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Thread: Calling red calves

  1. #1

    Calling red calves

    I've got a bit of situation to manage.

    Yesterday I found a red hind dead just off (a matter of yards) my property. I won't go into the details of cause of death or give my opinion as to persons responsible, (having been shot down in flames previously) I'll just stick to the facts.

    She had calved and was wet.

    Searched the area to no avail, went back at first light this morning, and located a spotty calf mewling and following close on a hind with her own calf. I couldn't maneuvre for a shot due to intervening vegetation, and lost contact.

    My questions are:

    Is it possible imitate a maternal call that may encourage the calf to break cover into a shootable position? I can (and have) called stags successfully during the rut.

    Is there any chance that the second hind may "adopt" the youngster in a fertile well fed lowland area, even with an older calf of her own? I have not heard or seen such a thing personally, but I had a hind three years that may have done so (or had had twins.) Orphan looks like a week or two old at most.

    Any advice appreciated.


  2. #2
    I have never heard of anyone calling a calf, though if it was hungry enough it would possibly come to any sound.

    Most red calves would be a month old at this stage (and still spotty!). It would be fairly unlikely that any hind would let an orphaned calf suckle her at this age - however if the calf was that old and feeding was good it could survive without milk as long as it formed an association with another hind and its calf, even if it wasn't actually feeding from the hind.

  3. #3
    i have seen 2 calves with 1 hind last year within my local herd , but that was later in the season around october / november time but admitedly ive not seen that situation this early in the year .

    im afraid i cant be more help .

  4. #4
    There's a good chance it has very limited mobility and can be caught, if that's the case there are plenty of people capable of giving it a chance although it will end up as a 'park' animal. See the vids on catching calves and see what you can do.

  5. #5
    Leave it be mate and let a hind adopt it. That is is best chance most red hynds are willing to take on a youngen.

  6. #6
    Thanks all.

    I haven't seen it since, it's mother was part a small tight knit parcel of hinds, perhaps it will make it, although from previous experience they never thrive, and always seem to lack "sense".


  7. #7

    Better a chance of this than the fairly pointless task of shooting it !

    Quote Originally Posted by 6pointer View Post
    Leave it be mate and let a hind adopt it. That is is best chance most red hynds are willing to take on a youngen.

  8. #8

    Open to all advice,

    My way of thinking to date (generally accepted practice?) is to minimise suffering, physical, due to malnourishment and hunger caused by loss of parent and access to mothers milk, with a possible slow death of starvation, and other stressors, physiological and physchological.

    I have no particular desire simply to shoot a calf for the sake of a shot, but simply because I thought it was the right thing from an ethical point of view to do.

    Are we saying that actually an intervention is not necessarily the right thing to do and to simply let nature take it's course and give the wee thing a chance?


  9. #9
    Keep an eye on it and see how it goes. Doing the same with a 3 legged beast down here just now.

  10. #10

    As said, I would leave it, had a 14 day old PD calf, the Cow died and the calf is still alive some 2 months on. It will never be a strong animal and will be culled however it is amazing to see what animals can achieve.


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