Reluctanat first calf heifer

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Mar 17, 2008
Have a first time mama that calved last Friday. She would not clean baby or let her nurse unless we are in the pen with her. Luckily we were at the birth and made sure of the first feeding. She kicks a little at first but then calms down and lets baby suck. As of this morning she still shows no sign of claiming her calf, and we still have to assist the feeding, the calf is doing great anyway. Since mama is not aggressive towards the calf other than a few have hearted kicks and head buts at feeding time,  should we be patient and hope she will become motherly?  Or plan on penning her at feeding time for quite some time?  The calf is reluctant to approach her unless we are in the pen with her. Thanks for any advice.


Well-known member
Aug 14, 2007
SW Minnesota
This just happend to me 2 weeks ago. Heifer would not have a thing to do with the calf didn't even lick it off.  Started the calf then penned them together for 3-4 days  and watched to make sure the calf wasn't starving. Sometimes the calves need to get hungry to try by themselves. Took a week before the mom would even moo at her calf.  Good luck.