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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a few 6 month old calves die from our really crappy weather. Can they be eaten? I am assuming the deaths are pneumonia or similar.( no snotty noses coughing, just wham dead in 6 hours or less) I will go out an feed everyone looks great bright eyed and bushy tailed, then I go feed supper and sure enough one will be lying down then dead within a couple hours. Our weather is going from freezing to raining to freezing to raining etc. The little ones just can make it.... Seems like such a waste of meat...
 

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I am assuming the deaths are pneumonia or similar.
And that's just it - it's an assumption. While it may seem a waste of meat, I wouldn't touch it simply because you don't know what it died of nor has it been bled out. If I know for a fact what an animal died of I will often skin them out and use them as dog tucker but other than that, no.

Judith, I don't want to sound holier than thou but you would be better to find out why they're dieing and if it is due to the cold and fluctuating temperatures, do something about their housing so that the temperature remains at a comfortable constant. I would be gutted to lose 6 month old calves and would want to know why.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 

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There must be something else going on, 6 month old calves shouldn't be dying that fast just because of pneumonia or the weather.
 

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Some strains of Pneumonia can knock them out really fast, especially if you are not experienced in the signs and are not checking them often enough. As of right now, I would get out and temp every calf you have on the place, if you have lost several, there will be other sick ones out there. Treat anything with a temp above normal with something strong (nuflor, micotil, draxxin etc) And I would be looking closely at them at least twice a day. And, call a VET!! Have one of the dead ones post-mortemed to see what you are dealing with, then he/she can help you develop a plan to treat any others.

As for eating them, you don't know what they died from, and it likely included a fever, I know I wouldn't want to eat them. Might use them as dog food, but not people food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all very much for your advise. Not really much point in having the vet out as there is only one of the six left. The calves had a barn that they could go into. They just chose not to. Yes our weather does in fact kill. We go from minus 13 to pouring rain in a day then back to frozen. Living on the coast many challenges. Animals were never meant to handle the extremes in weather. They would be fine if it just stayed cold or just stayed wet but it changes to often. Humans have a very difficult time with it as well. Into the compost they go. Sad real sad :(
 

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Just things, seem really wrong with poking a fork into something that didn't die healthy and happy?

I'd have to be mighty hungry to do it.
 

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I live in an area that has huge temperature fluctuations and don't loose calves suddenly like that. I would think that you might want to have one of the carcasses tested to see what you do have going on.

Like the others, I would not eat a sick animal.
 

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I am with WR on this one. We have huge temperature fluxuations here as well. We can get changes of 30-40 deg C literally overnight. We don't lose many animals to that.

What is your vaccination schedule? If you are commonly losing animals, I would have one post-mortemed and then once I knew what was going on I would plan a vaccination schedule around it. It is pretty expensive to lose 7/8 animals ....
 

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Another area here with extreme temp fluctuations. I've got poor little goats that have made it through 30 above to 30 below in just a days time! If you add the terrible winds, it's a wonder that anything makes it. So to me, if you have a calf with that kind of age in it's favor, and it just drops dead that quickly, I too would reconcider consuming it.

I have eaten dead critters that I had little idea what happened to them and lived, but these days and with my luck, :rolleyes: I just pass on such a thing. I find ways to recycle the dead beast that I am unsure of. Heck, thaw the calf out, peel the hide for a chair covering etc. Chunk up the meat for dog/cat food or even feed some to hogs or chickens. Other animals around your farm can benifit from it's death, and it's no risk to you. I also use meat chunks for bait when I set out my trapline. The meat bait from the dead livestock helps thin out predator populations to keep them on a healthy level, so it's win win situation for all. Just think of how you can put your calf to use, without putting it in your belly.
 

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Good Morning Everyone, :)


I have to wonder, if you knew these calves weren`t going in to the barn for shelter, why didn`t you lock them inside yourself? It sounds like this may have been a lean to?


