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Calf not sucking bottle....

tom4018

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I bought a couple calves at a sale yesterday. One has taken to the bottle good but the other one won't. Used a oral feeder on him to get something down him and keep him hydrated. Any suggestions ? Would you give calves like this Baytril or Nuflor as a preventative?
 

dun

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tom4018":2khjoz9d said:
I bought a couple calves at a sale yesterday. One has taken to the bottle good but the other one won't. Used a oral feeder on him to get something down him and keep him hydrated. Any suggestions ? Would you give calves like this Baytril or Nuflor as a preventative?

Bottle calves from the sale barn is the only time we ever gave antibiotics as a preventative/early catcher. We gave Nuflor as they came off the trailer.

Does it just refuse or can't it suck. There are a millioon tricks to getting one to suck if they don't want to. Pumping their jaws so that milk blows, sucking fingers and puttiing them in a bucket, etc.
Just keep tubing and trying to get it to suck. Bout all you can do.

dun
 

tom4018

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He plays around with the nipple just wallowing his tongue around it. We have tried letting him drink out of a pail with no luck, tried all the tricks i knew. Can one be tubes too much?
 

dun

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Does he stand up easily and walk and run around? If not maybe a shot of selenium may help. There is a conneection between the tongue and suck replex that seems (to me) to be able to be helped with selenium.
The option of tubing him is to let him die. So you don't have a whole lot of options but to keep tubing until he catches on.

dun
 

Craig-TX

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You might try enlarging the hole in the end of the nipple. Make it big enough that the milk dribbles out. Make sure it’s not cold but not too hot. If he’s just licking it and he won’t take it all the way in his mouth you can stick your thumb in from the side at the rear of his mouth. He will open by reflex and you can stick the bottle in, then hold his mouth closed over it and squeeze the bottle enough that he gets a good swig or two. Don’t give up on him, some orphan calves seem like real knot heads but they have to learn. He will catch on if you stick with it but you will have to wrestle with him a few times. After that he might be OK as long as he got some colostrum from his mama.

Craig-TX
 

tom4018

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Dun, he walks around ok, seems a little weak. Went and got some Nuflor from vet and she suggested Banamine also. So he has had those, yesterday he would start bawling at me when I came to the shed, which he had not done. But I had to tube then and again this morning, he was drinking water and sucking on the other calf's ear this morning and bawling at me. Hopefully he is improving, do you feel selenium could still be a problem? Was wondering if a colostrum supplement would help him any or if its too late.

Craig, we tried all of that, but he seems to keep trying to push the nipple out of his mouth with his tongue and not actually sucking.

I appreciate the input from all of you and hopefully the little fellow will make it. He seems more perky, I guess time will tell.
 

CattleAnnie

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One word of about Nuflor. A side effect of the drug is diarreha, so don't be suprised if the calf gets a bit of the runs.

Take care.
 

dun

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If he's sucking the other calfs ears it isn't a muscular problem. It's being a turkey butt problem, he can - he just doesn't wanna. Some calves just don't get used to the rubber. You might try a lamb (ugh) nipple. They're smaller and different shaped, also generally a softer consistance. If he'll suck your fingers, you might try the gradual lowering of them into a bucvket of milk. Calves kike that just frustrate the snot out of me, then one day they act like they've been doing it right all along. I see this a lot at some of the dairys, but they bottle/bucket feed everything. Just depends on the particular preference of the dairy.

dun
 
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Hey,

One time I had a set of twins but the cow wouldn't take one. It had sucked her once and the cow was perfectly fine with the other one. I took the first one to bottle feed it but couldn't ever get it to suck. Fortunately that day, one of my heifers who already had a calf stole it through the fence so I turned it out and she had twins.(Guess the calf hated rubber)!!!!!
 

Craig-TX

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tom4018":27zbcim8 said:
we tried all of that, but he seems to keep trying to push the nipple out of his mouth with his tongue and not actually sucking.

That's why I was saying you might have to wrestle him a few times. Don't be afraid to manhandle him. He won't like it at first but you don't want to have to tube for too long. That will get old fast for both of you. Force him to take the bottle, it's for his own good. Good luck.

Craig-TX
 
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A method that sometimes works is to straddle the calf, hold it's neck between your legs. You can control the head better and there is not as much of a fight.

