drop calf feeding and care

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What is the best milk replacer for feeding drop calves? Also, is there a type of vitamin supplement to add to the milk? I am giving electrolytes with Karo syrup, but how long can a calf live on that? Is skim milk easier to digest to help prevent scours? He is on sulfa drugs and still the diarrhea is yellow and watery; no blood though. Can I buy store milk to feed him and add vitamins and electrolytes to that? Right now he's on pennicillan, sulfa drugs, skim milk and electrolytes with Karo syrup and vitamins. He drinks best when I mix the skim milk with the electroyte/vitamin/Karo syrup mixture, but how can he thrive with no fat in his diet? Help!!

-- michele kearney (horselover@jps.net), October 02, 2001


Michele, I'd go out and get a high quality milk replacer for him, and yes, the higher quality ones contain higher quantities of fat. A baby animal cannot thrive without fat in the diet, since the brain is mainly fat. When he is done with his course of antibiotics, switch him to the milk replacer. It's all right to play fast and loose with diet when they are actively being treated for scours, but once the treatment is done they have to get good nutrition again. I always get the fastest recovery from scours if I get them eating grain, btw. Others are going to disagree with me, but it isn't natural for a calf to grow on milk without fat in it.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), October 02, 2001.

Get your milk replacer at the farm store. It is made just for drop calfs and is dry, you add warm water to it. My girlfriend also adds a Tbl.spoon of live culture plain yogart to each bottle of milk, if they have been on any antibiotics. The pennicillan is hard on the stomic and kills the good bacteria and the live culture in yogart puts it back. Helps them so they don't get scours so bad. When you get the milk replacer tell them you want a high fat one. The live culture yogart can be gotten from any health food store.

-- Teresa (c3ranch@socket.net), October 02, 2001.

I agree with using the high quality milk replacer from the feed store. Years ago I raised alot of drop calves with my grandpa. The yogurt is a good idea too..helps get the stomach flora back to normal. I do the same if my goats have been sick!!!

-- Jenny Pipes (Auntjenny6@aol.com), October 02, 2001.

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