Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Bright Raven » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:15 am

We all use practices that work for us. In my circumstances, I rarely have a case of calf diarrhea reach the point of needing an electrolyte or needing rehydration.

Until the calf builds immunity to the pathogens in its environment, everyone is going to observe cases of calf diarrhea. Unless one cultures a sample of the feces, one can only guess what the cause is.

Most likely one of the following four causes:

1. The normal changes in bowel movements associated with adapting to diet and the development of the ruminant digestive system. All my calves get "milk scours" at about 8 to 10 days. The cow starts producing lots of milk and the calves over indulge. They also get diarrhea as the calves adapt to solids - hay, grass, feed.

2. Viral enteritis. Such as Coronavirus or rotavirus.

3. Bacterial enteritis such as Escherichia coli or salmonella.

4. Protozoan parasite like coccidia.

In my system, when I see watery diarrhea, I use a bolus containing an antibiotic (ex. Chlortetracycline). Because if it is viral diarrhea, there is not much you can do except use something like a kaopectate compound or other substrate to "bind" the pathogens so they are less effective at causing disease. Otherwise, the appropriate recourse is to treat the symptoms. (As Buck mentioned, there is always the possibility that the bacterial pathogen is resistant to the antibiotic being administered but it still makes sense to treat the cause rather than just wait for the condition to progress until you have to rehydrate/administer electrolyte).

This is why it is important for the calf to get colostrum. The colostrum likely contains antibodies to viral diarrhea (enteritis). You can also use intranasal vaccines like Calf Guard (MLV vaccine) that provide immunity against Coronavirus and Rotavirus. Or First Defense which is a bolus that contains antibodies against E coli (K99) and Coronavirus. Both should be given at birth. BTW: I would not use colostrum after the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, I would use a milk replacement for nutrition. Colostrum is expensive!

We all operate differently. My operation is small enough that I can give a lot of attention to a calf. My setup also allows me to treat calves early before dehydration is a factor.


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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Hereford2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:41 am

They drank their milk this morning! :) . Well I'm planning on giving them electrolytes twice a day until the scours Improve, because they went from having normal calf poo in the morning to yellow water by nightfall. They are very alert still! Thank you for the advice! The Electrolytes that I'm feeding are Bounce back by manna pro. It says on the package mix 4 scoops in 2 quarts of water, feed 1 to 3 times per day. My calves aren't drinking any water, besides what they get in the electrolytes. I'm feeding them WHOLE Jersey Milk from our milk cow.

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:25 am

Good job!
Remember MILK is mostly WATER, so, yes, they are getting their water. If they are not dehydrated at all, I would not feed the electrolytes. Scours can also be from over-feeding nutrition.
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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Hereford2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:39 am

Here's what I'm thinking about doing. Milk 4:35A.M. Electrolytes 10:30 A.M. Milk 4:30P.M
Electrolytes 9:00 P.M. What are you all's thoughts? I used to think electrolytes were a waste of time and money, until I was buying dairy calves last year and they did a lot better if I gave them electrolytes for the first 3days before they ever got scours and they rarely did, after I started doing the electrolytes. I didn't give these calves any electrolytes the first 3 days because they were newborns and I was more concerned about getting them Clostrum. Also this spring my uncle lost 2 holstein bull calves,, on our property,,, to the yellow watery scours, in less than 24 hours they were dead before the vet could get here, he,,the vet,, said the scours were due to worm's. Both of the vets I use said that worms/ parasites are really bad this year. I do Appreciate all of your advice!!👍😀👍 since these are the first calves I have intentionally gotten from an auction I want to be extra Careful.....

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Hereford2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:12 am

I just gave them their Electrolytes, they both drank them down, the ones poo is firming up, The other one now has Bloody Scours... any ideas what to do these are 4 day old calves,. I'm trying to get ahold of my vet.

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by darcelina4 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:21 am

I think you feeding times are good. Keep in mind when you are feeding 4 bottles a day, the calves might get full and refuse a bottle. If they are not acting sick and dont have a fever, then dont tube them. If they miss 2 bottles then I would tube them. If not dehydrated, cut out the 2nd electrolyte bottle. I add a tablespoon spoon of baking soda to milk bottles when they are scouring to combat acidosis.

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Hereford2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:19 pm

:) Thank you!

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:33 pm

Just to go back to the colostrum. This is how I see it. If I milk my jersey from calving on she will produce a few days of liquid gold. It takes 2-3 days for her to switch over to her normal milk. So...the calves should be getting that much. To me science is nature and with bottle calves I try and re create as much nature as possible.

