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calf eating dirt

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Anonymous

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Hi,I have a calf that is six days old the mother rejected it when it was born i have been bottle feeding it with milk replacer and colostrum. I give it 16 percent calf starter free choice but he eats dirt and very little feed i have never had this happen before can someone tell me what causes this also i saw his mother at the pond today doing the same thing i have never seen her do this before thanks for any and all help.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
In humans, eating dirt most often is caused by a mineral deficiency, and is called Pica.

The same thing happens in cows, according to my vet. I have a cow that will do this if her mineral supplementation isn't correct. I saw the behavior and asked the vet if Pica was possible in cows. He said it most certainly was and is caused by mineral deficiency, as in humans.

We changed to a good quality, free choice, loose mineral instead of a mineral salt block and the cow quit eating dirt. We sometimes use a supplement tub instead of the loose mineral and this, too, solves the problem. However, this cow is the one most often seen standing at the mineral source and eats more of it than most.

I have seen this behavior in two of her daughters, but it didn't start until each was pregnant.

> Hi,I have a calf that is six days
> old the mother rejected it when it
> was born i have been bottle
> feeding it with milk replacer and
> colostrum. I give it 16 percent
> calf starter free choice but he
> eats dirt and very little feed i
> have never had this happen before
> can someone tell me what causes
> this also i saw his mother at the
> pond today doing the same thing i
> have never seen her do this before
> thanks for any and all help.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> In humans, eating dirt most often
> is caused by a mineral deficiency,
> and is called Pica.

> The same thing happens in cows,
> according to my vet. I have a cow
> that will do this if her mineral
> supplementation isn't correct. I
> saw the behavior and asked the vet
> if Pica was possible in cows. He
> said it most certainly was and is
> caused by mineral deficiency, as
> in humans.

> We changed to a good quality, free
> choice, loose mineral instead of a
> mineral salt block and the cow
> quit eating dirt. We sometimes use
> a supplement tub instead of the
> loose mineral and this, too,
> solves the problem. However, this
> cow is the one most often seen
> standing at the mineral source and
> eats more of it than most.

> I have seen this behavior in two
> of her daughters, but it didn't
> start until each was pregnant.

Thanks Linda for your reply i will try the loose mineral.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I was just wondering what you had done to try to get the mother to accept the calf? Its always best the calf be with the mom. We have one cow who every year rejects her calf immediatly after being born. She head butts it and will try to kick it. Every year, (since we know this will happen) we pen them up side by side, then put mom in a head catch several times a day and let the calf nurse supervised.(The first day, the cow is clearly NOT happy with this) but after 2 days of that we can put the 2 together in a corral and keep an eye on them. The mother is fine after this intial reaction and rejection. It is time consumming, but better than bottle feeding and cheaper! Anyhow, was just wondering if youd done anything to get the mom to accept the calf.

Hi,I have a calf that is six days
> old the mother rejected it when it
> was born i have been bottle
> feeding it with milk replacer and
> colostrum. I give it 16 percent
> calf starter free choice but he
> eats dirt and very little feed i
> have never had this happen before
> can someone tell me what causes
> this also i saw his mother at the
> pond today doing the same thing i
> have never seen her do this before
> thanks for any and all help.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
The mother had a hard time the calf got on a nerve coming out and paralized the mothers rear legs she could not stand for six hours it is her first calf she had him in the pasture and it started to pour down rain, we had to pack him to the barn when she got up she never had any interest in him. We tryed everything from tying her up to rubbing him with anything that had her scent. Thanks for your concern.-----------jim
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
I had an older cow that rejected her newborn calf last week. I got her and the calf in a pen. I milked her and bottle fed the calf, then poured some of her milk on the back of the calf. Left them in the pen over night and the next day she was being a protective mother, the calf was feeding and jumping around, I turned them back out and she doesn't let him out of her sight.

> The mother had a hard time the
> calf got on a nerve coming out and
> paralized the mothers rear legs
> she could not stand for six hours
> it is her first calf she had him
> in the pasture and it started to
> pour down rain, we had to pack him
> to the barn when she got up she
> never had any interest in him. We
> tryed everything from tying her up
> to rubbing him with anything that
> had her scent. Thanks for your
> concern.-----------jim



[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
> I had an older cow that rejected
> her newborn calf last week. I got
> her and the calf in a pen. I
> milked her and bottle fed the
> calf, then poured some of her milk
> on the back of the calf. Left them
> in the pen over night and the next
> day she was being a protective
> mother, the calf was feeding and
> jumping around, I turned them back
> out and she doesn't let him out of
> her sight.

I raise brahmans they are a little strange compared to other cattle we poured her milk on him but that didn't seem to work. Steven thanks for your reply. Have a good day.-------Jim
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
If she reject her calf every year why on earth do you keep her around. The cows purpose is to raise a live calf up to weaning time. If she can not do that she has no value. I graft calves on cows all the time and I will pen a cow when she rejects her calf because of bad weather condtions, but if she is doing it every year and you know its the same cow sell her.
 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
Didn't say she done it every year.

> If she reject her calf every year
> why on earth do you keep her
> around. The cows purpose is to
> raise a live calf up to weaning
> time. If she can not do that she
> has no value. I graft calves on
> cows all the time and I will pen a
> cow when she rejects her calf
> because of bad weather condtions,
> but if she is doing it every year
> and you know its the same cow sell
> her.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Guest
>I did say we pen them up, just like you do. And after that they are fine. She IS a good mother after that. Calves out good, milks good and puts out a good calf, is fairly easy to handle. She only initially rejects the calf at first sight.

If she reject her calf every year
> why on earth do you keep her
> around. The cows purpose is to
> raise a live calf up to weaning
> time. If she can not do that she
> has no value. I graft calves on
> cows all the time and I will pen a
> cow when she rejects her calf
> because of bad weather condtions,
> but if she is doing it every year
> and you know its the same cow sell
> her.
 

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