Weak calf questions?

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True Grit Farms

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What's the best way to get a weak calf up? It's to weak to get up on its own, and the cow is very protective. I gave the calf a shot of MultiMin, but there was no way to give it a bottle of colostrum. We're going to try and load the calf up and bring it to the catch pen shortly. What's the trick on getting a tube down a calfs throat? And should I give the calf a shot of Banamine?
 

Bright Raven

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True Grit Farms said:
What's the best way to get a weak calf up? It's to weak to get up on its own, and the cow is very protective. I gave the calf a shot of MultiMin, but there was no way to give it a bottle of colostrum. We're going to try and load the calf up and bring it to the catch pen shortly. What's the trick on getting a tube down a calfs throat? And should I give the calf a shot of Banamine?

No, on banamine. An esophageal tube is easy to insert (view a YouTube video). The esophagus and trachea run close together. Obviously, avoid going into the trachea.

Multimin is good. Give a shot of Vitamin B.

Remember, you need colostrum replacer with a minimum of 100 grams IgG escherichia coli antibody. If the calf will take a bottle, yes, do that first with her colostrum.

How long since partum? Calf needs colostrum in first 24 hours.
 

Son of Butch

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Controlling the head, keep her nose BELOW the ears and insert tube in the calf's left side of mouth gently so as not to damage mouth tissue, which would later inhibit sucking. Make sure tube is in the throat before starting flow of fluid, so calf doesn't drown from fluid in it's lungs.
(Windpipe is on the calf's right side of throat.) A buddy told me long long ago he remembers it by, "Left to Live" and it stuck with me.

I see no reason for banamine.
 

Bright Raven

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There are good YouTube videos but if you don't watch one, I will second Butch on working the esophageal tube down toward the left side of the pharynx. At the back of the pharynx is the opening to the trachea called the glottis, in reality, it is not easy to get the tube through the glottis because it has a flap over it called the epiglottis. Thus, it is not easy to make a mistake, the tube wants to go the correct way.

I will add, if you can milk her and the calf will not take a bottle, you can tube the cows own colostrum down the esophagus.
 
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True Grit Farms

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Looks like temporary success, guess we'll see what we have in the morning.
Thanks for the input, I really don't want to tube or bottle feed a calf.
 

Bright Raven

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True Grit Farms said:

Looks like temporary success, guess we'll see what we have in the morning.
Thanks for the input, I really don't want to tube or bottle feed a calf.

Looks like you are doing fine.
 

TCRanch

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Well done! Especially with a very protective mama. Getting him latched on & mama's colostrum is half the battle. I give weak calves Nursemate ASAP, it stimulates the sucking response, and Vitamin B Complex.
One of the best purchases I made was the Trusti Tuber Oral Calf Feeder. It makes tubing virtually foul proof! There is a mouth piece that you insert into the mouth, the calf generally latches on but if not, secure it in his mouth with your hand. You adjust the length of the tube via a knob, contingent on the size of the calf, and slide it in - it automatically goes down the esophagus. The bottle has a vent so no awkward squeezing, the fluid (colostrum, electrolytes, replacer) just flows. Link below but there are videos online.
https://www.jefferspet.com/products/trusti-tuber-oral-calf-feeder-kit
 

talltimber

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I have a basic bottle for tubing. It was a pia to get any flow going. I poked a hole near the bottom, made sure the bottle was dry, and stuck some good tape over the hole. Once you get the tube down, feeling the tube going down the left side of the throat, you can pull the tape off and things go rather smoothly. Not having to fight the bottle, keeping the tube down the correct depth, holding the calf, etc. With help its easier, but I don't always have help.
If you've got the calf sucking while cows in the chute, you are practically golden, given the cow is accepting the calf. If the calf is still weak you may have to put him on her in the chute a few more times, but I'd say you got this whipped, even then.
 

Bright Raven

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talltimber said:
I have a basic bottle for tubing. It was a pia to get any flow going. I poked a hole near the bottom, made sure the bottle was dry, and stuck some good tape over the hole. Once you get the tube down, feeling the tube going down the left side of the throat, you can pull the tape off and things go rather smoothly. Not having to fight the bottle, keeping the tube down the correct depth, holding the calf, etc. With help its easier, but I don't always have help.
If you've got the calf sucking while cows in the chute, you are practically golden, given the cow is accepting the calf. If the calf is still weak you may have to put him on her in the chute a few more times, but I'd say you got this whipped, even then.

I use the plastic bottle with the esophageal tube.

It amazes me why someone has not designed a better apparatus. Like you, the fluid is vacuum locked in the bottle and will not flow well. I unscrew the cap and it allows air in to replace the fluid that leaves. I have thought about doing just what you did. Punch a hole near the bottom and cover it with tap. If they would simply put a hole near the bottom with a plug attached to a lead so it doesn't get lost, I would be first in line to buy one.
 

Ebenezer

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True Grit Farms said:

Looks like temporary success, guess we'll see what we have in the morning.
Thanks for the input, I really don't want to tube or bottle feed a calf.
Not saying "have to", but if you ever tube a calf one time versus fighting a kicking cow you'll say "Wish I had done this 30 years ago". Easy and quick but such a time saver for you. Like BR said, get the better colustrum replacer and not a cheap supplement. It keeps quite a while in the fridge as a powder.
 

Bright Raven

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Ebenezer said:
True Grit Farms said:

Looks like temporary success, guess we'll see what we have in the morning.
Thanks for the input, I really don't want to tube or bottle feed a calf.
Not saying "have to", but if you ever tube a calf one time versus fighting a kicking cow you'll say "Wish I had done this 30 years ago". Easy and quick but such a time saver for you. Like BR said, get the better colustrum replacer and not a cheap supplement. It keeps quite a while in the fridge as a powder.

