Calves won't suck

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Anonymous

After 50 years in the cattle business, we are bewildered. we had a small group of cattle (9) bred by an AI bull that we raised - calve this spring. 5 out of the 9 had nursing problems. 1of them NEVER would suck and is 2 weeks old now. we gave him to a man who was sure he could raise him, but he is just tubing him twice a day. (His tongue won't curl right - hard to explain - and we worked with him 2 hours morning and night for 10 days..) Now we have a big strong heifer calf born last night around midnight (about 18 hours old now) - she won't suck - just licks the teats - won't suck when they are placed in her mouth - her mother has small open teats (with plenty of milk) that we checked. the little calf noses around and then lays down. The other 4 calves finally nursed after 3 or 4 days of working with them. Question: could this be genetic? My husband says he has never heard of such a thing. But 5 out of 9 is unbelievable. HELP!!!

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Anonymous

Hello,

This sounds like dumby calf syndrome, we have experienced this with larger calves, not usually small calves, they are just dingy, and dont quite get with the program until a few weeks of age. All I can recomend is keep working with them and they may learn. We had to do the tubing thing with a heifer, major pain in the but, but after she got on feed she took off like a rocket.

Good Luck, Michelle

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Anonymous

It can be genetic. BUT, most likely it is nutritional. My first guess would be Selenium deficiency (depending on your area) but that is classic. Selenium deficiency affects LARGE MUSCLES - heart, lung, TONGUE. (besides a whole list of other things). I would immediately get some BoSe from your vet and give 4cc (1/2 sq & 1/2 im) per 100# body weight. Sometimes I have had to give a 2nd dose of 2cc the next day (sq). Selenium is toxic so don't go overboard. I give 1/2 sq & 1/2 im because the im will get into their system quicker, & sq will stay with them longer & slower. 2nd idea is "weak calf syndrome" which is usually from cows that have not had proper nutrition. If your calves are strong other than sucking, real good chance its selenium. Where are you located?? I'm in NY and we are EXTREMELY selenium deficient. We feed triple dosage year round in loose mineral mix PLUS give calves shot immediately at birth, and usually again early summer when we worm them. Jeanne
> After 50 years in the cattle
> business, we are bewildered. we
> had a small group of cattle (9)
> bred by an AI bull that we raised
> - calve this spring. 5 out of the
> 9 had nursing problems. 1of them
> NEVER would suck and is 2 weeks
> old now. we gave him to a man who
> was sure he could raise him, but
> he is just tubing him twice a day.
> (His tongue won't curl right -
> hard to explain - and we worked
> with him 2 hours morning and night
> for 10 days..) Now we have a big
> strong heifer calf born last night
> around midnight (about 18 hours
> old now) - she won't suck - just
> licks the teats - won't suck when
> they are placed in her mouth - her
> mother has small open teats (with
> plenty of milk) that we checked.
> the little calf noses around and
> then lays down. The other 4 calves
> finally nursed after 3 or 4 days
> of working with them. Question:
> could this be genetic? My husband
> says he has never heard of such a
> thing. But 5 out of 9 is
> unbelievable. HELP!!!

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I would vote for selenium also. We've never had the problem, but on another unrelated board the same quewstion was asked. Two days after administering the SE the calve was sucking normally.

dunmovin farms

> It can be genetic. BUT, most
> likely it is nutritional. My first
> guess would be Selenium deficiency
> (depending on your area) but that
> is classic. Selenium deficiency
> affects LARGE MUSCLES - heart,
> lung, TONGUE. (besides a whole
> list of other things). I would
> immediately get some BoSe from
> your vet and give 4cc (1/2 sq
> & 1/2 im) per 100# body
> weight. Sometimes I have had to
> give a 2nd dose of 2cc the next
> day (sq). Selenium is toxic so
> don't go overboard. I give 1/2 sq
> & 1/2 im because the im will
> get into their system quicker,
> & sq will stay with them
> longer & slower. 2nd idea is
> "weak calf syndrome"
> which is usually from cows that
> have not had proper nutrition. If
> your calves are strong other than
> sucking, real good chance its
> selenium. Where are you located??
> I'm in NY and we are EXTREMELY
> selenium deficient. We feed triple
> dosage year round in loose mineral
> mix PLUS give calves shot
> immediately at birth, and usually
> again early summer when we worm
> them. Jeanne
 
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A

Anonymous

Thanks for the responses. We gave the calf to a man who helps us out and he has still not gotten the calf to suck. He is on calf manna, but rolls it around in his mouth and has trouble swallowing it. I will pass on the word about Selenium to him. We live in Texas - not too far from Abilene - don'tknow if that's been a problem around here - vet didn't mention it. Of course we are starting the 6th year of a 6 year drought and the animals begin to do strange things when droughty conditions continue -Thanks again.

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