You lost more money by them dying, than what a vet would have charged for a barn call and medication. I can see losing one, but to lose 5? That is poor animal husbandry. Sorry, but this is JMHO. I am not here to start a problem, just calling it as I see it. And no, I would not eat any of them.


Our temps and weather fluctuate drastically here in New England. I have not lost even a single chicken due to inclimate weather.


Have a good day.




Hugs,
Linda :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have given the last girl Micotil just to be on the safe side. No I would never lock animals into the barn. Yes it was a very expensive loss but it happened. I can not believe how holier than thou some people get on this board at times. It truly amazes me. If you re read the top post you would see that a vet was not called due to the lack of symptoms and the fact that they were dead in less than six hours. i guess it is just easier to judge. We have never seen losses like this in the 20 years I have owned animals. An yes high winds,rain then snow do kill animals. get off your high horses people. I asked if it was safe to eat them. The answer was "no" from many of you. I thank you to the people who got what I was asking. To the rest of you go find some one else to attack. Jerks....No wonder the newbies on this board leave. Unless you have lived with this type of wet windy weather you are simply not educated enough to answer this type of question. I have raise animals in Sask and Alberta and we do not experience these type of loss. Wow i just cannot believe some people... You think it was fun to find dead calves? Do you think it gave me pleasure to see bottle calves dead???? They were pets people not some "livestock"
 

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If only they were livestock instead of pets. Most of us who raise livestock know better, and take care of our livelihood better, than many of the people here who treat them as "pets".

1 calf dying like that is freak. 2 is strange. By #3 calling the vet is overdue. #4 and #5 put this clearly over the line into poor animal husbandry. If you think animals are dying because of the weather, OF COURSE they should be locked inside until the weather is more appropriate! No matter what half-baked beliefs some people around here have.
 

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^ You came on the board and said 5 of your 6 calves died suddenly, honestly what kind of response did you expect. I don't care where you live that truly is not good husbandry.
And I am sorry to say I am shocked that you wouldn't call a vet, losing that many is not normal nor is it ok.

Why not lock them in the barn ? They are babies and not smart enough to take care of themselves. And sorry again but you can't blame it on the weather, I have some crappy ass weather too, raining today and if you read my other posts it was -40 a few days ago, expected to drop back down again. Guess where my animals are . . . in the barn .
 

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Judith, I'm not a huge micotil fan because it requires so much care when handling but your calves weren't showing signs of typical pneumonia and since you don't know what you have, it's pretty tough to treat an unknown enemy. A vet certainly can't save a dead one but often a barnyard pm can turn up a cause of death and possibly save others. If you're negative about locking the last one in when the weather is bad, the only other suggestion I could offer would be to blanket the little guy (they make foal sized blankets) but that isn't going to protect it as well as simply putting it in the barn and protecting it from the elements. You don't say how long you've had the calves but if you got them recently, they may have been unwell when you got them.

I'm sorry you lost your pets but that makes this whole thing even more odd because people tend to worry more about pets than livestock and haul them into a vet at the first sign of trouble. I've been around here quite a while and this is the first time somebody wondered if they could eat a pet, although littlejoe has been planning a horse bbq and inviting all his HT friends.
 

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I'm wondering if these were six-WEEK-old calves, not 6 months?

At 6 months, they're pretty stout, after all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm having the agriculture center do an autopsy. They also suggested blackleg. The remaining calf is still doing well. Sorry about the freak out. Some people on here can just be plain ole jerks, I should know better than to react to that. WR, I used Micotil at the suggestion of the vet, he figured if it was any sort of pnemonia, or that type of illness it was the best ( but harshest medication)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Farmer Jane, Why on earth would I call a vet? They were already dead.
 

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Because it is not normal to have 5 of 6 calves up and die ? I realize they are dead, it is just too bad 5 of them are, maybe had the vet been called at the first one you would know what is going on and could have "possibly" prevented it .
 
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