4 day old calf will not suck

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devonian

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Something totally different. What does the cow do when the calf tries to find the teat. Does she stand still? Does she kick? If the calf tried a few times too many in the first days and she didn't stand still and kept kicking....... it just won't try anymore.
Personally, I would keep them locked up, put her in the squeeze twice a day, try to get the calf to suck twice a day. It's a pain in the ass and time consuming, but I'd rather do that for a few days (if she has milk) then bottle feed it.
If it still doesn't suck on her when you work with them, drench it. At least then you know it has a good amount of fluid in it.
I'm a bit suspicious though of the cow, you say she had problems the last 2 years with her calves, or the calves with her. Probably not a coincidence you are having a problem with the calf this year.
Check out that milkbag and what comes out of it............ may be the key to the whole thing.
Good luck, it's maddening when calves don't want to feed, but we're suckers for dealing with cows and their offspring. =)
The calf doesn't try to suck anymore I put the calf near her and the cow will stand still ok when I tug on its teats and check for milk. (Won't even suck a bottle) But I suspect you are correct the bloody cow in the field just wouldn't stand still long enough and too busy dealing with flies so that the calf never got that 1st milk early on so doesn't associate cow with milk or food anymore.

I got the vet out yesterday as the calves eyes had started to look a bit sunken in and I'd hoped he might try the madigan squeeze technique but he said that usually for 2-3 day old calves but he did give it antibiotics, metacam and selenium, he said its temp is ok. It doesn't have diarrhoea in fact its stools look pretty good very solid. So I'm just stomach tubing it for now reluctantly as its a bit of a catch 22 situation (its not going to try and suck if its full) but I figure it just needs nutrition and no stress for a few days to keep its strength and I'll probably put the cow in the cattle crush next week and try again to get the calf to do its thing.
 

sunnyblueskies

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The calf doesn't try to suck anymore I put the calf near her and the cow will stand still ok when I tug on its teats and check for milk. (Won't even suck a bottle) But I suspect you are correct the bloody cow in the field just wouldn't stand still long enough and too busy dealing with flies so that the calf never got that 1st milk early on so doesn't associate cow with milk or food anymore.

I got the vet out yesterday as the calves eyes had started to look a bit sunken in and I'd hoped he might try the madigan squeeze technique but he said that usually for 2-3 day old calves but he did give it antibiotics, metacam and selenium, he said its temp is ok. It doesn't have diarrhoea in fact its stools look pretty good very solid. So I'm just stomach tubing it for now reluctantly as its a bit of a catch 22 situation (its not going to try and suck if its full) but I figure it just needs nutrition and no stress for a few days to keep its strength and I'll probably put the cow in the cattle crush next week and try again to get the calf to do its thing.
That's pretty much all you can do. At least you know now that there is nothing major wrong with it.
You could try honey on the bottle nipple, a good thick layer. I've tried it once or twice, the calves are definitely interested in that sweet taste of honey. Maybe make a small amount of a bottle and even mix honey into that. I haven't tried that, but why not. Honey is not going to hurt them and if he is a sweet tooth......... win win, if not.....no big loss.
You don't have another cow hanging around on which you could try the calf?
 

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The mouth temp is warm and no cleft palate. Body temp now 39.6 c (has been in sun in yard most of day). One of the cows teats looks a little cleaner now so I'm wondering if it has had a suck now. Its possible I may have acted too hastily but this cow is only 4 years old and lost her calf in the previous two years with last year it seems like she just abandoned it, so I guess I didn't want to take any chances. Still not a 100% convinced I'm in the clear now guess I'll have to closely monitor it and hope for the best.
We had one that was clueless about what the thing was that came out of her! We called her “Ratchet Mom”. She walked off from her first two. Bottle babies can be SO frustrating. But I did learn that the smaller, softer nipple was the trick. (After I tubed them with colostrum.) We had decided she was leaving the farm but the third time she calved something clicked and she was a great momma. It’s hard sometimes to know when to cut your losses.
 

debbiea

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I miss spoke earlier, I meant to say for calves that won't nurse or having trouble getting started. There are many opinions, some work and some do not. Don't be so testy!!
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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My first thought for a calf that does not have sucking instinct is lack of Selenium. But, I did not know if UK was low on natural Selenium. ALL my calves get Selenium at birth, and if I have a dumb sucker, it gets another full dose immediately.
Lacking SE affects large muscles. The tongue is a large muscle.
Keep tubing. Keep offering a bottle. As mentioned, leave some milk in the pen with the calf - like in a cake pan.
 
