bottle calf scours question

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Anderson farms, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. Anderson farms

    Anderson farms Well-Known Member

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    I have a 3 almost 4 week old jersey heifer and we have been having problems with her poops. We have had her on milk replacer( the all milk kind not soy) and she was having horrible smelling runny light to dark brown poops. I took her off milk replacer 2 days ago and have been following topside's scours recipe. Well, she is still having loose stools but they don't smell as bad. We have her in the barn with a good straw bed and heat lamp and also have a calf coat on her. She acts fine, gets right up and bucks and runs, when you pinch her skin it goes right back, and she is sucking really good. She is eating sweetflakes, about an 8 oz glass a day, and will eat clover hay if you put it in her mouth. She is also drinking water. I'm just a little baffled as we have raised bottle calves for a few years now and anytime they got runny stools we would take them off milk replacer and put on electrolites for a day and then wean them back on mr and they would be fine, but it is not working for her. Any ideas? I did call the vet, but he wasn't any help, he said I wasn't feeding her enough because when I did have her on mr I was giving her 2 pints 3 times a day since she is a small calf, she might weigh 70 lbs. He told me to feed her more mr. I have always heard no mr when they are scouring. Any help would be greatly appreciated and sorry so long.
     
  2. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I only have a second, but in a nutshell if the poop is loose and doesn't stink more than normal then re-introduce the MR slowly back into her diet. She went from raw milk to MR since Sunday, that's a big change in a calves system.....Calves will almost have a different poop consistancy everyday, if she's running and kick, bright eyed ect slowly give her the milk back into her diet....Calf owner worry so so much, rightfully so....Topside
     

  3. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    My mother used to raise a LOT of bottle calves. Sometimes a dozen or more at a time.

    When one would get scours, she diluted the milk replacer, and dissolved a colostrum bolus in the bottle.

    I think she also gave them electrolytes (very small amount), but I can't remember the details of that and she's not here right now so I can't ask her.
     
  4. mlangfus

    mlangfus Well-Known Member

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    keep giving bottle and add some slippery elm bark (powder from health food store). Works Great!!!!! Used several times.
     
  5. Anderson farms

    Anderson farms Well-Known Member

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    thank you guys for responding so quickly. I just got off the phone With Emily's vet. Emily has been a lot of help to me. The vet gave me a few things I should pick up to give to her, but said thought maybe I was worrying a little too much. I am going to pick up supplies and slowly put her back on mr. She is such a cutie and already has my heart, i just wanted to make sure I was doing her right! I will try to post some pics of her maybe this weekend. thank you again guys and thank you Emily, I know you are super busy and appreciate you taking time to help me!!
     
  6. Madsaw

    Madsaw Well-Known Member

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    I know I am sounding like a stuck record. But, get her on some sulfa based drug. SMZ/Bactrum tablets in the MR would be good. These can be gotten from the vet. Or sulmet is another but makes the MR bitter. From what I have always said here on this board is a low grade pnuemonia will cause scours. But, also with the stinky brown water it can also be a touch of coccidiaosis. thus the use of a sulfa drug. You will be suprised at teh diffence a dose will do. I know some will say I push to much meds to claves , but I found this is what works from experince on the farm.
    I have raised from pure jerseys to holsteins and every other dairy breed in between.
    Bob
     
  7. Anderson farms

    Anderson farms Well-Known Member

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    Madsaw, you are doing just fine in my opinion. That is what the vet told me to do also. Her poo wasn't really watery more like pudding. My hubby is stopping on way home from work to get some smz tablets and some yogurt to keep her tummy regulated. Thank you again for advice.
     
  8. matt_man

    matt_man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree with the vet that said you are not giving her enough to eat. She needs 3 to 4 pints per feeding. Our mini heifer got 1/2 gallon per feeding from day one and she weighed less than 40lbs. I understand you wanting to hold off because you thought she had scours but they need the nutrients from the milk to thrive with electrolytes supplemented to offset the loss of fluids. If her stools are pudding consistency, I think that is good.

    I can't remember the study that I read about a month ago that said the conventional thought about withholding milk while scouring and giving only electrolytes is no longer thought to be the best idea. That you should continue to feed milk and feed electrolytes in additional several times per day. 6 to 8 quarts of electrolytes/day. It also said not to ever mix water in with the milk because it prevents the calf's stomach from curding the milk and it can't get the needed nutrients from the milk. Since you are feeding mr, I don't know how much this applies to your situation but I found it interesting and helpful to know.

    Rachel
     
  9. Madsaw

    Madsaw Well-Known Member

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    Rachel,
    You are correct about mixing anything with the milk or MR to a point. Its never mix electrolytes with the milk or MR. It needs to be atleast a 1 hr before or after the milk feeding. Yes it will stop the milk from curding.
    Well finally I can go feed cattle after a full day of moveing snow. I will add more comments on Topsides sticky post about calves.
    Bob
     
  10. matt_man

    matt_man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are feeding milk, you also should not put 1/2 milk and 1/2 water in the bottles. They should be fed separate and within the time frame before or after that you stated.