I second that. It sure is a lot easier.
 

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Bright Raven said:
talltimber said:
I have a basic bottle for tubing. It was a pia to get any flow going. I poked a hole near the bottom, made sure the bottle was dry, and stuck some good tape over the hole. Once you get the tube down, feeling the tube going down the left side of the throat, you can pull the tape off and things go rather smoothly. Not having to fight the bottle, keeping the tube down the correct depth, holding the calf, etc. With help its easier, but I don't always have help.
If you've got the calf sucking while cows in the chute, you are practically golden, given the cow is accepting the calf. If the calf is still weak you may have to put him on her in the chute a few more times, but I'd say you got this whipped, even then.

I use the plastic bottle with the esophageal tube.

It amazes me why someone has not designed a better apparatus. Like you, the fluid is vacuum locked in the bottle and will not flow well. I unscrew the cap and it allows air in to replace the fluid that leaves. I have thought about doing just what you did. Punch a hole near the bottom and cover it with tap. If they would simply put a hole near the bottom with a plug attached to a lead so it doesn't get lost, I would be first in line to buy one.

Your bottle is soft and collapsible isn't it? Once the bottle is drained down a ways and slowed down I just squeeze one side of the neck of the bottle just in above the cap. That starts the air going in and the rest of the fluid practically falls in.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Silver is right. The tuber I have has a "knob" on both sides of the bottle part, right above the threads. Once the fluid is flowing, you can squeeze the "knob" and it kind of breaks the seal at the threads. Lets it flow much better.
I have never tried it, but if you have a calf out in the field and mom won't let you near it, you can take a round bale feeder & with a tractor, put it over the calf. Now you have a barrier from the mom. Of course, I have seen cows that a ring feeder won't stop her from pushing it over the top of you!!! LOL
 

Bright Raven

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Silver said:
Bright Raven said:
talltimber said:
I have a basic bottle for tubing. It was a pia to get any flow going. I poked a hole near the bottom, made sure the bottle was dry, and stuck some good tape over the hole. Once you get the tube down, feeling the tube going down the left side of the throat, you can pull the tape off and things go rather smoothly. Not having to fight the bottle, keeping the tube down the correct depth, holding the calf, etc. With help its easier, but I don't always have help.
If you've got the calf sucking while cows in the chute, you are practically golden, given the cow is accepting the calf. If the calf is still weak you may have to put him on her in the chute a few more times, but I'd say you got this whipped, even then.

I use the plastic bottle with the esophageal tube.

It amazes me why someone has not designed a better apparatus. Like you, the fluid is vacuum locked in the bottle and will not flow well. I unscrew the cap and it allows air in to replace the fluid that leaves. I have thought about doing just what you did. Punch a hole near the bottom and cover it with tap. If they would simply put a hole near the bottom with a plug attached to a lead so it doesn't get lost, I would be first in line to buy one.

Your bottle is soft and collapsible isn't it? Once the bottle is drained down a ways and slowed down I just squeeze one side of the neck of the bottle just in above the cap. That starts the air going in and the rest of the fluid practically falls in.

Yes. It is plastic. Thanks. I have squeezed but more in the middle.
 

J Hoy

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Well done! Especially with a very protective mama. Getting him latched on & mama's colostrum is half the battle. I give weak calves Nursemate ASAP, it stimulates the sucking response, and Vitamin B Complex.
One of the best purchases I made was the Trusti Tuber Oral Calf Feeder. It makes tubing virtually foul proof! There is a mouth piece that you insert into the mouth, the calf generally latches on but if not, secure it in his mouth with your hand. You adjust the length of the tube via a knob, contingent on the size of the calf, and slide it in - it automatically goes down the esophagus. The bottle has a vent so no awkward squeezing, the fluid (colostrum, electrolytes, replacer) just flows. Link below but there are videos online.
When I gave a neighbor and another friend some Hyland's Calc. Phos. 30X tablets to give their weak calves, the calves were up and acting normal within two days. Just put one tablet in the calf's mouth at spread out intervals morning, mid afternoon and night. If the calf is bottle fed just put the tablet in the milk after warming it. If the calf has an underbite in addition to being weak (both are caused by mineral deficiencies), the Calc. Phos. 30X tablets should be given at least twice a day for 13 days and by then, the bite should be totally normal. Hyland's Calc. Phos. 30X is an electrolyte in pill form which stimulates the cells to uptake the minerals needed for the cells to work normally, resulting in bones with disrupted growth to grow to normal, contracted tendons to be normal in three days, neurological problems and weakness to usually be mitigated. I could never tell what would be completely mitigated until I gave the newborn mammal or bird the Calc. Phos. 30X. I was almost always pleasantly surprised.
 

J Hoy

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When I gave a neighbor and another friend some Hyland's Calc. Phos. 30X tablets to give their weak calves, the calves were up and acting normal within two days. Just put one tablet in the calf's mouth at spread out intervals morning, mid afternoon and night. If the calf is bottle fed just put the tablet in the milk after warming it. If the calf has an underbite in addition to being weak (both are caused by mineral deficiencies), the Calc. Phos. 30X tablets should be given at least twice a day for 13 days and by then, the bite should be totally normal. Hyland's Calc. Phos. 30X is an electrolyte in pill form which stimulates the cells to uptake the minerals needed for the cells to work normally, resulting in bones with disrupted growth to grow to normal, contracted tendons to be normal in three days, neurological problems and weakness to usually be mitigated. I could never tell what would be completely mitigated until I gave the newborn mammal or bird the Calc. Phos. 30X. I was almost always pleasantly surprised.
 

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