7 day old calves....

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7 day old calves....

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:46 pm

So, I have my vet in a quandary. Here is the scenario:
Two calves, born 12 hours apart, both exhibit the same symptoms. Calf 1, born early AM 2/1 and calf 2 born during the day 2/1. Calf one starts staggering at almost 7 days of age, calf 2 staggers at 7 days of age. I will attach a video of calf 2 this morning (he is about 12 hours behind calf 1 on symptoms). Calf one, small amount of scours, calf 2, NONE. Give both calves Multi Min at 6 days of age, give both calves Vit B at 6 days plus 12 hours.
https://youtu.be/bTNDC3sffac
I had my vet out today, because this is not the first time I have seen this. Of our 20 or so calves so far, 5 have exhibited the same signs at the same time (around 7 days of age), and continue for a few days before snapping out of it. The second calf peed, pooped, and nursed for a good 10 minutes while my vet was observing. He is stumped as to what would cause the calves to stagger like they do. He pulled some blood to do a mineral panel, and a ear sample to check for BVD.
We vaccinate, worm, and feed good hay and mineral. The cows get a mix of DDG and salt (70 pounds ddg, 30 pounds of salt for a limiter) each night. Any ideas on what we might not be seeing????
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby wbvs58 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:19 am

He certainly looks happy and bouncy with it just ataxic in the HQ??????

Ken
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:33 am

Any chance they have Listeria? DDG is distillers? Any moist feed can harbor Listeria.
I had a couple of calves my vet thought got it from dams udder. Treated & they were fine. I "think" we treated with heavy doses of Pen.
Mine were healthy & happy, but wobbled.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:59 am

Ken - he is a very happy boy! He just seems weak when he gets up, but not so weak that he can not nurse normally. The other calf is not as bad, but still wobbles a bit when he is up and moving. This guy drops his hips a lot, when just standing there, it is very odd. It is like he is going to sit on his rear, but decided against it.
Jeanne - the DDG is dried distillers grain, so not wet. We mix it with salt to limit intake, and 30 cows only get 100 pounds a day, so 70 pounds of ddg and 30 pounds of salt. I threw that out just to try to give as much information as I can. I looked up listeria, and it does not seem to be the same. I will call my vet and throw that at him.
To me, it is like they are weak, like a blood sugar issue? They are not dehydrated, just wobbly and weak on the rear end. This is the first year I have experienced this, so I am trying to figure out what is causing it. My blood work will not be back until next week, but it will not likely tell us anything and will only eliminate what it is not....
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:13 pm

why did you give the Multimin & Vit B on day 6? Were they already suspect that something was wrong? Or did they start this AFTER the shots?
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:29 pm

Is 30 lbs of salt a lot? Seems like a pound a day per cow is extremely high, but I have no clue. I've never fed salt in my feed, and only add it to my mineral when I feel the mineral consumption is to high.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:25 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:Is 30 lbs of salt a lot? Seems like a pound a day per cow is extremely high, but I have no clue. I've never fed salt in my feed, and only add it to my mineral when I feel the mineral consumption is to high.

I totally agree. I had not let that statement sink in, but you are right. 1# salt is a LOT.
Chris, you have been having weird calving deaths haven't you? Maybe related???
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Silver » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:33 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:Is 30 lbs of salt a lot? Seems like a pound a day per cow is extremely high, but I have no clue. I've never fed salt in my feed, and only add it to my mineral when I feel the mineral consumption is to high.

I totally agree. I had not let that statement sink in, but you are right. 1# salt is a LOT.
Chris, you have been having weird calving deaths haven't you? Maybe related???


I assumed it was a typo... I've never seen a beef cow that could eat 70# of anything on a daily basis, let alone 30# of salt lol
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby M-5 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:53 pm

Required amount of salt for a cow is 1oz a day. I would bet money it's salt toxicity.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby M-5 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:56 pm

In cattle, signs of acute salt poisoning involve the GI tract and CNS. Salivation, increased thirst, vomiting (regurgitation), abdominal pain, and diarrhea are followed by ataxia, circling, blindness, seizures, and partial paralysis. Cattle sometimes manifest belligerent and aggressive behavior. A sequela of salt poisoning in cattle is dragging of hindfeet while walking or, in more severe cases, knuckling of the fetlock joint.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:15 pm

Silver wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:Is 30 lbs of salt a lot? Seems like a pound a day per cow is extremely high, but I have no clue. I've never fed salt in my feed, and only add it to my mineral when I feel the mineral consumption is to high.

