2day old beef calf down

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I have a 2day old calf. I don't know if the mother is letting him eat, He was eating a little when he was born, I'm not sure if he received enough clostrum the first day. We're starting him on a little milk replacer now. Anyone have any other suggestions.

-- Jared (jpmcdonald@facstaff.wisc.edu), February 12, 2002


You must determine whether or not about the eating, if not the calf is dangerously dehydrated. Add a bit of acidophilus milk to the calf formula, its the benifical bacteria milk from the dairy case of larger stores. If the calf is not feeding naturally you must become the mother by feeding often during the day and evening, small amounts at first, streach the system slowley. Four or five times per day at first, then larger amounts after a few days less often. Watch for loose bowels, color change or more solid is best that means you are winning. The first 10 to 15 days are the most critical.

-- mitch hearn (moopups@citlink.net), February 12, 2002.

My experience with sick calves is you are going to lose this one whatever you do. Colostrum must be injested by the calf within about 18-hours or the digestive system closes to where the antibodies in it do not get into the blood. However, its benefits probably half with each passing hour. Try to keep it hydrated. Some people use Gatoraid or similar drink. With milk replacer, I include a raw egg (for additional protein) and some sugar (for energy). If you have any fresh comfrey, puree some in a blender and add it to the milk replacer. Be very careful it is not going into the lungs. Penicillin won't hurt. Keep it warm. If you have time put its head in your lap and stroke it gently to let it know someone cares. However, brace yourself.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), February 12, 2002.

Can you milk the cow and feed it to the calf? If you need to force feed we use a turkey baster. Make sure it goes down the throat. Feed at regular intervals like every 2 hours. Or tie up the cow and put the calf on her until the calf gets what it wants. If the calf gets dehydrated or is down let me know. We have a formula to feed it to restore it's electrolyte balance. We have saved many calves this way. Keep the calf warm. Use a heat lamp if needed. A shot of penicillin will not hurt but will not save it.

-- suzanne hussey (hussey@ainop.com), February 12, 2002.

If the calf is still with us but not eating well, strip milk from mom and put it on a bottle with a piece of tubing around 18 inches long on the end and put it directly in the calves stomach. Keep the critter warm. If the little one gets up then pen mom up and see if you can't get her to look after the calf. I've had many a calf return from the dead with a belly full of warm milk and some time in the calf heater.

Good Luck.


-- Oscar H. Will III (owill@mail.whittier.edu), February 12, 2002.

I would see if there is a dairy farmer close. Most will give you clostrum fresh or frozen. I would buy a regular calf tube feeder, but you still run the risk of getting it in the lungs. It is best if it eats on it's own even if it is a few ounces at first. You can get electrolite supplements at the feed store. Good luck I have saved a number of them and lost a couple too..............Lolo


-- Lora (hubahuba25@hotmail.com), February 18, 2002.

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