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Morning, with Angry Cows

Nov
15

I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a dinosaur outside. Then I realized it was BP.

By daylight, Glory Bee was bawling along with her. I was about scared to go out and milk BP! But no way am I taking Glory Bee out of the goat yard. I’m tired of chasing her down. Of course, I don’t have her in hand in the goat yard, either. She’s still running around with the lead hanging from her collar. I’m waiting for her to go into the goat pen at some point where I can catch her.

Glory Bee: “I want my mommy.”

“Can’t I please have my mommy?”

“I WANT MY MOMMY NOW!”

BP: “I want my baby.”

“Can’t I please have my baby?”

“I WANT MY BABY NOW!”

I’d give her baby back to BP if I could. They could be like two wild things, wandering the woods together, like a mother deer with her fawn. They would be so happy! It’s West Virginia–there’s lots to eat! Except it’s almost winter and there’s not so much to eat and you have to be able to handle a milk cow….

Here’s what the hullabaloo sounds like:




Play that all day long without stopping and that’s what it’s like here. Progress so far today: Zero. Glory Bee won’t drink milk out of the bucket. And I haven’t caught her yet. I can’t even try to tie her up until I catch her…. How long does she need milk? (She was born September 13.) She’s got to be HUNGRY now. I did see her eat a little bit of hay this morning and drink out of the water bucket.

UPDATE: I have now captured her in the goat pen.

She’s eating hay.

And mooing.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on November 15, 2010  

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  1. 11-15
    12:46
    pm

    Good lord, BP sounds like a grizzly bear! I’d have been nervous about going out there too!

  2. 11-15
    12:52
    pm

    Oh gosh, that’s so sad and kind of scary. They both look besides themselves. :cry: GB wouldn’t starve herself, would she? Yikes. Maybe, as some suggested on another post…try to get a 4-H’er in your area to come work with her? And how about the neighbor – the guy who came over to figure out the sex of GB?

  3. 11-15
    12:57
    pm

    Can you not bring BP to GB? We don’t have milk cows, so I don’t get the reason behind the whole separating them between milkings thing, seems to me the calf needs food all the time. I figure you have been advised by knowing people. Our beef calves stay with the cows on grass pasture for about six months. Then we wean them by either moving them out of the line of sight from each other or selling the calves.

  4. 11-15
    1:11
    pm

    My goodness we are not “happy campers” at all!!!
    I think I’d wear earplugs today.
    Why the foaming at the mouth for BP? Is it because she’s so vocal? :moo:

  5. 11-15
    1:11
    pm

    Susan,
    This is how we trained calves to drink milk out of a bucket…Well, first you have to catch the calf, then back them into a corner and hold them there with their head between your legs. Then stick two fingers in their mouth with a little space between them and plunge their nose into the milk. They usually suck when the fingers are in their mouth and will suck up the milk. Soon GB will be enjoying a bucket of milk by herself.
    Jane in Kansas who was raised on a farm. :moo:

  6. 11-15
    1:14
    pm

    Do you think that BP is in season?? Cows can get a little crazy when they are…..she maybe wants a guy….are there any guy cows around your area? If you just let GB out to go to BP could you grab the lead while she is drinking off her Mom and regain control again? I spent many years and brain cells trying to figure out and control animals, it is such a challenge. Good Luck…how could such a cutie be such a stinker!!

  7. 11-15
    1:19
    pm

    Oh my goodness! This would be hard for me to take, they look so sad, I know you have to do this, but very hard for for Mama and baby. Don’t know if I could take it, I was the Mama that let my last child sleep in our bed until he was FIVE! I know shame on me!

  8. 11-15
    1:23
    pm

    She wasn’t really foaming at the mouth–she had just been drinking out of her water bucket.

  9. 11-15
    1:32
    pm

    OMG! And I thought weaning LAMBS was bad!!!

    :sheep:

    Poor, poor girls. (that includes YOU)

  10. 11-15
    1:36
    pm

    I figure it’s like being a parent: sometimes you have to be firm, even though they hate it and hate you, and you hate to have them hating it. Just remember it’s for their own good in the long run. You need to have Glory Bee become tame enough to milk one day, if she’s going to pull her weight on the farm. It seems likely to me that if she’s hungry she’ll be more receptive to switching to having you provide her food.

