something wrong with calf

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JB

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I have a five and a half month old bottle fed calf that has something wrong with it. She eats grass, but lately, doesn't want to suck the bottle anymore. I have never been able to get her on feed even though she's almost 6 months old. She's losing a little weight and hasn't grown like she should have. Sometimes after she finishes drinking a bottle, she grinds her teeth, but not always. She's not as perky as she used to be either. Any ideas? Thanks.
 
A

Anonymous

She may have an abomasal ulcer. Most likely cause is a hairball (aka a trichobezoar). Cattle grind their teeth with abdominal pain. Frankly, I think a vet should examine this animal and perhaps save her life. If the ulcer bursts, it's game over...

Good Luck
V
 

BLACKPOWER

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JB":2dpafqjp said:
I have a five and a half month old bottle fed calf that has something wrong with it. She eats grass, but lately, doesn't want to suck the bottle anymore. I have never been able to get her on feed even though she's almost 6 months old. She's losing a little weight and hasn't grown like she should have. Sometimes after she finishes drinking a bottle, she grinds her teeth, but not always. She's not as perky as she used to be either. Any ideas? Thanks.

Why in the hell are you still bottle feeding a five and a half month old calf?? Get in started on some pellets like you should have done 2 months ago.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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For once, I'll agree with Black Power! A calf that old should have been grazing and ready to wean. However, we officially wean our calves at about 6 to 7 months, BUT they have been mostly grazing and eating hay for 2 to 4 months too.
 

txshowmom

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I agree, the calf should be off the bottle. She could be grinding her teeth if you are forcing her to drink the bottle. Our show cattle gring their teeth when they don't want to do something. She is trying to wean herself, don't push the issue of the bottle.
 
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JB

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The calf seemed back to normal the next morning and has been fine since, (no more teeth grinding). Do you still think I should take her to the vet? She looks to be gaining a little more weight now as well. The reason she's not on feed is that she will not eat it. I keep it out for her all the time, and have since she was four weeks old, but she won't touch it. I even try putting some in her mouth but after the first mouthful she turns and walks away. I even bought another brand in case she just didn't like the way the first one tasted. I tried cutting back on her bottles to half each time, but she would just eat grass and be hungry instead of eating the feed so after several days I went back to the full bottles. I keep her in a 2 acre patch by herself, but she can see the herd through the fence. I don't force her to take the bottle, I just hold it through the fence and she takes it. If I'm late with it she starts bawling for me. I've helped raise close to 50 bottle calves in the past, and she's the first one that we couldn't get on feed. Any other ideas I could try? Should I de-worm her yet or wait until (if) she starts eating feed? What kind of wormer would be best for her? Thanks again.
 

rgv4

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Try putting another calf in with it to teach it how to eat feed.

Since it's been by itself all the time, maybe it doesn't think that it is a cow. :lol:
 

BLACKPOWER

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rgv4":28ze0z44 said:
Try putting another calf in with it to teach it how to eat feed.

Since it's been by itself all the time, maybe it doesn't think that it is a cow. :lol:

If it hasn't learned to eat on it's own during the past two weeks I don't think he'll be much of a bunk mate for the other calf. Flies, Maggots, rotting carcass, etc..................................................................

Due to the drought up here some people weaned calves at 120 days had surprisinly good results. If they can be weaned a 5.5 month old will wean off fine. Don't try to make things more complicated than they are.
 

Texan

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BLACKPOWER":pmr8rjvs said:
If it hasn't learned to eat on it's own during the past two weeks I don't think he'll be much of a bunk mate for the other calf. Flies, Maggots, rotting carcass, etc..................................................................
That's a real good point, BP! ;-)
 

rgv4

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Texan":398klztg said:
BLACKPOWER":398klztg said:
If it hasn't learned to eat on it's own during the past two weeks I don't think he'll be much of a bunk mate for the other calf. Flies, Maggots, rotting carcass, etc..................................................................
That's a real good point, BP! ;-)

The calf is not dead. Read the above post, it's back on the bottle.
 

Texan

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rgv4":2qr9liwx said:
The calf is not dead. Read the above post, it's back on the bottle.
I think what BP meant was that since it had been two weeks since your first post, the calf would either be okay or dead by now. And by the way, you'll never get the calf weaned if you keep trying and then giving in! If a calf that age gets hungry enough she will learn how to eat and eat what's available. Practice some tough love and wean that calf!
 

dm

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you must wean this calf. if you dont wean this calf and turn it back out with the cows it will be sucking on which ever cow will let it till who knows when.first of all if its on two acres of grass and the grass is of good quality, the calf should not need any milk. it might need protien supplement, to supplement the grass if it is not good quality. protien will make it eat more thus keeping it from losing weight and maintain her proper growth. if you want to get it started on grain put it in a small pen with shelter and fresh water. give it good quality hay, high in protien. give it access to grain or commercial feed. sprinkle dry milk replacer on top of grain or feed. do not give it any more milk. keep fresh good hay in front of it at all times. when it gets hungry it will eat the grain. the odor from the milk replacer will attract it to the grain. when it starts eating remove the milk replacer from grain. do not give it anymore milk, if it is losing weight supplement with protien, such as protien tubs, protien pellets, etc. you can go ahead and vaccinate and worm the calf. if you have no pride in your livestock or work, do like the other guys said and take it to the sale barn and let somebody else fix the problem.
 

BLACKPOWER

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Texan":37ajdb1i said:
rgv4":37ajdb1i said:
The calf is not dead. Read the above post, it's back on the bottle.
I think what BP meant was that since it had been two weeks since your first post, the calf would either be okay or dead by now. And by the way, you'll never get the calf weaned if you keep trying and then giving in! If a calf that age gets hungry enough she will learn how to eat and eat what's available. Practice some tough love and wean that calf!

Were grazing in the same pasture now. :lol:
 

Dyann

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Had a bottle baby like that too.. she did not know what she was supposed to do with it. At two weeks, I pulled her out of the pasture, she was sick and not doing to well. She never really got to see anyone eating, grazing etc. I kept bottle feeding her as usual, only I diluted the milk a bit more. I did not want her filing up on milk, nor did I want her dyhrdyrating or giving up any of the ground we had already covered. I left fresh sweet feed for her, in a feeder on the wall (at her height) and everytime I would come out to bottle feed, I would stick a little in her mouth. It took about 2 weeks and she finally went from nosing it around to eating it. She grew up just fine.. actually a really nice cow. So be patient, your calf will get the hang of it.
 

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