Calf wont nurse

Help Support CattleToday:

Sport

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
MS
I have a three week old calf. When born it refused to nurse its mother. Mother was milked 2 times daily for first 2 weeks and calf bottle feed. The calf is now on milk replacer and still doesnt want to nurse, even the bottle, but does so only after nipple is inserted with force. Will not hunt for nipple when removed. Good urine output and normal manure. The calf is growing well, but moves around slow. Tried different brands of milk replacer,store bought milk and milk straight from the cow. She refuses them all. Any suggestions?
 

milkmaid

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
5,295
Reaction score
1
Location
Idaho
My first thought is to give her a shot of selenium (brand name Bo-Se) and a shot of vitamins A/D/E. Selenium deficiencies can result in slow moving or stiff calves, or ones that cannot/will not suck -- it affects large muscles, more noticably ones like limbs and tongue.
 
OP
S

Sport

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
MS
Thanks i'll give it a try. You might be on to something. Sometimes when bottle feeding her, her tongue gets in the way and i have to push the back of the tongue out of the way, and then she takes it. also noticed she keeps her head low and ears back, like her head hurts.
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Messages
6,662
Reaction score
5
Location
TX
What milkmaid said...you bet. Also, have you put out calf manna for the calf to nose around in? You might get lucky and the calf will begin to eat it. I dunno...just a thought.

The calf has made it 3 weeks...that's fantastic! As well as what milkmaid suggested, just keep doing what you are doing...and try to entice it to eat dry feed. Again, just a thought.

Alice
 

ctlbaron

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
0
Location
midtenn
I just weaned one that would not drink from a bottle at all. I had to train it to drink from a bucket. He is fine now. As was said before he didn't seem to know what to do with his tongue.
 

watson brangus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
69
Reaction score
0
Location
southeast La
I had the same problem sorta.. the calf never got its firt nursing . it tried but couldnt get n e thing out cas their were"bugs" n her tits so we milked her out and gave some to the calf, which was not easy by the way, then we got some milk replacer and once the calf got enough and was strong enough it would make its momma let it milk , the cow didnt want to let it at first but the calf keeps at her
 

Beefy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
8,754
Reaction score
1
Location
Georgia
watson brangus":1ms5a824 said:
I had the same problem sorta.. the calf never got its firt nursing . it tried but couldnt get n e thing out cas their were"bugs" n her tits so we milked her out and gave some to the calf, which was not easy by the way, then we got some milk replacer and once the calf got enough and was strong enough it would make its momma let it milk , the cow didnt want to let it at first but the calf keeps at her

bugs or plugs?
 
OP
S

Sport

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
MS
I'm beginning to think the calf is mentally retarded. Maybe it didn't get enough oxygen at birth, even though it was an easy delivery. The calf is still physically healthy, But still is not interested at all in a bottle. The only way I can get it to nurse is hold its head and force it in, it has to drink or drown. The only problem is that its getting bigger and harder hold. It also still walks slow/ never seen it run.
 

milkmaid

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
5,295
Reaction score
1
Location
Idaho
Did you try the selenium? That's an automatic treatment for any calf that moves slower than I think it ought if there's no sign of illness (scours, pneumonia). Selenium deficiency in calves is sometimes called white muscle disease; characterized by a stiff, uncoordinated calf.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,952
Reaction score
2,395
Location
Central Upstate New York
Milkmaid is sooo right. I wouldn't think of having a newborn and NOT giving it BoSe (Selinium). Than after giving it at birth, if it was slow moving & sluggish, it gets another full dose. Lack of SE is probably the number one reason a calf does not suck.
If you are in a SE deficient area (which most of the US is now SE deficient) your whole herd will benefit from SE suppliment in their mineral. It affects breeding, calving, cycling, hair coat, retained placenta. Too numerous to mention all that it affects. But calf viability is imperitive to have proper SE.
BoSe is a prescribed drug & must be purchased thru your vet.
After you give it a shot today (I.M.), if you do not see a noticeable improvement tomorrow, I would give it again - SubQ injection for a slow release into the blood stream.
 
OP
S

Sport

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
MS
I haven't given any yet, cost 87 dollars per bottle. Trying to get a single dose. What would cause this deficiency? Why would it be in this calf and not the rest? We have about 90 head.
 

milkmaid

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
5,295
Reaction score
1
Location
Idaho
Might be subclinical in the other cows. Might be that calf's dam didn't like your mineral blocks as much as the rest of the herd did. Who knows? it's hard to say.

Think Bo-Se only costs $20/100mL bottle, 'least, that's what it was last time I checked. You could order in Multimin for about $35/100mL (higher concentration; you'd have to give a lower dose) -- Multimin is my favorite for cows and young stock. I still give Bo-Se to the newborns and bottle calves.

Try Valley Vet (valleyvet.com) or American Livestock (americanlivestock.com) or Stearn's Vet Supply (think that's wedocows.com). Best of luck!
 

Joy in Texas

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
686
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas
Sport":egnw389g said:
I'm beginning to think the calf is mentally retarded. Maybe it didn't get enough oxygen at birth, even though it was an easy delivery. The calf is still physically healthy, But still is not interested at all in a bottle. The only way I can get it to nurse is hold its head and force it in, it has to drink or drown. The only problem is that its getting bigger and harder hold. It also still walks slow/ never seen it run.
It's what the old timers call a dumb calf. We have a couple. The best thing I have found to do with them is try to get them to eat sweet feed. The last one that I had would only eat feed and hay. I sold him as soon as he got big enough.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
12,952
Reaction score
2,395
Location
Central Upstate New York
I think the old term is "dumb sucker" and the vet's today consider "dumb sucker" syndrom to be lack of Selenium.
And BoSe around here is also about $20/100ml bottle. VERY CHEAP for what it helps. But, it is much more efficient for the total HERD to be receiving SE thru a good mineral program, although this does not mean the newborn does not need the BoSe shot.
I have seen lots of herds that go for years without SE supplimentation with no problem - than all of a sudden - they have a disatrous calving season.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
19
Location
MO Ozarks
Jeanne - Simme Valley":o844mu9e said:
I think the old term is "dumb sucker" and the vet's today consider "dumb sucker" syndrom to be lack of Selenium.
And BoSe around here is also about $20/100ml bottle. VERY CHEAP for what it helps. But, it is much more efficient for the total HERD to be receiving SE thru a good mineral program, although this does not mean the newborn does not need the BoSe shot.
I have seen lots of herds that go for years without SE supplimentation with no problem - than all of a sudden - they have a disatrous calving season.

People been referring to me as a dumb sucker for years.

dun
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
19
Location
MO Ozarks
KNERSIE":2wvl579x said:
dun,

could it be that you are selenium deficient?

Thanks, I hadn;t thought of that. Now I can claim to have an excuse.

dun
 

Similar threads

Latest posts

Top