Heifer First Calf Issues

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WilliamlDarby
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Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by WilliamlDarby » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:12 am

Hi,

I am new to the forum and have recently run into an issue with one of my heifers first calf. The heifer calved on the 16th of March to a lively looking bull calf. He was up an sucking and didn't look like there was any issue. I continued to check on him and noticed he didn't have a ton of energy but was up am moving and sucking. Later that week on the 21st I found him laying down and he could not stand on his own. I brought the heifer and calf into the vet and discovered she only was making a small amount of milk from one teat. The vet said there was now sign of masses and she looked healthy just not much milk.

The vet administered an a vitamin booster, some electrolytes via tube and some antibiotic due to some blood in his stool.
I continued to tube him and feeding milk replacer and by Monday he was on his feet and walking no more blood in stool.

However yesterday 3/25 he stated to take a turn for the worst. He didn't want to get up and just laid on his side. The doc gave him a Vitamin B complex shot and I am feeding him 1.5 quarts of milk replacer and 1oz Nutri-Drench twice a day however he dose not seem to be getting any better. Is there anything I can do? I hate to just give up on him.

Thanks for the help.



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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by Buck Randall » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:13 pm

Does he still want to drink? 3 quarts a day is very little milk for a growing calf. Calves will starve to death pretty quickly on that ration if they get sick or the weather is cold. If his appetite is good and he's just weak, try adding a third feeding of 1.5 quarts every day, so that he's getting a total of 4.5.

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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by WilliamlDarby » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:40 pm

He has no desire to drink at all. Never has sucked on a bottle. We have tried many times when he was stronger but no luck.
Now he is weaker and cant stand up and requires us to strictly tube him. He is a black Angus and weighs 56lbs which is very light compared to the other calfs that dropped.

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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by Caustic Burno » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:18 pm

WilliamlDarby wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:40 pm
He has no desire to drink at all. Never has sucked on a bottle. We have tried many times when he was stronger but no luck.
Now he is weaker and cant stand up and requires us to strictly tube him. He is a black Angus and weighs 56lbs which is very light compared to the other calfs that dropped.

Is he a snorter?
Is a congenital defect known to occur in Angus and Hereford.

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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by Stocker Steve » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:42 pm

Need good high fat replacer. Can add some Karo syrup and an egg to each bottle. You will see more energy and a shiny hair coat.

A calf coat helps in cold weather. Seems necessary with a bottle calf in the artic vortex season.

There are several brands about 30 CC calf energy paste syringes for weak calves. Expensive, but good for a cold weak newborn.
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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by Hereford2 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:17 pm

I hate to say it, but my experience with tubing calves long term is your just putting off the inevitable,. Maybe someone else with more experience will chime in.?

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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by WinterSpringsFarm » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:00 am

Hereford2 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:17 pm
I hate to say it, but my experience with tubing calves long term is your just putting off the inevitable,. Maybe someone else with more experience will chime in.?
Not always true. A lot depends on if THEY want to live, and IMO it sounds like this calf does not. I'd also assume this calf didn't get much colostrum.

I tubed a brown swiss heifer calf for a month straight, 2x every day when I was a kid. Then one day it decided it knew how to suck the nipple bucket.

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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:01 am

I agree. It sounds like the calf did not get enough (or any) colostrum. If you are tubing the calf, are you making sure it is UP - either on its feet or propped up on its sternum? Best if someone holds the calf steady on his feet to tube them.
The only other thing I would suggest is Selenium - either BoSe or Multimin90 - must get from vet.
Is he breathing hard - respiratory (pneumonia) is a strong possibility? Would need an antibiotic for that? Have you taken his temperature?
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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by greggy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:13 am

If he is not de hydrated, that milk dose should be fine if a good calf milk replacer.

What was anti biotic given for ?

I have had to tube a couple for weeks, one died due to other complications from pnumonia.....the other recovered and no one would know.....I know cause it is a lot of effort.

She was down for over a week, but to tube, I force them up and try and keep them up for a while after too....

Mine were all used to a rubber teat, but that is moot if really unwell.

I would warn not to put more into stomach when ill, just watch hydration and temp and all illness signs.

Vet should have told you what they thought it was...

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Re: Heifer First Calf Issues

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:45 am

I am going to "assume" the vet treated for Coccidiosis - "antibiotic" for bloodie scours.
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