Bumblefoot and dumb calf

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Cowdirt

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Seems that bumblefoot (contracted tendons) and dumb traits often come together on the same calf. Had a big bull calf this AM. He can stand and move about but it's a chore. I'm unsure if he has nursed but he appears strong and healthy. I'm going to give him until tomorrow AM and if he hasn't nursed, I'll restrain the cow and give him a lesson in nursing.
The point of this post is to ask those of you who like me, have to do this job alone; Do you have any ideas or devices that one can use to hold the rear end of the calf up while you wrestle with the front end? I just straddle the little buggers and do the best I can. Usually I'm pretty well whupped by the time I'm finished. I'm thinking a skyhook and some sort of harness. Last time I was sent looking for a skyhook was more years ago than I wish to admit.
 

randiliana

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Cowdirt":1n3r64m4 said:
Seems that bumblefoot (contracted tendons) and dumb traits often come together on the same calf. Had a big bull calf this AM. He can stand and move about but it's a chore. I'm unsure if he has nursed but he appears strong and healthy. I'm going to give him until tomorrow AM and if he hasn't nursed, I'll restrain the cow and give him a lesson in nursing.
The point of this post is to ask those of you who like me, have to do this job alone; Do you have any ideas or devices that one can use to hold the rear end of the calf up while you wrestle with the front end? I just straddle the little buggers and do the best I can. Usually I'm pretty well whupped by the time I'm finished. I'm thinking a skyhook and some sort of harness. Last time I was sent looking for a skyhook was more years ago than I wish to admit.

Can't help you much with the harness idea, we just fight with them the same as you do. But I wouldn't wait any longer than you already have if you aren't sure he has had a suck. You are already past the optimal time for colostrum, tomorrow will be too late.

I'd just tube him with colostrum for now, and see how he is doing in the morning.
 

dun

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I agree with not waiting to get the colostrum into him. What we've donein the past is set a square bale next to the cow and straddle the calf over that
 

CKC1586

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dun":14kd9f6n said:
I agree with not waiting to get the colostrum into him. What we've donein the past is set a square bale next to the cow and straddle the calf over that
Yup, what dun said. Restrain the cow and use a bale of straw set on end put the little guy across it and plug him onto mom, usually have to straddle or sit on the straw next to him to get his head/mouth in position and onto a teat.
 

Limomike

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And, might have to squirt a shot or two of milk into the calves mouth to get it started good.
 
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Cowdirt

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Thanks for the replies. Bumblefoot is stepping like a tw horse this morning, lifting those feet high and setting them down on his toes. Mama's udder has been sucked.

I know the clock starts ticking when the calf is born to fully utilize the colostrum. Also in times past I've used all the tricks to get them to take the teat but man oh man it hurts my old back to stay bent over struggling with a calf that long. The tip about using a bale of hay/straw to drape him over sounds promising. Thanks again.
 

CKC1586

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Cowdirt":2htkesh5 said:
Thanks for the replies. Bumblefoot is stepping like a tw horse this morning, lifting those feet high and setting them down on his toes. Mama's udder has been sucked.

I know the clock starts ticking when the calf is born to fully utilize the colostrum. Also in times past I've used all the tricks to get them to take the teat but man oh man it hurts my old back to stay bent over struggling with a calf that long. The tip about using a bale of hay/straw to drape him over sounds promising. Thanks again.
Glad things are getting better. Yes the straw works good for calf and for old backs :nod: a squirt in the mouth of course too... Another thing for those calves you just aren't sure are sucking was recommended I think it was by Jeanne works great. Take some teat dip and put food coloring in it, I used blue, and when you are done working with the calf getting him to suck, dip momma's teats. When you come back to work with him again and the teats are no longer blue, you know that the calf has it figured out if they are still blue, get out the bale and work him again. My brother poo pooed that idea but after I used it successfully I see he got him a dip cup too ;-)
 
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Cowdirt

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CKC1586":3fohscqv said:
Cowdirt":3fohscqv said:
Thanks for the replies. Bumblefoot is stepping like a tw horse this morning, lifting those feet high and setting them down on his toes. Mama's udder has been sucked.

I know the clock starts ticking when the calf is born to fully utilize the colostrum. Also in times past I've used all the tricks to get them to take the teat but man oh man it hurts my old back to stay bent over struggling with a calf that long. The tip about using a bale of hay/straw to drape him over sounds promising. Thanks again.
Glad things are getting better. Yes the straw works good for calf and for old backs :nod: a squirt in the mouth of course too... Another thing for those calves you just aren't sure are sucking was recommended I think it was by Jeanne works great. Take some teat dip and put food coloring in it, I used blue, and when you are done working with the calf getting him to suck, dip momma's teats. When you come back to work with him again and the teats are no longer blue, you know that the calf has it figured out if they are still blue, get out the bale and work him again. My brother poo pooed that idea but after I used it successfully I see he got him a dip cup too ;-)


Thanks ckc, the teat dip definitely sounds like a good idea. Some cows it's easy to tell if one or more quarters have been sucked; others that's not the case. This one was more like the latter.
 

LoveMoo11

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I usually just straddle them and kinda sit on them, its easier if you can get them when they are laying down! If you have another person its good because then they can hold him down. Probably a harness of some sort would work it you could get it over his back end securely without slipping and getting his feet tangled.
It seems like those big bull calves are always the dumb ones :lol:
 
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Cowdirt

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LoveMoo11":2fyt4b74 said:
I usually just straddle them and kinda sit on them, its easier if you can get them when they are laying down! If you have another person its good because then they can hold him down. Probably a harness of some sort would work it you could get it over his back end securely without slipping and getting his feet tangled.
It seems like those big bull calves are always the dumb ones :lol:


LoveMoo, maybe I'm not understanding you but I'm talking about getting the calf nursing the cow not take a bottle. I too straddle the little guy and hold up his front end and fight him to get him started. My problem is the back end wants to lay down and I am usually without anyone to help with the rear. With the cow in the headgate I usually accomplish the job but I'm worn out. If all else fails I milk the cow to get the colostrum and feed it with bottle or tube. Yeah, big, bull and dumb; sort of describes me too ;-)
 

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I always put a rope on the calf and tie it to a rail of the chute in such a way it can't shoot too far backwards if I lose my grip. Then I stand with one leg sort of holding the back end of the calf forward and can hopefully also reach to help him onto the teat. Most of them just want to push backwards away from the cow until the penny drops where the milk is and the rope saves me a lot of calf-dragging. So much easier with two people but I'm usually on my own also.
 
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Cowdirt

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jilleroo":3t7f4ty0 said:
I always put a rope on the calf and tie it to a rail of the chute in such a way it can't shoot too far backwards if I lose my grip. Then I stand with one leg sort of holding the back end of the calf forward and can hopefully also reach to help him onto the teat. Most of them just want to push backwards away from the cow until the penny drops where the milk is and the rope saves me a lot of calf-dragging. So much easier with two people but I'm usually on my own also.

Some good info Jilleroo. Sounds like we're in the same fix; having no help with the little buggers. Thanks.
 

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