    So, did BP let down her milk this morning? Was some of that bellowing because she was getting uncomfortable, or was it all about wanting GB?

  11. 11-15
    1:38
    pm

    She let down her milk this morning. She is still bellowing, after being milked, so I don’t think that was it…..!

  12. 11-15
    1:40
    pm

    We bottle feed and wean bottle calves over a six week period all the time, so technically she is old enough to wean if necessary. She should be started on some high quality calf starter dry feed though if she is going to be without her mommy.

  13. 11-15
    1:58
    pm

    If you look at nature – calves need milk for six to nine months before their mother’s wean them. You CAN wean them at 8 weeks, but you’re not going to get the best cow you could ever have, especially if you want her to be a long-lived, good producing house cow. If you can’t control the calf, try taking the cow to the calf. I’ve trained calves to the bottle before at a few days old and even that was tricky sometimes – I couldn’t imagine trying to do it with a ‘headstrong’ one at two months old! Good luck, whatever you do!

  14. 11-15
    2:06
    pm

    The bawling will last as long as they want. If you put them together again it will be worse the next time you try to seperate them. No matter when you seperate them this is something that has to be endured. If Glory Bee is drinking from the water bucket (bet she learned it from watching BP and the goats) she will be fine as far as not dehydrating. She truly does need some calf starter though to make up for the milk nutrients. I don’t remember the recommended length of time to feed starter, it should say on the bag. If she will go to the water bucket, give her a milk bucket and let her discover it. This time of year the milk will not spoil quickly, don’t know if the goats will get into the bucket, cats, dogs and pigs will. Right now she wants to return to mom’s pasture, you stand in her way. You put her in with the goats. You are not her friend. Sounds so grade schoolish doesn’t it. You have to wait out the commotion, if Glory Bee has figured out how to drink and eat without BP then she will be okay. I figured when you posted about GB slipping under the fence and range far away from BP that you were in for quite the battle in taming her. I never had much to do with Jerseys other than an occasional holding of one in the showring as a favor or helping roundup an escaped heifer at the fair (man can they run and jump). But Brown Swiss I grew up with and they can be stubborn to the bone. They are great cows, strong, prone to good health and longitivity (sp), they take severe heat and cold well, and once you make peace with them they are really a people friendly cow. Because GB was with her mother for 2 months and not a bottle baby, you are going to have to work harder to gain her trust. Until the bawling stops I would just let her drag her rope around, keep and eye on her to make sure she doesn’t catch herself on something, but if she does at least you can get ahold of her, and that she continues to eat and drink on her own. You just have to tough it out. Oh and if you don’t have one already, invest in a stiff bristle grooming brush. Both of them will enjoy a good brushing with a stiff bristle brush as it gets down in the hair and drags that itchy stuff out that is hard for a cow to lick out of her coat

    Good luck and my deepest sympathies on the constant mooing.

  15. 11-15
    2:27
    pm

    For such a pretty little thing, GB is rather…LOUD.
    Mama does sound a bit scary.

  16. 11-15
    2:34
    pm

    My first thought was that BP must be in heat. But, I know absolutely nothing about cows.

  17. 11-15
    2:48
    pm

    Some day, years from now, you and BP and GB will be sitting on the porch, overlooking the goat yard, and saying, “Remember when GB bellowed all day for Mommy?” Then you’ll all have a good laugh and you will have forgotten all the bruises you got from GB. …or not!

  18. 11-15
    2:58
    pm

    First of all, do you have a place to put her where she’s away from other animals until she learns to drink her milk and eat her calf starter like a good girl? Otherwise I’m afraid the other animals will develop a liking to her food and possibly keep her away from it or even prevent her from developing a taste for it.
    Once you have such a place set up, you might consider letting your son and his teammates know that you have a calf that needs catching and that you have a slice of home made pie or something for them all and maybe 10$ for the one who catches her. They’re used to flinging themselves onto the ground and other people pretty hard, so a few knocks shouldn’t bother them much, right? And they do have the protective equipment for it if they should choose to use it. I would recommend that they don’t tackle GB herself and just aim for her rope, otherwise they might scare her off people for life.
    Anyway, where I grew up the offer of free food and a little bit of cash would bring the farm kids out in droves, and if it was good enough some of them would keep coming back hoping to trade work for more free food LOL

  19. 11-15
    3:03
    pm

    My guess is also that she is in heat…prepare yourself, you will get this every 20/21 days until you have her bred again.
    Check her “behind” the next couple of days, she might draw a little blood..then you know for sure.

