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We purchased 2 spring calves 3 days ago. We are concerned because they are quickly losing weight because they are not interested in eating much. We put a couple older calves in with them thinking this would help reduce the stress. Nope! The older calves just bumped them around the pen so..we had to separate them. Now they are back to crying for their mammas! What can we do for these calves to make the weaning easier and how will our herd of 10 cows treat them once they are release?
 

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4 days is about the length of the bawling time for fresh weaned calves. It is important that they have fresh water where they can find it without hunting around for it. They sometimes get so hoarse they can barely bawl. New calves can get shipping fever very easily. They will have snotty noses at first. It is very important to give them a shot before they get really sick. I used LA 200. You can buy it at farm stores and Vets offices.
 

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Another good idea is that if you are graining them to start slowly with pure oats.
 

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I give mine a good medicated feed that they really like. I am now using "Doin Fine" by Nutrena. Purina makes a good one also but I don't remember the name. Feed only this until they are eating good.
 

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I prefer to start weaned calves on water and long cut hay. I give them that for 10 days. If they came from the sale barn, I'd add a shot of LA200 for good measure.

After the 10 days, I'll start grain slowly.

Jena
 

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BJ
Hows the calves doing now? Have they shut up, and started eating? How much did they weigh when you bought them?
Most spring calves in the auction barns were weaned on the way to the sale barn, and between the two stresses it is very hard on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for asking! The calves have finally quit bawling & are eating. They are March calves...Red Polled and weigh about 450 lbs each. One bull, one heifer. The have paired off with a couple of our young calves and seem to be settling in just fine. We didn't realize how stressful all of that is on the little tikes..and certainly didn't expect them to just quit eating! But..now they are eating grain, grass, hay and drinking their fair share of the water. So..I think they will be ok. We will wait a couple of weeks before we have the vet come to give them their shots. When we send our calves to market....we will wean them first so the transition will be easier for them and hopefully they wont get sick.
 

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If they are doing well they don't need shots for shipping fever. Did you have other shots in mind. The LA 200 is for respitory problems, which is what shipping fever is. I always kept a small bottle on hand plus syringes in case a calf showed any signs of a "cold" The quicker they are treated the better, and doing it yourself saves several dollars over paying the vet to come out.
 
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