bottlefed calves getting sick

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I have been raising orphan calves for about 1 month now and my first one was 2 days old and his mother stepped on his foot and it swelled up so big that he couldn't walk and we brought him in because he was unable to get his mother's milk, well at first we thought he was doing good but after the night had passed he became weak and wouldn't eat and layed completely on his side and later died. Another calf was about 1 week old and we are not sure if he ever recieved milk from his mother bcause her bags were too large,so we fed that calf with a tube and he was weak but seemed to improve until the next day he became very weak and his eyes sunk into his head. Now I have 3 calves left, 2 i have had for 3weeks and they are doing good except they have scours and one of them seems a little down, the 3rd cald is a new one and we have only fed him twice and both times have been through a tube because she won't eat but she has so much energy. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?????[/b]
 

eric

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From what I have heard, you are about average for rasing bottle calves. I hear there is about a 50% mortality rate, that's one reason I couldnt do it. My family has a hard time when a puppy or kitten dies, no telling what they would do if they hand fed a calf and had it expire. Sorry I cant help you with any suggestions, but I am not sure you are doing anything wrong, just the risks of the game you're in. Good luck!

By the way, you are giving them colustrum (sp?) aren't you, as I am pretty sure that is why it is so important for the baby to feed off of mama after birth, the mamas milk is almost all colustroum. I am sure some of these experts in here will help you, as I am in the learning process also.
 

D.R. Cattle

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You need to spend more time getting the calf to suck from it's mother than trying to get them to bottle feed. Nothing will give you a better success rate than letting momma do what she does best. As for scours, your momma cows should be vaccinated with some kind of scour gaurd if corona or e coli are showing their ugly faces. Best to vaccinate for these pre-calving. Cows will pass it on.
 

dun

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2% mortality is much more realistic. If it was as high as 50% there wouldn't be any dairy cattle left.
Cholostrum, sanitation, high quality feed in the correct quantities, draft free and starting with a healthy calf in the first place. Being able to recognize an impending problem before it becomes an actual problem is equally important.

dun


eric":3aan3mkq said:
From what I have heard, you are about average for rasing bottle calves. I hear there is about a 50% mortality rate, that's one reason I couldnt do it. My family has a hard time when a puppy or kitten dies, no telling what they would do if they hand fed a calf and had it expire. Sorry I cant help you with any suggestions, but I am not sure you are doing anything wrong, just the risks of the game you're in. Good luck!

By the way, you are giving them colustrum (sp?) aren't you, as I am pretty sure that is why it is so important for the baby to feed off of mama after birth, the mamas milk is almost all colustroum. I am sure some of these experts in here will help you, as I am in the learning process also.
 

Ellie May

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I know this has nothing to do with calves but we had a bottle fed lamb once. The cutest little thing. I was so proud of her, because she was the first critter I ever took care of on my own-yah know without mom or dads help. Anyways well a neighbor farmer wanted to use her in a christmas play thingy. I let him. Well it was dark & she hadn't been fed yet, I fed her. But after I fed her she acted weird. The next morning she had died. I think she may of ate too fast or bloated or something. Don't know if this was any help but I thought I would share it.
Ellie May
 

Oldtimer

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Usually with a calf that has scours the vet will tell you to take them off milk and give them straight electrolytes until they quit scouring (2 or 3 days) along with the shots.

Besides getting some different cows that can mother their calves, look at your mineral program. If the cows are lacking in some minerals and vitamins the calves are much more prone to scours. I have talked to a couple of ranchers that had scour problems- the next year they went to the Right Now emerald mineral with biomoss a couple of months before calving and did not have problems that year. It has an antibiotic in it that supposedly is absorbed by the fetus giving it added protection. Once scours get started they're hard to stop.
 

Dyann

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One thing about orphans.. if you dont know if they got any of moms milk, then colustrum may not have been received either. A calf that does not get colustrum within 2 hours of birth is in trouble and if not within 24 hours..well just about guarenteed to die. They are born with no anitbodies and get that from the colostrum.. mortality is about 10 days without it.. and they are suspectible to everything.
 
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Anonymous

Another topic of major importance is sanitization, we number the calves and have coresponding numbered buckets, also watch the milk tempature. E-coli can be spread between calves. I'll repeat what was said prevention and early detection is the key. As soon as I notice scours I increase the powder in the milk to make the milk thicker.
 

nrs farm

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Billy":32vhzio4 said:
As soon as I notice scours I increase the powder in the milk to make the milk thicker.

That's interesting Billy. Forty years or more ago, my parents taught me as a child to ALWAYS "fluff" the powder each time because inconsistent powder to water ratios brings about scours from too much concentrate. You increase the concentrate, whereas, we always decreased it when the calf had scours.

We used to add about a teaspoon of nutmeg and an egg to the bottles as well when a calf had scours. No idea what the nutmeg did or does.

Today, I only bottle feed the orphans as well but have not had any orphans (knock on wood) for years now.
 

dun

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We used to grind up charcoal in the bottle for scours.

dun


nrs farm":348bkt4m said:
Billy":348bkt4m said:
As soon as I notice scours I increase the powder in the milk to make the milk thicker.

That's interesting Billy. Forty years or more ago, my parents taught me as a child to ALWAYS "fluff" the powder each time because inconsistent powder to water ratios brings about scours from too much concentrate. You increase the concentrate, whereas, we always decreased it when the calf had scours.

We used to add about a teaspoon of nutmeg and an egg to the bottles as well when a calf had scours. No idea what the nutmeg did or does.

Today, I only bottle feed the orphans as well but have not had any orphans (knock on wood) for years now.
 

Ann Bledsoe

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When I started raising the bottlecalves, the vet told me to cut the amount of milk in half at the first sign of scours, and make up the difference in volume with an electrolyte solution. If the calf is losing more fluid than he's taking in, increase the amount/number of feedings of electrolyte solution. Our vet claimed that more calves die from dehydration than from whatever is causing the scours, and if you can keep them hydrated, most of them will ride it out.
We also give Neomycin at the first sign of scours, followed an hour or so later with a dose of probiotic (clears out the "bad"bacteria and replaces it with "good" bacteria), practically cures them overnight if the cause is bacterial, but it won't do a thing for a virus.

Ann B


nrs farm":37zzrskb said:
Billy":37zzrskb said:
As soon as I notice scours I increase the powder in the milk to make the milk thicker.

That's interesting Billy. Forty years or more ago, my parents taught me as a child to ALWAYS "fluff" the powder each time because inconsistent powder to water ratios brings about scours from too much concentrate. You increase the concentrate, whereas, we always decreased it when the calf had scours.

We used to add about a teaspoon of nutmeg and an egg to the bottles as well when a calf had scours. No idea what the nutmeg did or does.

Today, I only bottle feed the orphans as well but have not had any orphans (knock on wood) for years now.
 

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