NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: sad times - still born calf  (Read 2753 times)

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
sad times - still born calf
« on: March 02, 2016, 10:05:26 pm »
Hi folks,
Just in from delivering a still born calf from our Shetland Heifer. :'(
The heifer seems OK and we have left the dead calf with her, much sadness all round. :'( :'(
Any suggestions as to whether we leave her alone and remove the dead calf?
Do we try and find a foster calf from a dairy herd in the morning( and risk her not accepting it and introducing disease into our small herd)  or just let her dry herself off  naturally.
Any advice please.
Thanks
Voss Electric Fence

langfauld easycare

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2016, 11:13:46 pm »
 :bouquet: :-[ nothing worse . i usually get a foster if that happens but its from a local dairy herd i know well . is risky if from an unknown source . dont get much bother getting them to take especially heifers although dont know what shetlands are like.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 12:51:22 am »
So sorry to hear this.  :bouquet:   It breaks her heart too, so do get her a foster calf if you can.  Check the health status of the herd you're getting it from, of course.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 09:07:21 am »
Sorry to hear this  :'(

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 09:47:47 am »
Very sad, hope you find a baby for her.

Border Lady

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 10:07:04 am »
Thanks for all your support, Floss has passed the afterbirth overnight and it's complete and she eaten some hay but she is naturally depressed. Hubby off to speak to local farmer to see if he has a "spare" calf we could have for her to adopt. I just didn't expect this to happen but as Hubby says we need to concentrate on the living. Lambing due to start 14th March, hopefully that will be a happier time.  :hug:

Factotum

  • Joined Jun 2012
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 06:56:52 pm »
This happened to us with one of our heifers - the calf presented backwards with hind feet first, and despite our best efforts the calf died.

The heifer was very sad - and we managed to get her a steer calf (Ayrshire/Lim) from a small local dairy.

We jacketed the calf - my OH skinned the dead Shetland calf and we tied the hide onto the new Lim. We also rubbed him with some of the after birth.

Then the 'fun' began. Mum didnot like him, she kicked him away and eventually we tied them both up in a small pen and spent a few days getting her to stand still and him to suckle. It took about a week and eventually she seemed to realise that he was 'her' calf really and then everything was fine.

If you can get a replacement calf soon, and have a lot of patience then it will probably be OK. If you can't get a calf quickly, I would let her dry off, give her some TLC (extra carrots/treat), and try again next year.

Our heifer went on to have no problems with subsequent calvings, all healthy strong calves.

Take care.

Sue

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2016, 11:21:11 am »
In fairness, some heifers kick their own calves off at first; it must be a very strange feeling, when it's your first time!  Just cake her while you get the foster calf sucking, and support feeds several times a day until you see it suckling on its own, and/or it has a full tummy every time you see it.

It won't hurt to skin the dead calf and jacket the new one, but in truth, with a bereaved cow (or ewe), they'll usually take a foster after a day or two, jacketed or not.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Susannah

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Pencaitland
Re: sad times - still born calf
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 07:39:33 am »
So sad to read your heartbreaking news. How is the heifer doing?
Jacob sheep, Shetland cows, Pygmy goats, Chinese geese, Khaki Campbell ducks.

 

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