calf losing hair

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by MollyK, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. MollyK

    MollyK Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,

    I have a 3 week old Holstein calf that I got from a local dairy. He has been doing great except for two minor things (i hope!).

    1- He has had a drop or two of blood at the end of his bowel movements for the past couple of days. I searched through these posts and saw that many of you that seem very smart about calves/cattle said not to worry too much about that; it can be caused from being near constipation. Which completely makes sense to me because it seems that way with him.. but he's not completely constipated. It looks very normal until the last little bit is a little more firm.

    2- I noticed in some pictures that I took of him yesterday that it looked like he had rubbed up against something and scratched the hair off of his behind in one place. I looked at it today and noticed the hair is actually coming out in small clumps. I am a horse girl so I compared it to rain rot in my own head, but bigger clumps of hair. The skin is very smooth and doesn't look irritated. I read on another cattle forum that it is nothing to worry about, but they didn't say what it might be. I don't think it would be a parasite, but what do I know! :) it's my first calf... although we've had beef cattle for forever, I didn't check those guys over everyday like I do this little one. Anyone know what this may be?
    [​IMG]
    It's to the left of his tail in this picture. and it goes down and to the right under his tail (not on his tail.. but below his anus)

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    MollyK

    Welcome to the forum.
    Regarding the hair. The calf has one of two possible things wrong. He either has cattle lice or he is starting to shed his Winter hair. Being in Georgia it could be either. Lice are hard to see. As the weather heats the lice will migrate to the underside. If the patches do not turn into an overall shedding you could use a pesticide.
     

  3. MollyK

    MollyK Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    My boyfriend has some ivomec, We'll give him some of that this week.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I do not think that is lice now that I have seen the pic. I think the calf may have had a little diarrhea at some point and that the manure stuck to its rear and the hair has come off as a consequence of acidosis or rotavirus. Such hair loss can be referred to as fecal scalding. Apply some Zinc oxide to the area.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I agree with Agmantoo in post #4....Seen a little blood on serveral occasions, usually just the intestional lining repairing itself after having diarrhea. Montior but don't get to worried...Healthy looking eyes, keep up the good work...Topside
     
  6. MollyK

    MollyK Well-Known Member

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    When I was feeding him this morning I checked him over. Exactly what y'all said ran through my mind! I'm going to try to gently wash the area and apply some Zinc Oxide tonight... like you said! Thanks so much!

    topside- thanks! I've never raised a dairy calf before and I am trying to not get my hopes up because I know a lot of them don't make it, but I am so excited about this little guy! He is always so alert and playful. Plus, his bowels are good and no scours (with me) yet! Maybe before I got him, but he's doing great.
     
  7. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Molly just remember don't overfeed and he'll be fine. Also just very loose poop can burn the skin and make the hair fall out...If it happens again wash the wet poop off with warm water and soap to prevent the skin from burning. Keep up the good work,,,Topside
     
  8. MollyK

    MollyK Well-Known Member

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    I put some desitin on him tonight! Closest thing I had to zinc oxide. I think it has 40% in it. anyway, jumping and bucking around as always.

    Topside, What do you consider overfeeding. I was so scared I would do just that. I just fed him what I fed our beef cattle that were abandoned or very small. He gets 4 quarts a day... 4 quarts in the morning and 4 at night. I taught him to drink out of a bucket very quickly to hopefully avoid the pneumonia that I have heard of them getting from sucking on a bottle to fast.
    Some places I have read to feed 2-3 and others I've read that what I'm doing is good. He seems to being doing well with this amount. What do you usually feed calves?
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Topside will respond as soon as he sees this. But to give you a heads up until he gets here I need to bring something to your attention. In your post you state 4 quarts per day... 4 quarts in the morning and 4 at night. That is 8 quarts per day. At 8 quarts per day that is too much. 2 quarts twice a day plus access to some grain and hay is all it needs. Sucking from a bucket creates more problems than sucking from a nipple. Until you hear from topside reduce the milk to 2 quarts per feeding. A hungry calf is a healthy calf. More calves are killed by kindness than by under feeding.
     
  10. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Molly I'm sure you mean 4 pints per feeding? I do realize he's 3 weeks old but 1 gallon per feeding is excessive, expensive and could become un-healthy. The object of raising a bottle calf is to have it eating grains and grasses as soon as possible. If you are feeding 1 gallon per feeding then the calf may not have a vigorous appetite until the next feeding....A calf that age could drink 1 gallon per feeding if the milk amounts were increased super slow and even then it's to much at one feeding. Every milk replacer bag will recommend 4 pints (1/2 gallon per feeding) for large framed calves such as yours....Don't start changing your routine because of me, he's 3 weeks old and in great health...Topside
     
  11. MollyK

    MollyK Well-Known Member

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    ah! I meant 4 pints per feeding! my mind was going so fast I didn't even notice I said 4 quarts per feeding right after I said he gets 4 quarts a day! That's what I get for not rereading!

    He gets 4 pints in the morning and 4 pints at night! Otherwords a gallon a day.

    He seems to like that amount and is hungry for more afterwards, but I say no eat your grain! I haven't given him hay yet... I read somewhere not to give i to them until a certain age because of their rumen/microbes not being developed?! I took him to visit his future pasture mate (my stallion) and he was interested in the hay when my horse was eating it. Maybe I need to research that again. But I think I read that you (agmantoo) said hay and grain.

    and there are more problems drinking out of a bucket? The guy I got him from said to get him started on a bucket as soon as possible; they are less likely to inhale it into their lungs... now I'm confused!
     
  12. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Molly, many pros and cons of bucket feeding...Keep doing what your doing and all will be well...Topside
     
  13. MollyK

    MollyK Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your help! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions in the future. Always good to learn from others.