Colostrom

Help Support CattleToday:

rockridgecattle

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
2,826
Reaction score
1
Location
Manitoba, Canada
Failure of passive transfer or 0 colostrum could have several results. Not all, may not see any but could...

a lower birthweight calf because the calf did not get the fats and stuff needed to get a good jump start

more prone to scours, pnemonia, sickness on farm

this is where colostrum is important. During weaning and shipping. A calf with a compromised immune system will have a harder time fightin the bugs while stressed. You might not see it if you wean and ship, but the feedlots will.

Do your own simple study. Keep an eye on the calves that:
-did not mother well
-did not have a stress free birth
-did not get timely colostrum
-enviromental stress
Mark down these calves. Watch them during scour "season". See if the scours last longer, harder to fight, if they are more proned to it. Same with pnemonia

Lastly do a search on colostrum
Jeanne Valley Simme has a good post or several
Randilana has a good post or several
I might a good post
 
OP
D

deerhunter

Active member
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
Wisconsin
will they eat less. cause i had a calf and the mother didnt have any milk so we have to bottle feed it and it drank 4 pints of the bagged colostrum and since them he wont drink any milk replacer. we have to force it down him.
 

regolith

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
2,795
Reaction score
1
Location
New Zealand
will they eat less.
No.

we have to force it down him
He may, however, have a sore throat if you are tube feeding, and so be reluctant to suckle.

There are too many issues that could potentially be causing this calf to not want to drink, to suggest a cause. IMO it's probably not caused by not enough colostrum.
But it's a very normal outcome of bypassing the calf's strongest instinctive time for suckling (< 6 hours old) and then tube feeding.
In my herd I try as far as possible to ensure that all calves get a fed within that 2 - 6 hr period, not only because of the need for colostrum but because the strong suckling instinct *fades* after that time if the calf is still hungry. If the calf isn't hungry because he's fed, he'll suckle again when he is.
Feeding outside of that time, it may be necessary to tube feed. As far as possible I don't start a calf with tube feeding. I've experienced too many babies that need tube-fed every feed for 2 - 4 days because they then don't want to suckle (sore throat or not hungry).
Every article on rearing dairy calves just about will instruct you to tube feed (every calf) colostrum to make sure they've got it. This is why I won't do it.

Other possible issues:
Low birthweight. Calf given 5% of its birthweight should be hungry 12 hours later, if 4 pts was more than 5% it may not be.
Weak calf - may not want to suckle when hungry. Sick calf might be more interested in wallowing in misery/quietly dying than hunger.
Calf knows it has a mother. May sulk and refuse to feed until it gets the *real* stuff (this is so much fun when you've forcibly removed a dairy calf from its momma).
Feed offered is unpalatable - is it warm (blood heat)? Properly mixed? Sweet-tasting? Not too hot - they don't like having their tongue burned.
 

grubbie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
712
Reaction score
0
Location
Wyoming
Some calves have to get real hungry before they will take a bottle, seen it many times. Just keep at it, you can mix some milk with your milk replacer, make it a little more palatable. Also, make yourself a "drink or drown" nipple. Open up the crossed slits on the end so it almost pours out when you tip it up. You might get half of it on the ground, but keep your hand under his throat and you will feel him swallow once in a while. He will get the hang of it eventually.
 

bigbull338

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
16,565
Reaction score
0
Location
texas
if a calf doesnt get any clostrum during the 1st 24hrs it will die.they usually only live 2 or 3 days without clostrum.
 

Keren

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
3,415
Reaction score
1
Location
My little patch of earth, Perth, WA, Australia
bigbull338":2v142ffy said:
if a calf doesnt get any clostrum during the 1st 24hrs it will die.they usually only live 2 or 3 days without clostrum.

Um......no.

I've got living proof here (bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine take your pick) that animals can and do survive without getting even a drop of colostrum.

And its not in the first few days that lack of colostrum will rear its ugly head, either. Its more often than not around the 5 wk stage, when they will pick up an infection and not having a functioning immune system, the infection takes over.
 
Top