Friend's Calf Hasn't Nursed Needs Advice

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Aug 29, 2004
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A friend had a calf born yesterday, called and said it hasn't nursed yet and is about 24 hours old. I'm not sure how he can be sure that it hasn't since I doubt if he stayed up all night with it, but maybe her teats don't show signs of it. He has had the calf up, and gave it a shot of B12? said it was very small. That is not unusual as her first two calves were 65 and 55 pounds, and her own BW was 58.

The cow came down with apparent fescue poisoning two or three weeks ago, and they got her through that with the appropriate medicines. She didn't make much of a bag up until a couple days ago. Does the fescue poisoning have anything to do with this scenario he now faces?

At this point, he has gone to Atwoods to get colostrum replacer and milk replacer to try bottle-feeding the calf. Any advice?
The cholotrum and milk replacer should do pretty well for the calf. Maybe a selenium shot too.
Fescue toxicity basicly poisons the animal and causes loss of milk supply to extremetes and it can severly cut down on milk production. But, it's really not all that hard to mitigate the effects of the fescue. Interseding clover can be a huge help with the problem. The clover besides providing a high level of nutrition it also dilutes the endophyte in the fescue. When we interseeded red clover our weaning weights went up on average 50 lbs and we didn't have an over heating problem which had been evident before.
Obviously the clover won't help this year, but once the fescue has had a frost and goes dormant the endophyte is decreased significantly.

Got more info since post. The calf has not tried to nurse, and is not sucking the bottle, but they are getting a little down her by squirting it in and stroking her throat. The cow is mothering the calf, licking it down after every attempted bottle feeding. My main concern is that they waited too long to start the bottle feeding; should have done it yesterday evening.
if it's not even taking the bottle, they should be tubing it.
My vet has always told me to avoid the store boughton colustrum unless it is apsolutly necessary. He says that once the calf gets that colustrum it will no longer get the nutritional value from the cow's milk. If it was my pair. I would have stripped the cow and tubed the calf with it a couple times a day. But the vit B12 will work wonders.

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