Calves not very active. ..

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Ky hills
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby Ky hills » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:02 pm

My first guess would be a health issue such as nutritional milk quality or vitamin/mineral deficiency. I would definitely get a vet involved and have a necropsy done on at least one calf.
One year, I had a terrible calf loss due to cryptosporidia ( not sure of correct spelling), the vet said it was possibly brought to the property via our bottle calves at the time. That was also the year we had calving issues and the dystocia in my opinion could have been a factor in causing the calves to be weaker and more susceptible to diseases.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby jscunn » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:05 pm

MachSlammer,

I have a friend in the upper Cumberland he might be able to recommend a good vet for a second opinion. I have a couple of questions/suggestions.
1. All Sired by the same bull? General makeup of the herd, all same breed (Angus, Hereford). I doubt very seriously if it is genetic normal genetic issues take lots of half sisters bred to the same bull. Percentages say you would need 20 half sisters all bred to the same bull for this to be a recessive gene issue with 5 deaths.
Since it is probably not genetic it should be environmental
2. New pasture or existing?
3. Calving at the same time of year as in years past?
4. Any newly noticeable weeds?
5. Change vaccines or wormers this year?
The same friend in the upper cumberland lost a bull to a cherry tree leaves.. Crazy I know. Cookeville is beautiful hang in there.. Find a vet that will work with you. Find a vet and do an autopshy.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby gizmom » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:39 pm

What Jscunn said, I hate hearing things like this it is heartbreaking. My bet is some type of toxic weed but that is just a wag (wild a$$ guess)

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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby boondocks » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:42 pm

I'm curious about the statement that you usually lose 1 in 15. For others on the board, how typical is that? It sounds on the high side to me (ie, maybe presaging an existing issue that became worse this year). Or perhaps 1/15 lost is typical and I have just been (very) lucky...Hope you figure it out. Please keep us posted?
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby Son of Butch » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:27 am

Vitamin E Selenium deficiency is my 1st thought when someone mentions multiple weak calves being born.
Costs less than 50 cents to give a shot of MU-SE and it's the first thing I'd do whether truly needed or not.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby wbvs58 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:13 am

jscunn wrote:MachSlammer,

I have a friend in the upper Cumberland he might be able to recommend a good vet for a second opinion. I have a couple of questions/suggestions.
1. All Sired by the same bull? General makeup of the herd, all same breed (Angus, Hereford). I doubt very seriously if it is genetic normal genetic issues take lots of half sisters bred to the same bull. Percentages say you would need 20 half sisters all bred to the same bull for this to be a recessive gene issue with 5 deaths.
Since it is probably not genetic it should be environmental
2. New pasture or existing?
3. Calving at the same time of year as in years past?
4. Any newly noticeable weeds?
5. Change vaccines or wormers this year?
The same friend in the upper cumberland lost a bull to a cherry tree leaves.. Crazy I know. Cookeville is beautiful hang in there.. Find a vet that will work with you. Find a vet and do an autopshy.


He hasn't even had a first opinion yet. He should spend the money and get the vet out. Messaging the vet is just the cheap or free way to make out he has involved a vet. He has already missed 5 golden opportunities to have autopsies done on those calves. Autopsies and blood from the dam's is the only real way to get to the bottom of the problem.

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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby True Grit Farms » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:26 am

boondocks wrote:I'm curious about the statement that you usually lose 1 in 15. For others on the board, how typical is that? It sounds on the high side to me (ie, maybe presaging an existing issue that became worse this year). Or perhaps 1/15 lost is typical and I have just been (very) lucky...Hope you figure it out. Please keep us posted?

That seems high to me also, one or two dead calves out of a 100 is our goal. In big country, harsh weather and predators I can see the loss being worse.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby cowgirl8 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:30 am

True Grit Farms wrote:
boondocks wrote:I'm curious about the statement that you usually lose 1 in 15. For others on the board, how typical is that? It sounds on the high side to me (ie, maybe presaging an existing issue that became worse this year). Or perhaps 1/15 lost is typical and I have just been (very) lucky...Hope you figure it out. Please keep us posted?