I totally agree. I had not let that statement sink in, but you are right. 1# salt is a LOT.
Chris, you have been having weird calving deaths haven't you? Maybe related???


I assumed it was a typo... I've never seen a beef cow that could eat 70# of anything on a daily basis, let alone 30# of salt lol

She is feeding 100# (70# DDG & 30# salt) to 30 head, so they are only getting a little over 3#/hd, but that is 1# of salt.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:16 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Silver wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:I totally agree. I had not let that statement sink in, but you are right. 1# salt is a LOT.
Chris, you have been having weird calving deaths haven't you? Maybe related???


I assumed it was a typo... I've never seen a beef cow that could eat 70# of anything on a daily basis, let alone 30# of salt lol

She is feeding 100# (70# DDG & 30# salt) to 30 head, so they are only getting a little over 3#/hd, but that is 1# of salt.

Edit - I think that is calculated incorrectly by Chris.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby M-5 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:18 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:So, I have my vet in a quandary. Here is the scenario:
Two calves, born 12 hours apart, both exhibit the same symptoms. Calf 1, born early AM 2/1 and calf 2 born during the day 2/1. Calf one starts staggering at almost 7 days of age, calf 2 staggers at 7 days of age. I will attach a video of calf 2 this morning (he is about 12 hours behind calf 1 on symptoms). Calf one, small amount of scours, calf 2, NONE. Give both calves Multi Min at 6 days of age, give both calves Vit B at 6 days plus 12 hours.
https://youtu.be/bTNDC3sffac
I had my vet out today, because this is not the first time I have seen this. Of our 20 or so calves so far, 5 have exhibited the same signs at the same time (around 7 days of age), and continue for a few days before snapping out of it. The second calf peed, pooped, and nursed for a good 10 minutes while my vet was observing. He is stumped as to what would cause the calves to stagger like they do. He pulled some blood to do a mineral panel, and a ear sample to check for BVD.
We vaccinate, worm, and feed good hay and mineral. The cows get a mix of DDG and salt (70 pounds ddg, 30 pounds of salt for a limiter) each night. Any ideas on what we might not be seeing????

I don't see the logic behind this , if your feeding 70# of ddg each night why would you need a limiter.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:39 pm

Let me clarify; our breeding group is feed a mix of DDG/salt, at a rate of 100 pounds a day, for 30 cows AND calves. Not all calves eat it, but most do. The mill mixes it for me a ton at a time, it us around 1500 pounds of DDG and 500 pounds of salt. Years ago, the extension did a program on supplementing cows on hay. DDG's are cheap out here, so they build on that. The DDG mixture cost me about $190 a ton. It lasts us 20 days. Much cheaper than a tub (or lots of tubs, for 30 cows).
Now, for M-5, the limiter is used to slow down consumption, just like a tub. If there was no limiter, ALL of the boss cows would consume the 100 pounds and the lower ranking cows would get none. We pour it out in two large concrete feed bunks, and there is still some left 12 hours later.
Here is a link to a good article based on using salt as a limiter, some go as high as 50/50!
https://beef.unl.edu/cattleproduction/limitintake2011

And another one about salt and numerous studies showing no harmful affects of cattle have adequate water:
http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare ... 008web.pdf

My vet is the one that recommended the mix last year, when we had some really rank hay. This year our hay is good, but our mix of cows range from just fresh to getting close to calving, so I need to make sure I have enough there for all of them.

The multimin was given at first signs of the staggering, so just past 6 days. The vit B was given 24 hours later, at 7 days. Both were a reaction to the symptoms...

And no weird calving deaths, just stupid stuff like calf suffocating in sacs and embryo split twins! And only the twins occurred when they were on the DDG mix, the others they were still on pasture.
I did call my vet today about listeria, he said VERY unlikely since the symptoms do not match (no dumb calves, just issues with balance). I watched both calves suck normally today, several times. That makes a heart happy, but just wish I could figure out WHY they get this way.
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Re: 7 day old calves....

Postby M-5 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:54 pm

I appreciate the detailed reply . I understand putting salt in feed and how it is used as limiter. Everytime I have seen it being used this way it's free choice with feeders always full. If they are leaving feed in bunks you can bet the calves are trying it. Good luck
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