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Author Topic: heifer not bagging up  (Read 3835 times)

pointer

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Hebrides
heifer not bagging up
« on: December 20, 2016, 11:56:34 am »
I have a shorthorn heifer due to calf in about 8 weeks. But I'm a bit concerned that there's not the slightest sign of her starting to grow an udder - other beasts with the bull at the same time are starting to bag up. She's outside on average silage and lick bucket only. Could this be due to insufficient nutrition, so needs supplementing with blend? Or more likely that she's empty? - was PD'd in-calf by vet by rectal palpation, not scan. Or nothing to be concerned about yet? thanks

PS - I have also posted this query elsewhere, but I wouldn't want to miss the unique expertise available here!

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2016, 12:22:21 pm »
We pd'd all the cows back at the end of October- 3 have calved this week but they had no udder when they were pd'd which was 7 weeks ago. Maiden heifers quite often develop an udder after they have calved too and won't bag up much until a couple of days before.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2016, 01:27:27 pm »
Relax and wait and see , all animals are different , if you start giving extra feed now you may end up with calving problems . you don't say what condition score she is ?     Did the vet say from foetus size when she would calve , could be up to a month out , as its  just a best guess .  :cow:

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2016, 05:45:38 pm »
I agree with the others.... 8 weeks is plenty of time in which she will start to bag up :) Ours sometimes don't start until a couple of weeks before calving, like I say every animal is different. It may be worthwhile to condition score her though just in case. All the best and do let us know how you get on? :thumbsup:
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.

pointer

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Hebrides
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2016, 11:56:07 pm »
I'm not an expert on condition scoring, I'd have her about 2 / 2.5 at a guess. When I say she's not bagging up, I don't just mean that her udder isn't filling. I mean she's nearly 3 years old, only 8 weeks away from her first calf and she has no more udder than she had at 6 months - I have to bend down to even see that she has teats!
The date is based on when I think she was served, although I didn't actually witness the deed being done. When the vet PD'd in September he thought it seemed a reasonable stab. The theoretical latest date for calving would be 11 weeks time.
Thanks for advice so far.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, 10:15:15 am »
You're clearly concerned - would it be worth getting the vet back to double check?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 10:50:49 am »
Could always get the vet back to check but I'd be tempted to leave her for another 4-6 weeks and re evaluate then... she's a maiden heifer she could quite possibly draw up a week before the calf and let her milk down properly once it's come.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 04:02:09 pm »
 I would assume that a heifer that is showing absolutely no sign of bagging up, to the extent that you can barely see her teats, is not pregnant.
 I have always found that with first time calvers you can clearly see some sort of udder development after about 5 months of pregnancy.
 However - you can never say never! There would seem little point in paying for the vet to come back. I would keep an eye on her as if she is pregnant then you will definitely see some udder, even if just a day or 2 before she calves, and you will notice that her vulva swells considerably a short time before as well. Watch for these signs with the others before they calve and then you will know what to look for. But basically - don't worry!
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

pointer

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Hebrides
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2016, 06:38:10 pm »
Thanks folks. So from what you're saying, it wouldn't be nutrition related? ie, not enough protein in her diet to grow an udder?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 11:28:31 pm »
 Highly unlikely to be nutrition related as the others are bagging up ok. An adult cow can obtain sufficient protein from reasonable silage, and unless she is absolutely immaciated  can produce enough milk "off her back".
 But, as mentioned earlier, even in the (unlikely) event that it is nutrition related, the last thing you want to do is to greatly increase the protein in the later stages of pregnancy as it will all go into the calf and you'll then end up with calving problems. If you feel she needs more to eat then give her a bit of barley as well, and make sure she's not getting pushed out by the others.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

pointer

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Hebrides
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2017, 11:27:33 am »
Thought I'd update on this. In the last fortnight the heifer has clearly started bagging up, so must indeed be in calf, though it's still not very developed considering the stage she's at. I also thought that her 25% dairy genetics would have had the udder more developed by now. If she only caught the bull just before he was taken out then she'd be due to calve in 3 weeks' time, so I'm working to that.
thanks again for all advice received.

pointer

  • Joined Feb 2015
  • Hebrides
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2017, 03:12:37 pm »
just to complete the story - large bull calf born earlier today! She needed a bit of assistance but both now doing well. Udder really filled a lot in the last couple of weeks, though still quite neat.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2017, 03:43:17 pm »
Brilliant news!  Thanks for letting us know.

Pictures are always welcome, y'know ;)  :)
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: heifer not bagging up
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 07:05:50 pm »
Congratulations! :hugcow:

 

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