Bloat in 4h calf! Help!!!!!

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BryanM

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Let me start by saying hi, new here. I am looking for some help which I hope their is an answer too!

The Problem I have is bloat, I have a steer calf aprox 3 months old(angus) which seems too bloat at everything we feed. I have tryed a diet of 2 differant grain types with rumensin and one with a lymosine(sp). Seems to bloat. The we went to just a grass hay which it seems fine on left it alone for a week on that diet and even let it out for short periods to pasture and it bloats.

I have a bloat block for pasture and bloat block for grain. And Man am I frustrated cause we have tubed this calf about 8 times in the last 2 weeks. Its a 4h project and I have too say I have learned alot and so have the kids but I cant get the weight on this thing and am very dicouraged about the bloat problem!

So I started with the net and maybe some ideas from people who have been doing this for awhile.

I know I have left out some info that you probably need to help answer my questions so fire away!! :???:
 

DavisBeefmasters

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Oh dear...

I do have a few questions -- before we consider the little bugger a chronic bloater...

1. How long has this been going on? (1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc.)
2. How long has this calf been on bloat meds (rumensin, etc.)?
3. How often has this little calf had it's feed changed?
4. How much grain did you start with to first feed it?... 1 pound, 5 pounds, etc. -- and then what was your duration in between increasing this amount slowly?
5. If you measure the distance of this calf's last rib to the hip-bone and then compare it to another 4h steer of the same age and approximate same build, is there a noticeable difference?
 

milkmaid

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How about a pic of this calf?

Also, does he bloat after feeding or just at random times during the day? What's he weigh? How much grain is he getting?
 
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BryanM

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1 He weighs aprox 260Lb, 2 he only bloats after eating usually noticed aprox 2 hrs after eating
3 He has been bloating for about 2 weeks
4 After I changed feed to the grain with rumencin on it I feed about 1 pound then a couple hours latter I feed another 1lb that was at night last friday, by mourning he was bloated, or still bloated.
5 I can get you a pic
6 I thought it was grain causing bloat but this mourning (weds) I tubed him and at 8 last night on (tuesday) he was not bloated but was given a bit of hay and let out to paddock which consists of clover a little alfalfa grass mix.
7. His partner same age calf does not bloat same diet! Matter of fact he looks pretty good to me. weighing340lb Although we short tye bloating calf and feed grain and hay and pasture too other one.
8. Keep asking and A huge thanks for answering
 
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BryanM

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a couple more pieces of info

I think when we first got the calves on may 9 th I think we started with aprox 4lb with for each calve in the same bunk feeder. I did notice a bit of a bloat a few days latter but he got rid of it then the episodes just keep getting worse.

Vet was called in and tubed 1 week ago and she showed us how too tube.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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:welcome: to the board.
Sorry about your problems - it's soooo frustrating. Milkmaid is really sharp & may have more input.
Alfalfa is #1 cause of bloat & Clover #2 (in grasses) and overfeeding grain is another.
Didn't quite understand your comment about how much you started them out with back on May 9th.
4# EACH or 4# to both in same feeder?
For future reference, you should start cattle out with hay for first day, then feed 1% of their body weight per day. So, 300# calf should get 1.5#/twice a day.
But, no matter what you do - this calf "may" be a cronic bloater. If he is, the only way I've known of someone able to finish one out is to put a permanent tube in their side. Not exactly what you want to hear since it is a 4-H project. Is it too late to substitute the calf? Some counties will take individual problems into consideration.
 

mnmtranching

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I understand that on May 9th you feed 2 calves 8 pounds of grain. I can see a bloat problem with this. Calves won't eat equal amounts in a case like this. The bloating calf may have eaten most or all the grain. This is what might have triggered the continuous bloating problems. So when ever this calf has had access to feeds that might cause bloat he bloats. Like grain, alfalfa and clover.
I would pen him separate, Feed only good grass hay and water with some free choice salt and mineral. Hold off on the grain for a couple weeks then start up again slowly, half pound the first 3-4 days then 1 pound 3-4 days and so on. If he still bloats, don't waste anymore on him.
 
