Bottle feeding calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by NativeRose, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

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    Once again I am bottle feeding a calf because the cow couldn't as here teats were too big. The cow is my dad's cow but he is not interested in raising the calf. We bought milk replacer and colostrom and have been feeding it since last Thursday. We have survived pneumonia and the bloody scours. I figured it would have died by now. It is totally blind in one eye and partially in the other. This morning when I fed him he was actually standing up on his own. We have had to get him up and walk him around. My question is will he regain the rest of his sight or will he remain blind. The partially blind eye seems to be better today. I am guessing that the blindness was nutrition related. We found him two days after birth and he had not been able to nurse. We are planning to feed him out rather than put him down now.
     
  2. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

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    I raised a heifer calf on my Jersey cow that was blind because of fire ants when we got her. Her eyes were clouded over & she couldn't see at all. She eventually got some of her sight back & we sold her at 9 mo. old for $500.
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Blindness can also be a sign of mineral deficiency and if that's the case, it can come back. Good luck with the baby, you have to give him credit for being tougher than most but your dad should cull cows that are physically incapable of feeding their own calves.
     
  4. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    AMEN, wr! That cow would be at the sale barn or going into hamburger ASAP!

    NativeRose, sounds like the calf's a tough one. Hope everything goes well for you with him.
     
  5. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi NativeRose,
    I'm afraid that his blindness has probably been caused by malnutrition and he will probably never regain what sight he has lost. But don't let that discourage you. Many years ago I reared a calf that was 3 days old and hadn't been fed because the mother wanted nothing to do with him. I dispensed with the colostrum as it was far too late for it to be of any use - it must be got into them within the first 24 hours and preferably 12 hours, for it to have any benefit.
    This little chap scoured and scoured and scoured, he went completely blind and developed arthritis in his front legs. He found his way around by sniffing loudly with the result that he got called Snuffy. He became adept at finding his way into the chook house and helping himself to their pellets and wasn't beyond finding the food of the free-ranging pigs and helping them drink their milk. So don't be discouraged, these little ones can often have a tremendous will to live and will survive quite well if they are blind or partially blind. I remeber making allowances for Snuffy in that I tried to keep him in the same couple of paddocks and made sure they were as safe as they could be for him. You probably know this, but they find water by smell so that isn't a problem. Snuffy could find the water trough alright but didn't know when to stop walking when he got there so would end up standing it it :haha:

    Good Luck because I know it's going to be hard work for a wee while.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  6. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

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    Thanks for all the good advice all. The calf is doing better. One of his eyes has cleared somewhat and he may have some sight in it. He is eating well. He sucks the bottom out of the bottle. We exercise him so he won't be crippled. My husband call it calf therapy. The cow is going to be sold along with a couple of "wild" cows that like to put us on the fence.