about that sick calf

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Toby L.

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It sounds like a lot of people go through the same thing as I had with buying cattle from sale barns and so called ranches like I did. The difference between them and me is that I wasn't prepared, heck I even waited a week before posting anything on here, for fear of getting beat up. A good beatin is what I needed to get my butt worried about it. In my first post I stated that I wasn't worried so much about it, and that it was just a concern. I figured that they'll get better on their own. Well, I learned that they don't get better on their own, they get dead. First thing to do is call a vet, I figured they would want to come out here and charge me some extraordinary amount of money, so I treated on my own and not knowing much about the different sicknesses they can get. Then I waited until they quit eating. Big no, no too little to late. I learned to take their temperature, you can find out a lot from doing something so easy. I learned to listen to people on this board, don't wait until tomorrow, and talk to a vet. Something so simple could have been treated along time ago.

A couple years ago my bull developed lump jaw. I past it off as an abscessed tooth and no big deal. It got worse and finally one day my wife was talking to a vet about horses and my wife asked her about the bull. With no way to restrain the bull and inject it with antibiotics the vet suggested to my wife to get some powder antibiotic and put one packet a day in his grain for 2 weeks, and if doesn’t get better then he probably won't because it worked it's way into the bone. Two weeks go by with little improvement. Finally the bull was getting pretty skinny so I shot it. I was heartbroke and it still bothers me. I learned from that mistake too. Now I have a facility that I built up and if I need to I can restrain these not so tame animals. The bull could have been saved if I would have done something about it sooner, and not waited to see if the problem fixes itself. It never does.

When I went to look at these calves I didn't like the way some of the other calves were looking. I bought them from a guy that buys all these different bottle calves from so many different dairies, so who knows what they were exposed to. I was under the impression that he was the dairy and these were his calves out of his own cows. I should have known better after I asked him if his cows were aied and he didn't know what I was talking about. There was a lot of things about cattle he didn't know. It turns out that he hasn't been doing this for very long. He told me " when a calf coughs I give it a shot of this" I didn't really know what all drugs he was giving these calves, because I couldn't keep up with all the jabbering and big words he was using. Then he told me all about this feeding program that he uses by Purina, and how it costs more money but the results were so much better. Well maybe so but it doesn't amount to a hill of beans if there dead. I think that’s all he new about cattle, when I asked him about the medications he told me that his wife takes care of that and he wasn't sure. So I felt sorry for the little calf and took that one too, pretty much as a companion for the bigger of the two. When I got to the original farm that I was going to that day to pick up a bred cow that I bought, that guy told me that he went over to that so called ranch earlier this summer to pick out a calf for his kids. He told me that it was worse yet, dead calves piled up and a lot of sick ones on there way out. He didn't buy any from him. He also told me that it was a surprise visit so maybe that had something to do with it. I know it's hard taking a calf a couple days old and getting it weaned and growing healthy, but there has to be some things this guy can do to make it better. It's not entirely his fault, I should have known better. I had a bad feeling about this little one in the first place. But I wonder how many times this has happened from other people that buy calves there or anywhere else. And other thing I was wondering. Should I call this guy and let him know what happened? Maybe it would prevent it from happening to someone else.

On a side note, the other one is doing pretty good. She drank 3 quarts of the soy milk replacer this morning and picked through the grain. I gave her 4 quarts this evening and she slurped that right down and looked at me like "where’s the rest" I gave her a little grain and she picked through that and I threw a little hay in there and she was eating that. She's not doing that chewing thing anymore, so she's feeling better. Her head is higher and she’s perky. When the vet comes around next week I'm going to ask him for some Draxxin like dyates and baxter and the rest says, so I can have some on hand in case anything like this happens again.
 

hillsdown

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I am going to tell you some must things to have on hand as a necessity . This will usually get you by on any sick calf.

Meds..Nuflor (draxxin and exceed are just for pneumonia) is a brood spectrum antibiotic.
Also a sulphate drug like Trivetrin..
Calf span boluses
Probiotics (even yogurt will work)
Vitamin B12

Anti imflamory like Predef, dex ,banamine. (predef is my go to because it works fast and is not as hard on the gut as dex (is great for severe lung issues) and banamine (mostly a pain killer)).

Electrolytes..the right ones, not home made.

Esophageal feeder (for when they stop drinking completely and you need to get fluids in them asap..

A thermometer ...

A warm dry place while they recover..

Use a clean needle each time you treat..

My 2 cents..
Take it or leave it ,it is up to you. I have raised hundreds of dairy heifers that were on the bottle to become the future milking herd. The death rates were low, we didn't have many sick ones but when we did they usually pulled through with flying colors. I now apply those tools to my beef calves..