I feed 3 bottles a day rather than 1-2. But I understand that’s super time consuming.

My bottle calves always get the runs in the first few days. The yellow runs. I would do exactly what you did.

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Bright Raven » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:51 pm

cowgal604 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:33 pm
Just to go back to the colostrum. This is how I see it. If I milk my jersey from calving on she will produce a few days of liquid gold. It takes 2-3 days for her to switch over to her normal milk. So...the calves should be getting that much. To me science is nature and with bottle calves I try and re create as much nature as possible.

I feed 3 bottles a day rather than 1-2. But I understand that’s super time consuming.

My bottle calves always get the runs in the first few days. The yellow runs. I would do exactly what you did.
I might have missed it but the OP did not state what the source of the colostrum is. Hereford2 stated that the milk (not colostrum) comes from a Jersey cow. High quality colostrum with at least 100 to 150 grams of immunoglobulin per feeding........the cost is about 40 dollars per feeding. My vet has a brand that he charges $50 for. A cost benefit analysis might suggest just feeding milk after the initial servings of colostrum. Remember, one calf did nurse mom according to the original post.
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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Hereford2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:19 pm

The calf that didn't nurse from it's mom, got frozen Jersey Clostrum. And I also gave both of the calves powdered Clostrum that had 350 ig immuniglobin. Broke into 3 additional feedings . So a total of three half gallon Clostrum feedings per calf in a 22 hour time frame,. Yes the good Clostrum is Crazy expensive, but I like to err on the side of caution...

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Bright Raven » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:15 pm

Hereford2 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:19 pm
The calf that didn't nurse from it's mom, got frozen Jersey Clostrum. And I also gave both of the calves powdered Clostrum that had 350 ig immuniglobin. Broke into 3 additional feedings . So a total of three half gallon Clostrum feedings per calf in a 22 hour time frame,. Yes the good Clostrum is Crazy expensive, but I like to err on the side of caution...
If you are replacing natural colostrum, then use the best. Having said that, if you give two feedings of a high quality colostrum in the first 24 hours or so, I would not continue feeding colostrum at that expense.

BTW: You can introduce pathogens into your beef herd by using whole dairy colostrum. Colostrum not only contains antibodies but it can also harbor pathogens. It can also be mishandled. I prefer packaged colostrum. Fortunately, I have not needed colostrum for about 3 years.
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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:38 pm

My point on the number of days to feed colostrum was in a perfect world. If I have it on hand and can feed it to my calves I will for the first 6 or so feedings. I try to create a natural transition. Most of mine come at 3 days old so I just go right to milk replacer. When I end up with an orphan due to circumstance, not dairy removal, I have buckets from the local dairies to feed them but I’ve gotten it all free. I’d actually have no access to buy any around here unless it was powdered.

I think you’re doing all the right things Hereford! I wish I had two angus bottle calves! My angus bottle babies have always turned out wonderfully. Got some of my best mamas that way (personality wise).

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:15 pm

BR - I totally agree. I would NEVER bring home colostrum or milk from a dairy for any of my calves. Might be a VERY expensive lesson.
Years ago, all the extension specialists would tell everyone to go to their neighbor dairy & get some colostrum and freeze it in small amounts for emergencies. I believe that is how Johnes got so wide spread in the beef industry.
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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Hereford2 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:58 pm

I haven't personally gotten Clostrum from a dairy, I get it from our cow or our neighbor who had a milk cow. I gave the calves their milk at 4:30 p.m. , about 9 this evening I'm going to give the one that's still scouring more electrolytes and another vitamin B shot and a Multimin shot,. I'm hoping it drinks the electrolytes, it was slow drinking it's milk. The other calf I let him into the yard and he was kicking up his heels and running around!!😀

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Re: Sale Barn Bottle Calves HELP

Post by Bright Raven » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:07 pm

Hereford2 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:58 pm
I haven't personally gotten Clostrum from a dairy, I get it from our cow or our neighbor who had a milk cow. I gave the calves their milk at 4:30 p.m. , about 9 this evening I'm going to give the one that's still scouring more electrolytes and another vitamin B shot and a Multimin shot,. I'm hoping it drinks the electrolytes, it was slow drinking it's milk. The other calf I let him into the yard and he was kicking up his heels and running around!!😀
Don't go overboard with the vitamin B and Multimin. Stay within the recommendations for use.
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