet and kind family in Idaho, who wanted a single smaller jersey to provide them with milk. The heifer I sold them was 8 months old when they picked her up from our farm. we kept in very good contact as I wanted to see how she was doing. After about 4 months they e-mailed me saying

"Hello Kade,

I will be sending a couple of pictures of Blossom following this email from my iphone. We have a different computer and I don't know how to group the pictures together on this computer. The pictures were taken today and it is drizzling rain and snow. She is wet and starting to lose her winter coat so these are not the most flattering pictures of our beautiful cow ;-)

The reason I am sending them today is to tap into your expertise. Since we have not seen many miniature Jerseys and really cannot compare her body proportions to a regular size Jersey we just want to know if her weight/condition seems to be right for her age. The other thing we were wondering about is her udder. It seems to have just lately filled out more. Is this normal for a non-pregnant heifer her age?"

As well as sent me the pictures posted below.

Needless to say, I FLIPPED MY COOKIES,. No doubt in my mind, this heifer was pregnant and what else was that in order for her to be showing that much she had to have been bred at around 5 months old. I was SICK, I called them right away and said they needed to call their vet and have him come check her because I was for sure she was bred. This was their reply back.

"Hi Kade,

.....and the verdict is.....SHE IS PREGNANT!

The vet says it's hard to be exact on the date but probably a month or a little longer. He felt a little hoof. He said she is in good condition and doesn't foresee her size being a problem. He said early cycling is common with the miniatures.

If you think of anything we should know feel free to let us know. We will keep in touch. Now we can start getting excited:-)"

On March 27th Blossom calved a very sweet little heifer (Pictured Below) she was a dark cinnamon red and very well put together as she started to age she started turning very brindle. They offered her to us and we purchased her at weaning. We sent in a hair sample for verification of her sire and Yes it was the bull we thought it was, Our Brindle miniature jersey bull Bull Boaz who I also included a photo of. He is also the sire to our other cow Ella. Needless to say since this experience we DO not put the bulls in with our cows while they are nursing heifers, like we used to. WE Wean & Wait. I am just very fortunate that these folks had a good experience and not a bad one, some of us are not so lucky.


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kadebg1988

128 Posts


Posted - Oct 15 2014 :  11:18:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And yes the last picture is the heifer calf that was the result of a "Too Soon Breeding" in the same field as our mini bull Cassidy ( Pictured in the background) This photo was taken the day we arrived home from picking them up and we had just unloaded them. So in case you were going " Hey wait a minute he just said he separated his young heifers from his bulls.: We do we just hadn't done that yet, they were under full supervision for the whole 20 minutes they were together. ;-)
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farmlife

1413 Posts


Posted - Oct 17 2014 :  5:44:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of our bum beef calves we got this spring was the result of his mom being bred at 5 months and resulting in his birth via c-section as she wasn't big enough to give birth to him naturally. She was young, but he was really big, too. He was as big as our heifer calf and was almost 2 weeks younger than she was. The people we got him from just wanted to give their cow a chance to grow up and finish developing since she was only 14 months old. Plus he was our most enthusiastic eater. I'm not sure she could have kept up with him! It's good to know there are options out there for these kind of situations.

quote:
Originally posted by kadebg1988

And yes the last picture is the heifer calf that was the result of a "Too Soon Breeding" in the same field as our mini bull Cassidy ( Pictured in the background) This photo was taken the day we arrived home from picking them up and we had just unloaded them. So in case you were going " Hey wait a minute he just said he separated his young heifers from his bulls.: We do we just hadn't done that yet, they were under full supervision for the whole 20 minutes they were together. ;-)

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