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calf not nursing right

A

Anonymous

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I have simmental cow that had her 4th calf a week ago today(thursday) the wasn't drinking right only alittle bit from one nipple so we penned them up friday afternoon and saturday morning we put the cow in a head gate and put the calf on her,I had to help her but she drank some from all four, we did that again on sunday and then monday we left her go but tuesday the cow was full again on 3 quarters so we put her in the chute again but this time the calf wouldn't drink for me so I milked those 3 out and fed some to the calf. the calf's manure has been thin and watery with a little blood since saturday , I have been giving her teremyican tablets and and this morning it looks beeter ,it's still a little soft but it's not watery and I didn't see any blood , she now is drinking from both quarters on one side but not the other ,I put the cow back but couldn't get her to drink from the other side so I mmilked some out and gave to the calf (she looks to me like she not getting enough ) My question is if the calf doesn't drink from that other side (I'm hoping she'll get hungry enough and will) must I keep milking the cow out or will she be okay on her own ,somone told me if I wouldn't she could get milk fever and possibly die ,is that right ?

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A

Anonymous

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In MOST cases the cow will be fine. She may be producing more than the calf is hungry for. As the calf grows it will require more milk and use the other quarters. The cow will produce as much milk as is demanded, so if you keep milking her out, she will think she needs to produce more. On the other hand you need to know if the calf is not getting enough. Is the calf active? Is it strong and agile, or does it stagger a bit? I check the calf for a full belly. Belly should feel like a full water baloon when the calf is done nursing. You can also separate them for about 4 hours and watch for aggressive nursing when you return the cow to the calf. If the calf is still only slightly interested you have a sick calf.

If lack of nursing caused milk fever, we would all have sick cows at weaning time. When you have milk fever you have infection and blood in the milk. When you have a cow that is too tight and full you may get blood in the milk because she may bruise her bag just walking. This blood in the milk is harmless, but throws up a red flag to many, so they associate calf not nursing - blood in milk - milk fever. This is not true. With real milk fever you have infection and you cannot mistake the stink.



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A

Anonymous

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What you are referring to as milk fever is in actuality mastitis. Milk fever is a calcium imbalance.

dun

> In MOST cases the cow will be
> fine. She may be producing more
> than the calf is hungry for. As
> the calf grows it will require
> more milk and use the other
> quarters. The cow will produce as
> much milk as is demanded, so if
> you keep milking her out, she will
> think she needs to produce more.
> On the other hand you need to know
> if the calf is not getting enough.
> Is the calf active? Is it strong
> and agile, or does it stagger a
> bit? I check the calf for a full
> belly. Belly should feel like a
> full water baloon when the calf is
> done nursing. You can also
> separate them for about 4 hours
> and watch for aggressive nursing
> when you return the cow to the
> calf. If the calf is still only
> slightly interested you have a
> sick calf.

> If lack of nursing caused milk
> fever, we would all have sick cows
> at weaning time. When you have
> milk fever you have infection and
> blood in the milk. When you have a
> cow that is too tight and full you
> may get blood in the milk because
> she may bruise her bag just
> walking. This blood in the milk is
> harmless, but throws up a red flag
> to many, so they associate calf
> not nursing - blood in milk - milk
> fever. This is not true. With real
> milk fever you have infection and
> you cannot mistake the stink.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
> What you are referring to as milk
> fever is in actuality mastitis.
> Milk fever is a calcium imbalance.

> dun

You are exactly right Dun. Cattlemen in my area and many others use the terms milk fever and mastitis interchangeably even though they are two very different conditions. True milk fever is low blood calcium and can be caused by excess lactation. It is seen most often in dairy animals. Since the issue was a problem that might occur if the cow wasn’t nursed out, I assumed they meant mastitis. I should have made the correction rather than propagate the misnomer.

Thanks for stepping in.



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