That seems high to me also, one or two dead calves out of a 100 is our goal. In big country, harsh weather and predators I can see the loss being worse.

I'm going to guess it depends on how much the cows are checked during calving season.....
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby callmefence » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:45 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
boondocks wrote:I'm curious about the statement that you usually lose 1 in 15. For others on the board, how typical is that? It sounds on the high side to me (ie, maybe presaging an existing issue that became worse this year). Or perhaps 1/15 lost is typical and I have just been (very) lucky...Hope you figure it out. Please keep us posted?

That seems high to me also, one or two dead calves out of a 100 is our goal. In big country, harsh weather and predators I can see the loss being worse.


Being a little bit superstitious I don't like talking about this
But 1 in 15 is completely unacceptable.
We to strive for 1-100 and are currently doing twice that. And we calve out numerous salebarn cattle that rarely get checked on.
You have had a problem for some time. And something has made it come to a head. Possibly the dry cold then hot weather. We've had a rash of sick calves this year but knock-on wood we have been successful in treating them all.
I wish you the best of luck. But if you're loosing 1-15 you have to make a change. I personally would probably sell everything and restock.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby Son of Butch » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:16 pm

3.5% death loss for beef calves from birth to weaning is the national average, that's 1 in 29.... 1 in 15 = 6.66%
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby True Grit Farms » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:31 pm

callmefence wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:
boondocks wrote:I'm curious about the statement that you usually lose 1 in 15. For others on the board, how typical is that? It sounds on the high side to me (ie, maybe presaging an existing issue that became worse this year). Or perhaps 1/15 lost is typical and I have just been (very) lucky...Hope you figure it out. Please keep us posted?

That seems high to me also, one or two dead calves out of a 100 is our goal. In big country, harsh weather and predators I can see the loss being worse.


Being a little bit superstitious I don't like talking about this
But 1 in 15 is completely unacceptable.

We to strive for 1-100 and are currently doing twice that. And we calve out numerous salebarn cattle that rarely get checked on.
You have had a problem for some time. And something has made it come to a head. Possibly the dry cold then hot weather. We've had a rash of sick calves this year but knock-on wood we have been successful in treating them all.
I wish you the best of luck. But if you're loosing 1-15 you have to make a change. I personally would probably sell everything and restock.

I'm a little more superstitious that you are, but I agree with your numbers. A few years ago I posted how good our percentage was and had the year from heck the following year. My wife was determined not to lose another calf and brought a heifer in labor in the catch pen and had the vet checked her and everything was fine. She came to the house at 10:30 to get a cup of hot tea and there was a dead calf with the bag over it's head when she got back there 20 minutes later.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby angus9259 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:07 pm

I say selenium as well. White muscle disease.

But, I think we are empowering the poster to not do what they need to do which is call a vet.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby Lucky_P » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:03 am

You need your vet with boots on the ground there to look at everything from condition of the cows, to your pasture and hay/feed/water... and submit a calf to the diagnostic laboratory.
All we can do is throw out conjecture/possibilities. We barely know enough about your situation to be dangerous.
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby ALACOWMAN » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:42 pm

I had a crop of dummies sired by a Beefmaster bull, one round and I threatened to shoot him..what a nightmare...took him to a friends for a couple weeks, till I could get him out of the country....not saying that's what it is...
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Re: Calves not very active. ..

Postby farmerjan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:58 pm

By the time I had the second calf with similiar symptoms, the vet would have been at our place; and we calve 150 plus a year. I get worried if I have more than 2 losses a year. Nearly any/all of the losses we have are bought cows. There are always the freak accidents, and that can be explained. But weak calves that do not get up and nurse and "get going" right away .....
Yes, you are way overdue to have a GOOD large animal vet there, and at least one dead calf posted. And someone walking the pasture to look for poisonous plants. Also, have you considered the water? There could be a low-level contaminate in the water that the cow can tolerate due to her size, but it is affecting the fetus. After having some problems, I got in contact with a nutritionist that said he has water samples done on several of the dairies he consults, on due to the high concentration numbers of cattle in certain areas. Has been very eye opening on just what is in some of these wells.
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