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Author Topic: Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...  (Read 2092 times)

violet

  • Joined Jul 2009
Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...
« on: November 09, 2014, 09:55:41 pm »
I'm chuffed with my buy at the mart yesterday. She's a Highland, a bit skinny and 17 - but for my first breeding cow just right for me, great temperament, in good health, etc.
I've only fattened bullocks before, so this is new to me - thank you for your patience :-)
So any suggestions what to feed her. Her calf is 5 months old, she's still feeding him and is expected to calf again in Spring - I think April/May, so she's about mid-term.
I want to fatten her up a bit, but I'm concerned that if I give her too much too soon that it may increase milk production or have some other affect I've not considered.
Thanks folks  :cow:
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landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2014, 10:57:53 pm »
First of all Violet, let me congratulate you on your purchase.
Highlands are so easy to keep, very placid and will raise a good calf on an average diet.
They actually have a digestive system which is 30% more efficient than that of the more improved breeds, and as a consequence they do not do any better if you try and force them.
So - you have a healthy but thin cow with a 5 month old calf. If it were me, I would give her good quality hay ad lib, a high energy feed block, and some roots. If you don't have access to roots, then a small amount of concentrates - say about 2lb a day. But to give a lot of concentrates really is a waste of time, as the one thing highlands excel at is their efficient conversion of fibre.
This probably will increase her milk production, but won't do the calf any harm. I leave my calves with their mother till she calves again and have always found they wean them naturally. But keep an eye on them and if the calf is still feeding at 9 months, then separate them and just feed the cow good hay and minerals for the last 3 months. That will be more than adequate for her, as the unborn calf grows most in the last few months, and you don't want it to grow too big.
You won't be able to increase her body score by much for this pregnancy, but will have to do it gradually by ensuring she has good hay or decent grazing throughout the year.       
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

violet

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 07:17:55 am »
That's great information landroverroy, thankyou.

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 08:05:21 am »
Bless her. I am glad she has a caring home in her old age :bouquet:

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 09:36:03 pm »
And by the way - they go on for ever do highlands!
So with a bit of tlc she might even produce you another another half dozen or so calves. :fc:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Feeding Elderly Cow in Calf with Calf at Foot ...
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 10:33:40 am »
Congrats, she has a very happy home. Still its a good age isn't it? 17 and still calving. :)
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

 

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