Stick the nipple in their mouth from a back corner making sure you have the tongue depressed. Once the bottle is in the right position take one hand and cover the calf's nostrils fairly firmly until the little darling gives sucking a try. This seems to stimulate the sucking reflex along with the breathing reflex. Doubt I describled the method here very well but this does work if you can figure out what I am trying to say.
 

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I raise alot of bottle calves and I had one act like that over the summer. I couldn't figure out what the problem was, he acted like his tounge was to big. So I got a lamb nipple and put on the bottle, it is tremendously smaller. After I worked with him for a little while he took the lamb nipple. I left him on the small nipple then for about 2 weeks until I switched him to the big one.
 

Medic24

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Hey, right up my alley, had one this past fall just that way, they say difficult births do that.
here are two tricks to try, first try to ruff up the nipple, with sand paper or something, it may take after that, cus it is more like mommas teet then.

If that doesn't work, you can't tube forever, the throat will swell and eventually close up. plus there is something about the tube going into the ababmasum or something, anyway.

Try a turkey baster! ALWAYS works for me, just suck the milk from the bottle up into the baster and push it into the back of the throat, he has to swallow.
Try that, it doesnt take too long to feed, and eventually after a few days or weeks, mine always figured it out, when we tried every few days to put the nipple in , one day they just seem to turn that light bulb on and they start sucking. :cboy:
 

Crowderfarms

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We own a feed store and run into people that are having bottle calf problems constantly.Seems that a lot of calves born to a cow with an udder problem, or other milking problem, if they are not found soon, seem to loose the ability to develop the sucking reflex.I just sold one that was tube fed twice a day by my wife and I that NEVER would suck.It came off a cow a fellow had that was about 4 days old with a bad bag.We tried every trick in the book, it started eating calf statrter and hay, so we sold it.(5 weeks of tubing) The stradddle method does work the best while giving the calf the bottle, try to massage it's throat gently, we have bought a few more recently that people just gave up on, and have had no problems.Try to hang in there and don't give up.
 

TheBullLady

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Holy smokes! 5 WEEKS of tubing?!? I don't know that I would have had that much fortitude. :roll:
 

Crowderfarms

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Ms. Bull Lady, My wife is a diehard, she wont let anything get in her way of saving a calves life. Honestly, I had done had enough. BUT she would not give up on it and it's new owner reports to us, that the calf is doing fine. It's strange, we've run into quite a few folks this Winter with no-sucking calves....Many more than usual. ;-)
 

Linda

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Also, try wiping/rubbing the area around the calf's rectum with a warm, wet cloth when you feed it. The mother licks the calf to stimulate a bowel movement when the calf is nursing. I've done the wet cloth routine with some good results.

Your calf may have come from a hard birth. Be patient, continue tubing as long as it takes. Tubing helps the calf maintain its strength. It will eventually catch on. It may also not be a matter of the calf not wanting to nurse - it just may not be strong enough yet. A week or more of tubing isn't unusual.

I've never heard of a calf's throat swelling shut from tubing. If the tubing is done gently and with a certain amount of skill, it may be slightly irritating to the throat but not enough to cause the throat to swell shut. As Dun said, the alternative is death for the calf.
 

Medic24

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Well, I must admit, I make the recommendation regarding limited tubing not from experience, but from advice from our vet, with whom we adore, and respect greatly.

Perhaps he was just being over cautious in his advice?

Although, there is the question about digestion, and the direct inflow of the milk into second part of the stomach that I am not sure I understand yet? Any one care to enlighten me?
 

Ryder

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Medic24":1owjvhdv said:
Well, I must admit, I make the recommendation regarding limited tubing not from experience, but from advice from our vet, with whom we adore, and respect greatly.

Perhaps he was just being over cautious in his advice?

Although, there is the question about digestion, and the direct inflow of the milk into second part of the stomach that I am not sure I understand yet? Any one care to enlighten me?
The rumen in young calves is not functional, so milk there will tend to putrefy. The esophogeal groove is an anatomical structure which closes and carries liquids past the rumen and reticulum and mostly into the true stomach for proper digestion.

If memory serves, the act of sucking stimulates the closure of this groove.So young calves need to be on a teat, natural or artificial.
 

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