Weak and stillborn calves

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Robby

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Over the past couple of weeks had one calf born dead and three that lasted 2-4 days. The three that were born alive were very weak. The biggest 50 pounds while the lightest was around 30 pounds. Tried to feed them, but it was not meant to be. The kicker....they were all AI'd to the same bull. The three cows were PB Simmental. Had one heifer calve that was bred to a different bull, that calf was born around 65 pounds that had no issues and is doing fine.
 

Frankie

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Robby1972":3d5tnp2b said:
Over the past couple of weeks had one calf born dead and three that lasted 2-4 days. The three that were born alive were very weak. The biggest 50 pounds while the lightest was around 30 pounds. Tried to feed them, but it was not meant to be. The kicker....they were all AI'd to the same bull. The three cows were PB Simmental. Had one heifer calve that was bred to a different bull, that calf was born around 65 pounds that had no issues and is doing fine.

Were the cows related? Don't know much about Simmentals, but it might be some sort of genetic problem if they were related and bred to the same bull.

Those are really small birthweights. Were the cows in good condition when they calved?
 
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Robby

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The cows were not related. All were in good condition. I would guess they were BCS 6+. Been a pretty good year for grass here after a couple of really dry years.
 

dun

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I owuld get one or all of the calves posted to see what the deal is
 

hillsdown

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dun":14s8hplq said:
I owuld get one or all of the calves posted to see what the deal is
:nod:


I would contact the simmi association (I am assuming that is what the bull is) and see if there have been any other occurrences with this bull.

I am thinking 3 things, genetic condition (bull), nutrition (the feed they were consuming what kind of weeds do you have ?) or disease like IBR or BVD.
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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hillsdown":2bgdls6x said:
dun":2bgdls6x said:
I owuld get one or all of the calves posted to see what the deal is
:nod:


I would contact the simmi association (I am assuming that is what the bull is) and see if there have been any other occurrences with this bull.

I am thinking 3 things, genetic condition (bull), nutrition (the feed they were consuming what kind of weeds do you have ?) or disease like IBR or BVD.


I would say bVd myself. Do you vaccinate your cattle at all robby?
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Those weights are way too small. BVD sounds like a good guess, (but we're all just guessing). I sure wouldn't waste time on here looking for answers. You really need to get some blood work done to determine your problem. If you have a health issue, it may be too late for this year's calf crop.
If we have an odd-ball death, it just goes with the business - but multiple similar problems need professional help. 1 calf saved can sure pay a vet bill.
What is your vaccination program? Do you use MLV or Killed? and how often?
 

KNERSIE

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":3nn8t11b said:
Those weights are way too small. BVD sounds like a good guess, (but we're all just guessing). I sure wouldn't waste time on here looking for answers. You really need to get some blood work done to determine your problem. If you have a health issue, it may be too late for this year's calf crop.
If we have an odd-ball death, it just goes with the business - but multiple similar problems need professional help. 1 calf saved can sure pay a vet bill.
What is your vaccination program? Do you use MLV or Killed? and how often?

I sincerely hope it isn't what it sounds likely to be. I'm with the rest it does sound alot like BVD. But surely you would have seen it in very much lower conception rates last year?

Did the calves ahve crooked front legs by any chance?
 
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Robby

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Don't know of anyone here in western NC that could test the calves.
Haven't vaccinated any of the cows in the past few years. Odd thing was that the three cows were in different pastures, but all bred to the same bull. Had three calves born before the issues I had with these three. Called the folks that raised the bull and they sold him as a yearling to an outfit in SD, but haven't called them to see if they've had a run of calves that small. On the ASA herdbook the bull seemed to throw 85-95 pound calves on a regular basis, but that is just on the calves where data was turned in.
 

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Robby1972":19w6i0lv said:
Don't know of anyone here in western NC that could test the calves.
Haven't vaccinated any of the cows in the past few years. Odd thing was that the three cows were in different pastures, but all bred to the same bull. Had three calves born before the issues I had with these three. Called the folks that raised the bull and they sold him as a yearling to an outfit in SD, but haven't called them to see if they've had a run of calves that small. On the ASA herdbook the bull seemed to throw 85-95 pound calves on a regular basis, but that is just on the calves where data was turned in.

Well Robby - it is time for you to get to work.

Call the nearest veterinarian and find the place to get a post done.

Call the nearest university and find out where the nearest veterinarian college is that might help.

Call the local ag rep and ask him to help you.

