dying baby calves

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We have been buying male holstein calves from a dairy, our last 7 have died. We bottle feed them and they do great for about a week. They then scour, become very weak and die within 2 days. We have tried scour pills, tube feeding, electrolyes. We have changed milks, boiled bottles and moved the calves to different places in our land. What is going on here? We don't know if its virus, or what. Some one please give us some guidance. Thanks, Billie

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Temp them as soon as you get them, and everyday thereafter. Normal is 101F if they get to 102 treat them for pneumonia with Micotil, Nuflor or another antibiotic recommended by your vet.

The calves have a depressed immune system and are succumbing to common pathogens. Selenium, vit A,d,e, and maybe some penicillin can be given as a preventative measure, but the temperature will be the first sign. They might not look sick with the fever, but treat any temp anyway.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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Thanks Jason, We are trying the things you suggested. We have a baby girl calf on the edge. We have been giving her gatorade every two hours to keep her hydrated. We really appreciate your response. We have been hitting dead ends until you came along. She has lived 1 day longer than our past calfs. We started having this problem all at once. We raised about 15 with no problems but maybe an occasional scour that was treatable with pills. Did we do something wrong?

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It's not really you, just a fact of life that as soon as you confine animals and raise them in numbers disease will increase.

As for the mix you use to hydrate the calves, use a mix of water, a pinch of salt a teaspoon of baking soda, and if you want to add energy use corn syrup. Calves can't digest refined sugar.

Good luck.


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