  20. 11-15
    3:30
    pm

    Susan, if you aren’t going to turn the cow in to the calf to nurse at least once a day, I would definitely buy a high quality calf starter grain, 18 to 16% protein. Once she is eating at least 2 lbs. a day she doesn’t have to have the milk…..of course that means you have to milk BP twice a day, 7 days a week or her production will drop like a rock. She should have free access to good quality grass hay too.

    It would simplify things (your life!) if you could divide a separate pen for GB so the goats won’t get her grain. I think she will also need shelter for this winter. Maybe a hot wire??

    Hang in there. I got my full amount of cream from yesterday’s milking without sharing! A first.

    BP should come in heat every 18-22 days (average) and since you don’t have other cows to ride her, her bellowing may be the only thing you will see. Watch for the tiny bit of blood a day or so after. Then write it on the calendar and watch for the next heat. She can be bred on the her second heat for next year’s calf.
    How are you arranging that? Life gets complicated with animals…….

  21. 11-15
    3:49
    pm

    There is a dairy farm with about 50-60 Jerseys within a couple of miles of my house, and when they wean their calves, my goodness, it makes a tremendous racket, even 2 miles away :moo: :shocked: !!

  22. 11-15
    3:58
    pm

    Goodness! That last moo of BP’s startled me! I don’t know whether she wants her baby or bullish good time but she doesn’t sound happy.

  23. 11-15
    4:09
    pm

    Just curious, why do they have to be separated at all?

  24. 11-15
    5:12
    pm

    My goodness, Suzanne, I really feel for ya girl! You’ve been so busy with all the posts today, and having to feed all the animals, feed your kids and yourself and be worried about that little ball of fire and her mama too! I’m worn out just reading…. :hug:

  25. 11-15
    5:27
    pm

    Oh Bless your heart. Hang in there – pleeze – for us!! It’s all just too funny.

  26. 11-15
    5:36
    pm

    I agree with Sandy (#3). Glory Bee needs milk. ‘Throwback from Trapper Creek’ gave an excellent explanation a few weeks ago about why calves should not be taken off milk and put on grain too soon. It affects their later health she says. She was still feeding her calf born this summer (mother died) four times a day this month.

  27. 11-15
    7:02
    pm

    :woof: You are doing good. Proud of you for sticking to it. Gosh, they are loud. I had forgotten what a full grown bellow sounds like. I was sitting here chuckling at the video when eldest son walked in to BP mooing…the look on his face was pricelss. LOL. :heart:

  28. 11-15
    7:13
    pm

    You have to love cows! We had one milk cow. We kept her calf in a separate pen. In the morning, the milk cow (Dollie) would come up to the milking stall for her breakfast. We would tie her in the stall then let the calf in to get first dibs on the milk. After a few minutes of nursing, we would tie the calf off, wash the udder, milk the cow and usually get almost 2 buckets full. We would then let the calf finish her off and take the calf back out to the pen. The cow was checked out and sometimes even brushed then let out into the pasture for grazing or eating hay. We always had lots of milk from this cow even when she surprised us with twins one year, Honey and Bunny! Good luck with your cow and calf! (Hopefully, my memory hasn’t gotten to fuzzy on the above?)

  29. 11-15
    8:06
    pm

    I just wanted to let you know my two year got the biggest kick out of that video. When it was over he looked at me and said “mama I want cow!” I laughed so hard!!

  30. 11-15
    8:33
    pm

    Boy oh boy do you have MAD COWS! Good luck in your taining them…

  31. 11-15
    11:02
    pm

    Oh, I laughed so hard listening to those fiesty monsters! And I still want a couple! Silly cows :cowsleep:

  32. 11-16
    6:38
    am

    I am impressed, and very sorry you have to listen to them. It does get better though!! Just remember it is your farm and your cows, I am sure most people reading this dont have a clue, and they leaving a calf on the mother for 6 months is rubbish, feed her in a bucket or bottle, she will get more and more rough as she goes and all that bumping and pushing can cause mastitis. She needs milk but not necessarily from her mother. Cripes we wean puppies and I bet most of the naysayers probably put their kids on formula at an early age!! lol, I have jerseys, one of which was a welfare case from a large dairy, I am not even sure she got colostrum, but I gave her goats milk for months before I got her up to weight and over her sickness, have fun, they are wonderful animals!