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devonian

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My first thought for a calf that does not have sucking instinct is lack of Selenium. But, I did not know if UK was low on natural Selenium. ALL my calves get Selenium at birth, and if I have a dumb sucker, it gets another full dose immediately.
Lacking SE affects large muscles. The tongue is a large muscle.
Keep tubing. Keep offering a bottle. As mentioned, leave some milk in the pen with the calf - like in a cake pan.
Not sure I did a quick search and saw that it has been a problem in a 2003 survey for many UK farms, vet gave calf a selnium shot on friday. I know our farm has a deficiency in magnesium so we give our cows tri mag lick buckets which does have some selenium in it. (We did bolus for magnesium last year) I put one of tri mag buckets in with the cow and calf the other day.
 

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Had a set of twins a couple days ago and I thought everything was good. So went to check yesterday closer and one had not nursed. I put it in the barn and gave it a bag of 1st milk as it would not suck and today it is still going. The next couple days will be crucial if it makes it or not. If it makes it I would like to get it back to mama as fast as possible. It takes a lot of patients with baby calves.
It has been touch and go for3-4 days, but both are sucking now. I have had two sets of twins and a set of triplets(one calf did not make it) so far this year.

Been battling pinkeye as the shots seem to have little effect. I have used 150ml of Increxxa with darts so far and it maybe does seem to lessen the pinkeye. One of the most contagious I have seen as visiting the vet he said it was terrible around here.

MYcF9Ln.jpg
 
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drink1208

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It has been touch and go for3-4 days, but both are sucking now. I have had two sets of twins and a set of triplets(one calf did not make it) so far this year.

Been battling pinkeye as the shots seem to have little effect. I have used 150ml of Increxxa with darts so far and it maybe does seem to lessen the pinkeye. One of the most contagious I have seen as visiting the vet he said it was terrible around here.

MYcF9Ln.jpg
sulfur salt would be good to add too as sulfur helps with infections
 

TCRanch

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Been battling pinkeye as the shots seem to have little effect. I have used 150ml of Increxxa with darts so far and it maybe does seem to lessen the pinkeye. One of the most contagious I have seen as visiting the vet he said it was terrible around here.
Were they vaccinated? And for a specific strain? I'm not familiar with Increxxa, but a few years ago I had to treat a few (vaccinated) calves and Draxxin was my go-to in the pasture.
 

jltrent

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Were they vaccinated? And for a specific strain? I'm not familiar with Increxxa, but a few years ago I had to treat a few (vaccinated) calves and Draxxin was my go-to in the pasture.
Most had ALPHA-7/MB-1. Increxxa, is the generic Draxxin. Just got through going through them and most are looking better as a couple had it really bad. Sure a lot better than a few days ago. A very aggressive virus as within 3 days it had went through them. I have been pretty lucky on pinkeye, but I remember maybe 25-30 years ago we had a mess, but no Draxxin then.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I can't believe no one said anything about you having a set of triplets. That's amazing!!! Did the cow have them by herself or need assistance? I get more than my fair share of twins, but triplets have never happened - and hope they never do!
 

jltrent

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I can't believe no one said anything about you having a set of triplets. That's amazing!!! Did the cow have them by herself or need assistance? I get more than my fair share of twins, but triplets have never happened - and hope they never do!
The cow had the first two on her on and the third calf was coming backward. After I got the two back legs aligned I was able to get it out, but just a few minutes too late. The cow would have probably died if I had not seen after two calves her water had not been broken, so I got her up and sure enough another calf. I even checked to see if she had a fourth calf in her. All three calves were male and pretty good sized. The two that survived are doing well.
 
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Finally caught the sneaky lil eifer in the act today! Stealthiest little sucker I've ever known so far. I'd been doing little tests putting dirt (clean dirt) on the cows teats and they'd come up clean the next morning which I thought was pretty good evidence of the calf sucking but I had to be sure. And now I am. So its not that she couldn't suck just didn't want what I was offering lol. Oh well panic over out in the field you go tomorrow.
 

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MurraysMutts

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Finally caught the sneaky lil eifer in the act today! Stealthiest little sucker I've ever known so far. I'd been doing little tests putting dirt (clean dirt) on the cows teats and they'd come up clean the next morning which I thought was pretty good evidence of the calf sucking but I had to be sure. And now I am. So its not that she couldn't suck just didn't want what I was offering lol. Oh well panic over out in the field you go tomorrow.
Excellent!!

I've used kool-aid before to dye the teats. Don't work so great on black teats tho.
 

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