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Cows that won't get going

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DitchBank

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I have 3 Holstein calves I am raising that are about 2 months old. They are weaned and eating hay and grain pretty well but won't gain any weight. Sometimes I think they are scouring but they are only runny sometimes but fine other times. Any tips on how to get them the nutrients/fats they are lacking? And get them up to speed and gaining weight?
 

LoveMoo11

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I would suggest testing for Johne's, etc., but if they aren't scouring constantly that probably isn't the problem. Test them for internal parasites. Also, talk to your vet about what you are feeding and make sure it is sufficient. You may need to add some supplements or switch to a new grain.
 

hillsdown

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Gaining weight and growing are two very different things. Don't forget that anything you feed to a holstein calf at that age is going to go directly to their frame..If you want them to gain weight like a beefer at that age do not ween them so early.
 

CPL

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I would probably deworm them too. Dairy calves are always going to look thin, do you have any scales? Or you can even get an estimate of their weight taking certain measurments and calculating them together- I can get you the formula. I bet they are gaining you just can't tell.
 
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DitchBank

DitchBank

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redcowsrule33":tbpuq8df said:
Test em for coccidia/worms 1st if you are having runny stools. Then look at nutrition.

I have dewormed these calves twice, with the paste I know the blue liquid on the back is better but does the tube of paste work just as well?

LoveMoo11":tbpuq8df said:
I would suggest testing for Johne's, etc., but if they aren't scouring constantly that probably isn't the problem. Test them for internal parasites. Also, talk to your vet about what you are feeding and make sure it is sufficient. You may need to add some supplements or switch to a new grain.
They are eating off a grass pasture as well so, I think sometimes that could be why their runny, but sometimes their poop is completely hard.

hillsdown":tbpuq8df said:
Gaining weight and growing are two very different things. Don't forget that anything you feed to a holstein calf at that age is going to go directly to their frame..If you want them to gain weight like a beefer at that age do not ween them so early.
They aren't growing much and it isn't so much I weaned them as they began eating so much hay and grain they stopped drinking their entire share of milk.(All of them) I used kind of a cheap brand of milk could that be the problem?

CPL":tbpuq8df said:
I would probably deworm them too. Dairy calves are always going to look thin, do you have any scales? Or you can even get an estimate of their weight taking certain measurments and calculating them together- I can get you the formula. I bet they are gaining you just can't tell.

As I said I did deworm them with the paste tube. I have raised around 100 dairy calves in the past 5 years and I know they always look kinda skinny but these calves look twice as bad as any I've had. The 2 darker ones are beginning to do better and get fat, but the white one seems to be the same. It seems the whiter calves I buy do worse than the darker holsteins I buy. Get me the formula if possible.
 

SRBeef

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I apologize to the group if I am missing something, but even with my little experience with cattle it seems like these dairy bull calves, pulled from the cow way too early, sometimes even before getting colostrum, are often a source of problems. If the above calves were on the cows for 2 months that is unusually long but still not really enough.

Looking at my Hereford calves aggressively nursing on their cows it is hard to see how you could really replace that at this point (2 months old). They nibble some grass but not near enough to replace the milk they are getting.

Jim
 

redcowsrule33

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DitchBank":2s6gcoxl said:
I have dewormed these calves twice, with the paste I know the blue liquid on the back is better but does the tube of paste work just as well?

Neither will do a thing for coccidia, which is a very common cause of poor weight gain and diarrhea in calves this age. Johnes is not - the youngest clinical case I have seen is 8 months.

If you wish to blindly treat, get some Corid and follow the treatment directions and see where it gets you.
 

hillsdown

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Could be the milk, calves just do not do well on soy based milk replacer. It does nothing for their developing rumen. Technically you can ween a calf at 2 months and since they were consuming grain I cab see why you would discontinue the replacer.

Try switching the grain, go to a minimum 18-20% dairy calf starter ration. It is mixed with the energy as well as the protein that a calf requires. Make sure they are getting really good leafy hay, not grass hay..You want them on high protein right now.
 

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