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Blind calf - what should he do with her

  • 13-05-2023 8:25am
    Registered Users Posts: 1,092 ✭✭✭

    Asking for my neighbour:

    Jan born suckler heifer calf, would have been a beautiful cow, as she's CH x our of Limo showing roan from mother who has a bit of SH in her. Maybe 160 to 180kg.

    Went suddenly fully blind, vet thinks maybe ran into a wall racing around inside. No improvement expected.

    Is there any sort of a market for her, - she'll be a nuisance inside and eat too much to stay and be finished and he's not a finisher anyway - a man with 3 young children and full-time job.

    Any ideas of a job for her or what he should take for her.

    A small field would be ideal but other cattle will annoy her there and again - feeding ration constantly if she's to be finished young.

    Would any butcher take her?

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”


  • Registered Users Posts: 485 ✭✭Silverdream

    No economic options other than the knackery.

    Other options depends on circumstances but a large field with strong boundary and water trough that would support a couple of cattle for the Summer. She'll be able to graze away and will learn the layout of the field. By the End of the Summer You could then have the option of housing her and feeding on for a few months to butcher her for the house.

    Had a cow that went blind on me before and it was pure hassle. She was surprisingly able to potter about but was always unable to keep up with the herd. Ended up selling her for €100 to a factory agent as She couldn't go through the mart.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,720 ✭✭✭893bet

    Is the calf sucking the cow still?

    Poor hassle but keeping them in a field close to the yard together you would be surprised at how much they adapt.

    But lots of hardship for a man with a job and three kids. Plug the plug now and fatten the cow on grass.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,225 ✭✭✭charolais0153

    Just leave her with cow in small field. When she comes off the cow. Put her in small pen and fill her up with meal then if she’s a good calf. She will do very well on the meal

  • Registered Users Posts: 29,023 ✭✭✭✭whelan2

    We had a bull calf went blind. He managed fine, had him with a small group of cattle. He could follow then around. Sold him as a bullock to the factory

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,092 ✭✭✭Packrat

    Thanks lads, they're the options I was saying to him.

    If he was to keep her with the cow until late August, how much meal would it take to put a finish on her for the freezer and at roughly what age?

    Another winter with her by herself in a pen would be pure hardship as he only houses his cows in December and hasn't lots of extra pens.

    What is weanling beef like?

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

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  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭Rusheseverywhere

    Had one myself and kept it until it was two. Had no issues just always talk to it and have animals with it was fine for dosing, testing etc. Would be 22 months for a heifer to be fit to kill. A neighbour of his might take her this winter to oblige the lad.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,013 Mod ✭✭✭✭K.G.

    You be surprised how they manage and do fine.i ve a blind cow and she does fine except the other day for some reason she stayed lying down when the others had left the field she couldnt find her way out of it.walked in a straight line from ditch to ditch until she found the gap

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,526 ✭✭✭older by the day

    I had a blind milking cow one time she was ok when in the middle of the cows but if she got on her own she would run through you, or get caught in dykes or wire, but fine when she was with the rest.

    It's up to yourself really, a small field with a few stock ok, but if you are moving them field to field forget it

  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭orchard farm

    if it’s too much hassle there’s a sanctuary in Mayo that will care for her

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,671 ✭✭✭✭patsy_mccabe

    if you ever see a cow and calf when separated, the cow will always sniff the calf to verify it's hers. Cattle don't rely on sight to the extinct that humans do. I can't see why you can't sell in the mart if you announce it. She would manage fine in a slatted shed.

    'The Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Galway, As they sailed beneath the Swastika to Spain'

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,130 ✭✭✭screamer

    Don’t think it really matters, she’ll be killed out one way or another. Hardship for the farmer is hardship for the animal so I wouldn’t put her through that, money aside, quality of life matters, but that’s just me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 554 ✭✭✭Butcher Boy

    If you can bring her to 350kgs and bang her then she would be fine .we would kill the odd blind one brought in by a farmer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,092 ✭✭✭Packrat

    Definitely not going to bang my neighbour's calf, or any bovine for that matter ;-)

    Jokes aside, thanks for that, 350kg should be achievable at 8 or 10 months surely given she's at 170 ish at under 4?

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

  • Registered Users Posts: 301 ✭✭Rusheseverywhere

    Mart will not take blind cattle. You need a vet's cert for the factory that fit to be killed and booked in specially with the factory. I think but cannot swear factory had mine be sent as part of group ie would not kill a blind animal alone. Would be find on slats as you said.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,035 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    @packrat - any word on the calf now?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,092 ✭✭✭Packrat

    He gave her away for nothing to a finisher. No word back.. presume she did ok as she was going into a shed then so she should be 300 plus now.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,318 ✭✭✭roosterman71

    I know it's too late and she's probably gone, but I wouldn't agree with that statement. What is hardship? Minding an animal that needs a bit of extra minding. Hardly a 24 hour day commitment. Ideally a small shelter outside in a small field would be ideal so she can come and go. Preferably with some comrades for company. Sometimes animals need a little extra TLC and they should get it and not be immediately going to knackeries or factories to get rid. They'd do perfectly well with a bit of extra care. Plus, a blind animal like that would become a pet really! And probably make a lovely roast in the end :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,092 ✭✭✭Packrat

    Yes, that's what I'd probably do if she were my own. If you notice, I asked for a neighbour who has 3 kids under 5, a missus who doesn't farm and a job driving buses on shift work. He just about manages his sucklers in the winter with help from myself who's in a similar position except with 4 times as much stock.

    His ground is also steep and he hasn't good fences around the shed/yard area.

    But yes, - I've plenty pets around here as awkward as they can be at times.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,408 ✭✭✭148multi