Dead calf

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cowgal604
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Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:04 pm

Our first calf of the season just died. Was born dead. We are just hobby farmers and they are pets so it’s very sad for us. The calf was born to our heifer. Yesterday night I noticed one of my cows had diarrhea. Then this morning I noticed the heifer that calved today had diarrhea and that her bag was filling up. By noon my mom called me and said she thought she was close as she didn’t come for grain and she said she had a bad case of the runs. So I did a quick google search and read that many cows have the runs before calving so assumed that’s what it was. At 3pm we saw that the water sac was sticking out. We quickly got in the gator and by the time we got to the top of the hill literally 2 mins the calf was on the ground and it was dead. It’s my first time seeing a stillborn calf so I’m not sure what’s normal. It’s tongue was out and it’s eyes were closed very tightly. I called a local rancher and he told me to open it’s eyes and touch it’s eyeball as I didn’t feel a heartbeat. It was somewhat hard to open the eyelid and I noticed the eyes were grey, clouded over.

My friend thought that perhaps the calf was breach and suffocated. But I’m worried about the diarrhea. I have 5 more cows that are about to calf. I did not vaccinate them because I’m an idiot. I called the vet and he said we can assume the runs is coming from the hay. I opened up a new bale as I do every 3 days the day before the runs started.

Any ideas? Just bad luck?

All my cows are heifers. All Holstein X angus. All bred to our bull



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kenny thomas
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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:17 pm

What color is the diarrhea?
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:28 pm

kenny thomas wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:17 pm
What color is the diarrhea?
Brown. Dark brown. Seems normal colour.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:30 pm

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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:30 pm

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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:34 pm

Can you tell where the cow was laying? That would tell you if it was breach.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:37 pm

kenny thomas wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:34 pm
Can you tell where the cow was laying? That would tell you if it was breach.
Can you explain that to me? She was actually just standing at the top of the hill with the herd under a tree. I took those photos immediately after the cow hit the ground.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:42 pm

So she had the calf standing up? A heifer calving in 2 minutes while standing up sure is easy calving.
If the cow was laying down and the calf's head was pointed away from her that would be normal birth. If the calf's head was toward her it would mean breach.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:46 pm

Hmm hard for me to know how the cow was standing. But the calf’s head was actually planted into the ground. From the fence it looked as though it didn’t have a head. I knew right away it was dead. I walked over and flipped it’s head up from under its shoulders. It was like it was in a somersault position. I actually questioned if it’s shoulder was dislocated because of the position it was in. It was warm and looked healthy. But may be stupid question...are they born with teeth? It had a lot of teeth.

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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:47 pm

I pulled a dead calf last night. Head first with legs back. Easy pull because the calf was already dead. I put the chains around the calf neck and pulled. Had the calf still been alive I would have had to bring the legs up first.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:48 pm

If the head was under it came the correct way.
Sometimes there is no explanation.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:50 pm

Yes small teeth. Gain 2 large teeth per year from 2 year old to 6 year old.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:52 pm

kenny thomas wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:48 pm
If the head was under it came the correct way.
Sometimes there is no explanation.
You wouldn’t worry about the runs?

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Re: Dead calf

Post by kenny thomas » Wed May 29, 2019 9:55 pm

If the grazing is good i would not worry. Oh wait, you said they are on hay? Not much you can do but watch them. Maybe collect a sample and take to your vet.
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Re: Dead calf

Post by cowgal604 » Wed May 29, 2019 10:06 pm

kenny thomas wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:55 pm
If the grazing is good i would not worry. Oh wait, you said they are on hay? Not much you can do but watch them. Maybe collect a sample and take to your vet.
They have both. They are in a pasture with grass but we give them hay too.

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