  33. 11-16
    7:08
    am

    BP is in heat. The calf should have milk daily, as long as possible. In the homestead situation, up to six months is not unheard of. The sucking is good for baby, either on mommy, or a pail with a nipple. Does Glory Bee have access to water? When we first started milking, we used to put cow and calf together after the morning milking and seperated them at night. Milking once a day = happy farmer. Happy calf too!

  34. 11-16
    9:00
    am

    They’ll cry and carry on then they’ll both get over it. GB is fine, if she’s drinking water from a bucket, she’ll drink milk too, as well as calf replacer if need be. Weaning them from each other is noisy and stressful for them and you, but every farmer knows it’s necessary.

    Someone mentioned a brush, and that’s a good idea. Part of BP licking Glory Bee is that the tactile rubbing and scratching is part of their closeness. You brushing her with a bristle brush when you finally get her tied up will be a reassurance and a pleasure for her. You don’t ever want her to get in the habit of head butting you, from just leading her around at this age you can see how that can be a huge problem. But a scratchy massage with a bristle brush is a fine reward for her eventually.

  35. 11-16
    9:35
    am

    For me it would be all about the money. Milk replacer costs money. Cow milk is free and provides nutrients that hay and water don’t. Sharing creates good manners. :D

  36. 11-16
    12:29
    pm

    That’s a lotta noise from one little cow.

  37. 11-16
    4:06
    pm

    I thought I really wanted a cow…Now Im thinking Im stickin with goats!

  38. 11-17
    4:50
    am

    Found this picture online on a different blog, thought of Glory Bee,

    http://matronofhusbandry.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/100_9776.jpg

  39. 11-17
    9:33
    am

    Agreed with all the helpful cow-farmer tips. My husband lets our angus calves nurse till they are about 8-10 months old. They dont NEED milk that long, but it’s good for them. They NEED milk till they’re about 3-4ish months old for sure. They dont have the bacteria in their tummies to digest grass, grain, hay, etc. The bellowing will go on till they lose their voices. Just tough it out. And try the bucket training, and try it with warm milk. GB is used to warm Mommy milk, she doesnt want cold yucky stuff. Once shes bucket trained you can give her cold milk.

  40. 11-17
    10:09
    am

    Suzanne, if you do not own a copy of “Keeping a Family Cow” by Joann Sills Grohman; GET IT! It happens to be my FAVORITE book on the subject. When my copy arrived, seven years ago, I SLEPT with it for a month straight. I couldn’t get enough of it! The author’s British accent just oozes from every sentence. And not to fail to mention, it is FULL of indispensible advice. It is THE rare book that no Jersey-lover should be without!

  41. 12-16
    4:56
    pm

    we have a herd of cattle. They calve in March, and we wean the calves in November, so that’s about 8 months. By then the calves are grazing anyway. We turn the cows out into the cornfield away from the calves. The bawling goes on for at least 2 full days, and then everyone gets over it and moves on with their lives. We put the calves on hay and grain too. Sounds like your calf is too young to wean just yet.
    Suzanne

  42. 12-26
    7:35
    pm

    Suzanne, I was showing my 2 yr old (well almost 2) your animals and showed him this video. We’ve watched it four times now, he keeps mooing with your beauties. then he says “all done, more moo mommy?”

  43. 4-17
    3:54
    pm

    I grew up on a dairy farm (we had Holsteins) and oh, I remember this well. It always broke my heart. My father would separate the cows and calves almost immediately. He would milk the cow and feed the calf the colostrum, until it was gone. And then that new baby (if it was a female) was moved to another farm and raised by the farmer until she was ready to be bred. Dad sold the male calves – he used artificial insemination.

    I always wondered why he separated them immediately – it seemed so cruel. But maybe it doesn’t matter when they are separated, if they grieve whenever it happens.

    I wonder when cows on the range wean their calves? Perhaps I should look this up!

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