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Suckler with 2 spins

  • 10-01-2022 1:48pm
    Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ jd06

    Hi I have a heifer calved down and she ha s only 2 spins she got summer mastitis earlier in the year

    She hasn't much of an elder and the calf is constantly sucking . He's probably just getting enough and no more than that

    I let her out to good grass today and is getting plenty of nuts since calved.

    Will she go back in milk now or is there anything else I do to help the calf.

    I'm feeding her nuts in a sheep trough hoping that the calf will eventually start eating too


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,965 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey

    We'd one this year on a cow with 1 quarter. Between that quarter and stealing from other cows it got enough to see it through. We did bottle feed the calf some milk every day before it moved to the outfarm with rest of cattle - which would have been about 1 month. In that time it learnt to nip in for a suck when the cows own calf was sucking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,606 ✭✭✭ Grueller

    If she is in good order and it's a good calf I'd separate the pair and sell the calf through the calf ring and the suckler through the culls and use the proceeds to buy back one.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 1,671 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Albert Johnson

    +1000 on the above. You'll be horsing nuts into them for the next few months and mostly likely the calf will be dragged up as opposed to reared. It's a hungry time of year and even with all you're best efforts you'll probably end up with a cull cow and a backward type weanling in the finish up after investing both time and money. I'd stick the calf up on donedeal and put the heifer into the cull ring. Bar you're caught for number's for the ANC or similar then I'd spend the price of them on something worthwhile either on or off farm.

    Usually when they loose quarters to mastitis it keeps spreading throughout the udder. I've seen lots of 2 and 3 spin suckler's and for every success story there's plenty of stunted weanlings through a starvation diet. Yes some of them are cute and rob a suck from another cow but it then starts to show on comrade calves as there isn't usually enough milk to satisfy everyone. It's one thing to keep a calf alive and it's another to provide them with the means of developing into something worthwhile and saleable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 820 ✭✭✭ minerleague

    Calf will get enough, heifer will have more milk in those two next year, may even bring her into milk in two "dry" teats with suckling. If she is a good cow, quiet etc I'd be keeping anyway

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ jd06

    Grullller and Albert ye could be right

    I sent the reg for the calf off today so I'll have the card back soon.

    Is there a minimum age I can sell the calf or does he have to be tested

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  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ jd06

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,355 ✭✭✭ tanko

    I think the minimum age is 10 days and the max age to sell without a TB test is 42 days but i would keep the calf until it’s 5 weeks old if she has some milk for him and sell him then, let the heifer dry up and sell her.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,641 ✭✭✭ 893bet

    Made this mistake last year.

    Will try not do it again. If you have a relatively closed suckler herd no harm introducing some new blood in any case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ jd06

    Did the calf not do well?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,949 ✭✭✭ squinn2912

    As farmers we never like to admit defeat. Invariably every summer we have a similar situation; heifer with no milk etc and end up standing in the yard morning and night for 3 months over one calf. It’s nice to win but in reality I think you’re better cutting your losses and taking what you get for each. Cattle aee a right trade at the moment and a drop calf can easily hit £400-500 after a few weeks. There’s ones getting the same money at 8 months after a middling do.

    one thing I did I had a calf that took 3 weeks to get up and his mother went dry. She was a lunatic anyhow so she’s for the hook. I bought an oul Fr cow at £550 and she’s making a job of this lad. She’s not so nice to look at but there was about 5 days of work and then batter away. She’s just getting whatever meal the rest of the cows are on so I’d be happy enough. He wasn’t sellable anyhow so I was backed into a corner there

  • Registered Users Posts: 820 ✭✭✭ minerleague

    No sentiment here then, hard headed business this single suckler craic 😏

  • Registered Users Posts: 820 ✭✭✭ minerleague

    Didn't see any hardship in the OP, thats all. Presume OP reared heifer, thought she was good enough to be a cow, whats the harm in keeping for the year to see how she works out. Better the devil you know over going out to buy something ( i did say provided she was quiet and calved ok )

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭ Anto_Meath

    If she is able to rear the calf this year let her at it then fatten and off to the mart with her. You will notice the north of Ireland buyers tend to give more in the mart for a young cow than you would get cow price in the factory. You would nearly get the same as a heifer. As Squinn said we all get caught each year with 1 that is an issue. So no point bringing one that is an issue into a second year.