Good luck with all your future calves..and of course a good relationship with a knowledgeable vet and at least 20-20-20 milk replacer made from real milk..
 

angie1

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I raised calves for years ~ bottle babies, just a few every year. I always did well, never lost a one. Sooo in 06 I got to thinking "I am so good at this, and I make a profit on 2 or 3 ~ just imagine if I did lots, I'll be RICH ~ yes?" :nod: So, I went to the sale barn and bought lots. I lost over half of them, and nothing I did made a difference. I had the vet out so often, he knew them by name. I used draxxin, dex, banamine, nuflor, micotil (sp?), excede and penn. I used probiotics, scour meds, tube feeders and 2 different kinds of vitamins. I used pepto bismol, kaopectate, asprin, gatorade and yogurt. I prayed, chanted, genuflected, burned incense and threw fits. I wasn;t as smart as I thought I was, and sometimes they die.

I apologize if what I said made you feel bad, and I am glad your other one is doing better. hd gave you good advice and, as you say, next time you will know more.

Your thought on buying a calf for a mate for the other one was good. They are herd animals and do much better with another. When you know the other is in the clear, vaccinnate it and go get it another friend ~ keep them apart for about a week to make sure the new one is healthy.

Good luck.
 

larryshoat

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angie":1jebs1jm said:
I raised calves for years ~ bottle babies, just a few every year. I always did well, never lost a one. Sooo in 06 I got to thinking "I am so good at this, and I make a profit on 2 or 3 ~ just imagine if I did lots, I'll be RICH ~ yes?" :nod: So, I went to the sale barn and bought lots. I lost over half of them, and nothing I did made a difference. I had the vet out so often, he knew them by name. I used draxxin, dex, banamine, nuflor, micotil (sp?), excede and penn. I used probiotics, scour meds, tube feeders and 2 different kinds of vitamins. I used pepto bismol, kaopectate, asprin, gatorade and yogurt. I prayed, chanted, genuflected, burned incense and threw fits. I wasn;t as smart as I thought I was, and sometimes they die.
Wow, angie, you just said a mouthful . You've just described what is meant by " paying your dues " . Anybody that raises a substantial number of calves has been there . I've seen what you have described so many times, I've been there too many times . Raising calves is a skill , many will try and few will master it . Thanks for sharing, you write so well and give good advice.

Larry

I apologize if what I said made you feel bad, and I am glad your other one is doing better. hd gave you good advice and, as you say, next time you will know more.

Your thought on buying a calf for a mate for the other one was good. They are herd animals and do much better with another. When you know the other is in the clear, vaccinnate it and go get it another friend ~ keep them apart for about a week to make sure the new one is healthy.

Good luck.
 
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Toby L.

Toby L.

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Thans guys for all your help. Angie, that was a great story with a lot of insight to where your coming from. I think 2 or 3 at a time will be enough for me, I don't think I'll be doing this anytime soon. I just thought it would be neat to indroduce something different to the herd. We may try to milk this calf once it grows up, but I'm not sure if I want to get into that. Another thing too, it makes it hard fighting with this cold wheather. My truck said it was -11 but reports of -30 were coming in from N.E. Minnesota. Now I'm wondering how long I should be feeding this calf milk replacer? She's 14 weeks old and around 240 pounds.
 

dun

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I did about the same as angieonce We had been raising calves form one particular dairy (my old mentors) and decided since we had asurplus of milk we'ld raise even more. Picked up a load from another dairy. A couple of days later they started dieing. Finally lost them all. Talked to the people at the dairy I had gotten them from and they had the same problem, but it had been going on for years. It was so bad that any heifer calf born even half beef or out of half beef cows were being raised and put into the milk string.
Learned my lesson and went back to my mentor and that's the only place we bought calves form then on.
 

larryshoat

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Toby L.":sepd7t16 said:
Thans guys for all your help. Angie, that was a great story with a lot of insight to where your coming from. I think 2 or 3 at a time will be enough for me, I don't think I'll be doing this anytime soon. I just thought it would be neat to indroduce something different to the herd. We may try to milk this calf once it grows up, but I'm not sure if I want to get into that. Another thing too, it makes it hard fighting with this cold wheather. My truck said it was -11 but reports of -30 were coming in from N.E. Minnesota. Now I'm wondering how long I should be feeding this calf milk replacer? She's 14 weeks old and around 240 pounds.

She needs to eat at least 5lbs 17% protien grain, not counting hay . Make your feed changes SLOWLY .Start to back off on the milk, but make sure the dry feed increases at the same time . Make sure she has access to unfrozen water at all times .

Larry
 

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