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BryanM

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You may be right the feed the first day he may have ate more than 4lbs. I have thought about that too.
That would be my first scenario that I feed too much of new grain too fast, and after that anything we try upsets the little guys stomach. My problem is trying too get him back to ground zero if you will. So I can slowly start the grain back up. I think I will follow the advice of feeding just hay for a wk or two. And if he does okay add a little grain.

My question is - if I do this how much hay should he get? Free choice?
 

mnmtranching

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Maybe try giving him a pound or 2, see what happens? If he gobbles it up, wait a couple hours then give him more. If he doesn't finish it up then might as well feed him free choice.
I can't see why he would bloat on all grass hay. But, I think it would be best to limit his intake for a while.
 

grannysoo

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":3t8p1p16 said:
Alfalfa is #1 cause of bloat & Clover #2 (in grasses) and overfeeding grain is another.

Looks like everything that you're feeding is something to make the calf bloat. Get a good grass hay and keep the calf on that for at least a week. Should solve the problem.

Then, start out slowly with the grain...
 

LoveMoo11

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I went through the same thing with my 4-H steer a few years ago. Nothing really helped and we had to tube him almost every day. He started doing this in May and by August when I sold him he weighed less than he had when the whole mess began. If you can, I would suggest finding another calf because it is going to be a huge hassle and may not even work out-believe me, it stinks. Hope things turn around for you.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Be sure the hay is really good GRASS - not alfalfa or clover. I would also give the calf some Probias for a few days. And when you start him on grain, feed him probias and add yeast to his grain.
Definately keep him OFF the green alfalfa & clover. Good luck, keep us posted. We always appreciate feedback on what goes on.
 

larryshoat

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LoveMoo11":11opycxu said:
I went through the same thing with my 4-H steer a few years ago. Nothing really helped and we had to tube him almost every day. He started doing this in May and by August when I sold him he weighed less than he had when the whole mess began. If you can, I would suggest finding another calf because it is going to be a huge hassle and may not even work out-believe me, it stinks. Hope things turn around for you.

Good post and good advice.

Larry
 
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BryanM

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Great Posts! I actually did some more investigating talking with vets and more people and went and Bought some probios. I have a question about it giving it though- the tube says 10grams but would you give probios more than 1 day and do you just inject too tongue cheek or what? I am about to go over with his treatment now!
 

larryshoat

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I think most of that stuff says to use on the first and last day of antibiotic treatment, something like now and three or four days from now. A shot of B-complex might help too. The probios just put on the back of the tongue.

Larry
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I would give him Probias every day for at least 3-4 days on hay, and another 3-4 days when you start him on grain. When a calf's stomach gets "off", the good bugs die off / quit working. Probias is good bugs. You are just giving his stomach bugs to properly utilize his feed.
Anytime you give a calf any kind of antibiotic, also, you should immediately give him Probias (and there are other brand names). Anytime a calf is stressed, they can utilize new good bugs.
We feed yeast & a product that contains good bugs daily to our show string. It's really cheap insurance. If you get him straightened out (hopefully he's not cronic bloater), I would check with the local feed store & ask what they have to top-dress all the 4-H calves' feed.
 
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BryanM

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Just an update: Have not bloated for 4 days and have been feeding plain grass hay and a dose of probias at 10g for the last 2 days this will be day 3 with probios. Plan is too give it a few more days with nothing but hay and start very light on grain with a dose of probias for a couple more feeding with grain.

I have got too tell you I truely believe I have learned more on this 4h project than on any of the others. And this little guy is really hungry for grain its almost pathetic when the other gets his grain :nod:
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Bryan - that's GREAT!!! And, his appetite is probably what got him into trouble to begin with. He surely ate more than his "fair share".
So remember, start him out with 1% of his body weight - split in two feedings. My hubby always used to say that the "bugs" would get changed over to their new diet in 7 days - so, he always recommended increasing every 7 days. On normal healthy weaned calves, I never waited 7 days, but I never increased by 1% at a time either. Just small increased every few days. Good luck
 

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