Call some friends and scout your land for anything unusual - old dump sites that might be buried and so on. Maybe an air borne issue or fly borne - what is in the neighbours fields?

Call your local cattlemens association - maybe they can help.

Call yourself!!

You posted a week ago about this problem. You have had some suggestions and ideas - and it took you a week to respond.

It appears you have sat on it and then you come to day with this:

Don't know of anyone here in western NC that could test the calves

And this:

Haven't vaccinated any of the cows in the past few years

And this:

Called the folks that raised the bull

What else have you done to date? Anything at all?

It strikes me you do not have a real fire built under your azz to solve this so why should we?

Any responsible owner would be all over this - seems you might not be one - if you are you do not display it here.

Bez+
 
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Robby

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Bez, I appreciate your input.
As some people on this board may vaccinate their herd yearly, I have only vaccinated a handful of sale bought calves over the years.

The calves are long gone, no way to get them back to have them tested. Did find a diagnostic lab in Elkin, NC about an hour away. If I have another, do I need to keep the entire calf? If so, do I freeze it or what?

As for the BVD suggestions, does the cow carry it? the bull? How is it transmitted?
 

Workinonit Farm

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Robby1972":26o6ox53 said:
diagnostic lab in Elkin, NC about an hour away. If I have another, do I need to keep the entire calf? If so, do I freeze it or what?

According to the lab available to folks in my area (the lab is a good hour away for me) calves are brought in whole, as 'fresh' as possible and not frozen. With cows, the whole cow can go or the local vet removes tissue samples or any other samples that are needed.

As for the BVD suggestions, does the cow carry it? the bull?

Cows and bulls can carry it.

How is it transmitted?

Contact/exposure to other animals that have it, or contact/exposure to areas where other infected animals have been.

While it may be too late for the long since dead animals, it is not too late to get your vet involved with a good heard-health management plan and perhaps some testing of the remaining animals you have. And go from there.

Good luck.

Katherine
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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Robby1972":kk04irnv said:
Bez, I appreciate your input.
As some people on this board may vaccinate their herd yearly, I have only vaccinated a handful of sale bought calves over the years.

The calves are long gone, no way to get them back to have them tested. Did find a diagnostic lab in Elkin, NC about an hour away. If I have another, do I need to keep the entire calf? If so, do I freeze it or what?

As for the BVD suggestions, does the cow carry it? the bull? How is it transmitted?


The cow is usually the carrier but the bull can carry it to. Read this article. Also, you can blood test them for the disease and cull any that may have it.

BVD

BVD (Bovine Virus Diarrhea) infection can cause numerous problems, such as damage to the digestive and immune systems, pneumonia, abortions, calf deformities, and others. Clinical signs in newborn calves infected with BVD include fever, nasal discharge, diarrhea, and inability to move about normally.

Unfavorable reactions frequently follow the use of modified live virus BVD vaccines. The risk of these vaccination reactions should be weighed against the probability of losses resulting from BVD infection before a decision is made about using MLV-BVD vaccines. Appropriate recommendations should be made by the attending veterinarian after he has assessed the local BVD situation.
 
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Robby

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Okay, this article stated unfavorable reactions frequently follow the use of MLV-BVD vaccines. What type of reactions occur?

Also, if a cow has BVD, will the vaccine help/hurt or not make a difference?
 
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Robby

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If I chose to test the cows, where/who do I send the blood to?
Also, how easily is this transmitted?
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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Robby1972":q9xwzvt9 said:
Okay, this article stated unfavorable reactions frequently follow the use of MLV-BVD vaccines. What type of reactions occur?

Also, if a cow has BVD, will the vaccine help/hurt or not make a difference?


You vaccinate them with killed or mlv virus to prevent them from catching it. Once they have it only thing to cure them would be an innoculation of lead poisoning in the brain.
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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Robby1972":2kjbmd6x said:
If I chose to test the cows, where/who do I send the blood to?
Also, how easily is this transmitted?


Have your vet come out and draw blood or you can do this.

http://www.biotracking.com/bvd.php

They charge 3.65 cents per sample to test it.

You can order the kits from them.


Of course having the vet cut a notch out of their ear and send that to them for testing is more accurate than the blood testing you can have them blood tested just not as accurate as the ear notching from what I have heard.
 
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Robby

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Thanks. I've got everything I need to draw the blood. Sent them some samples last year for pregnancy checking. Didn't know they did the BVD test though. I'll see what I can find on the ear notching.
 
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