calf won't suck

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cornfarmer48
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calf won't suck

Postby cornfarmer48 » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:03 pm

I had a bull calf herford-limosin mix born a week ago. the calf was not sucking on cow and the cow was too mean to get around so I penned the calf up. been feeding milk replacer.the calf will just chew on the nipple, but doesn't want to suck it much. I fed it a qt. in the morning and at nite with a feeding tube.the tube didn't seem to bother the calf.he has plenty of spunk but just won't drink right. only gave it a pt. with the bottle this morning by squeezing it's mouth, thought tonite he would really be hungry, but about the same. any ideas would be appreciated.
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Bez!
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Re: calf won't suck

Postby Bez! » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:21 pm

cornfarmer48 wrote:I had a bull calf herford-limosin mix born a week ago. the calf was not sucking on cow and the cow was too mean to get around so I penned the calf up. been feeding milk replacer.the calf will just chew on the nipple, but doesn't want to suck it much. I fed it a qt. in the morning and at nite with a feeding tube.the tube didn't seem to bother the calf.he has plenty of spunk but just won't drink right. only gave it a pt. with the bottle this morning by squeezing it's mouth, thought tonite he would really be hungry, but about the same. any ideas would be appreciated.


You will get lots of advice, but sometimes they simply have "dead calf" written over them.

Try a search under your own thread titile - as well as "calf will not drink" or "calf will not take the bottle".

There is enough info there to keep you awake until tomorrow's sunrise.

In the meantime - two things.

1. Tube the calf to keep it alive.

2. Get rid of the beach that it comes from - someday one of these will kill you - and you do not need those genetics in your herd.

Bez!
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msscamp
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Re: calf won't suck

Postby msscamp » Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:34 am

cornfarmer48 wrote:I had a bull calf herford-limosin mix born a week ago. the calf was not sucking on cow and the cow was too mean to get around so I penned the calf up. been feeding milk replacer.the calf will just chew on the nipple, but doesn't want to suck it much. I fed it a qt. in the morning and at nite with a feeding tube.the tube didn't seem to bother the calf.he has plenty of spunk but just won't drink right. only gave it a pt. with the bottle this morning by squeezing it's mouth, thought tonite he would really be hungry, but about the same. any ideas would be appreciated.


If you're using a regular calf nipple, try swapping it out for a sheep's nipple on a soda bottle or similar sized bottle (we use a 16 oz glass coke bottle, but I realize finding one of those is going to be difficult if not impossible). A lot of young calves have a hard time with a calf nipple as it's too big and awkward for them to nurse well. A quart twice a day is not enough for a week old calf - he needs 2 quarts twice a day minimum (make sure your milk replacer is at least 20% fat and protein and is milk based - not soy) - but increase his milk gradually or you run the risk of scours. I usually feed my bottle babies 2 gallons of milk replacer/day split in 3-4 feedings until they start eating C.O.B. pretty good, then cut them down to 1 gallon per day split into 2 feedings. I am, however, in the minority on the subject of how much to feed. :lol: :lol: Good luck with your calf.
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Howdyjabo
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Postby Howdyjabo » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:27 am

Probably not whats wrong-- but it wouldn't hurt anything to have given him a shot of selenium early on.
Sucking reflex has a "window" and sometimes a selenium def can cause the lack of sucking reflex.
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Susie David
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Postby Susie David » Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:46 am

Welcome and good luck...I'm not a bottle baby sort of guy, not that I've not raised them just don't like to and haven't in years and now that we've got grandchildren comming of age I don't expect to have this task again.
I'd up the groceries for your calf and the smaller nipple does work just have to keep at it.
DMc
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Miss Daisy
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Postby Miss Daisy » Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:20 pm

I don't know much about bottle calves but with young orphaned colts, sometimes they just need a little help discovering what the nipple is. Maybe dab a little molasses on the tip, and a little on your finger. Stick your finger in his mouth so he getst he taste then stick the nipple in his mouth. It works for the horses and it might be something to try on calves. Best of luck!
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