Holstein Scours

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Heritage, May 30, 2005.

  1. Heritage

    Heritage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    I am new to this forum and new to raising calves. My FIL brought 5 holstein calves for my 5 boys to raise. Neither he nor I know much about raising calves. I have 4 males and 1 female. The female and 1 male are twins. Problem is, they all have very loose bowels. It is yellowish and quite runny. My FIL said feed them 3 eggs per feeding and this has seemed to help a little with two of them. Not much help in the others. They are pretty active, especially after feeding, they buck around trying to find more! They two twins seem to play a lot. They don't seem to be dehydrated. I have been giving them a mixture of eggs, Karo, salt, pectin, and water once a day - I was told this would help keep them hydrated. I have a bottle of Terrymiacin if that becomes necessary. Is there something I should do or not do? Please help me out here! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    Preventing loose bowel and karo do not go together IMO.
    Are these calves loose tothe point that manure is smeared on their backside? Some looseness is expected. Adjust their milk substitute to no more than 2 quarts twiced per day, preferrable 12 hours apart.
     

  3. Heritage

    Heritage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    OK, I've been feeding 3 times a day, totaling 4 quarts. Is it better to go twice a day? FIL said 3 times so that's what we've done so far. (As I said, neither of us know much about it) The twins are smaller, do they still get 2qtX2?

    Here's the latest lowdown on the stools. The twins and two others seem to be thicker, forgive the analagy, but sort of like cream of wheat :eek: They are still yellow, maybe the eggs. The other, as we watched, was gracious enough to give us two samples. One was pretty thick, but the next was very watery. Both within just a couple of minutes. And to answer your question, yes, manure is smeared on their backsides. A couple of them it is mostly dried, not much fresh, but the others are pretty wet.

    Another question, off topic. My FIL told me that the heifer twin might not be able to breed. Is this so? He said this was why the dairy was willing to let her go. Thanks again for the help.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I will answer the easy question first. The heifer most likely will not breed since the other twin was a male. Being exposed to the male hormones in the womb typically creates what is known as a free marten.
    Pushing too much milk through the gut of a calf will cause digestion and/or scours. How rich are you making the replacement milk? You could cut back on the powder but not the water for a couple of days to observe it they respond. The calves that are watery loose will need to be treated to prevent dehydration. Moving the calves and different feeds can also cause scours. Realize they have been stressed due to changes in their feed and environment. I prefer to use the packets of supplement and electrolytes available at farm supplies/vets. You are doing the correct thing by replacing the lost liquids. A dehydrated calf can go down fast and can die readily. I use a scour halt medication such as Spectinomycin in such cases as you describe. The calves that are not water loose will probable improve on their own but you need to contiue to monitor all of them.
     
  5. Heritage

    Heritage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia

    Ok thanks. I am mixing the milk replacer per the directions: 10 oz by weight per 2 quarts water. How far should I cut back on the powder? They are in pens now. Would it be a good idea to bring them out into the pasture for a while each day? My FIL doesn't seem to think it is a good idea to give them access to grass, or for that matter, give them any feed besides milk, for 6 or 8 weeks. That seems a little off to me. What are your recommendations? Thanks
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    Cut the watery loose calves to 8 oz and leave the water at 2 quarts twice a day. As the calves improve you can gradually go back to 10 oz/2 quarts. To avoid scours, I feel that it is best to keep the calves a bit on the hungry side. Overfeeding can create problems. You can offer water in a pail free choice also. When the calves get a few weeks old you can introduce them to a grower ration and some good hay. They will not eat much but they will start conditioning the gut to accept feed other than milk. You will want to eventually wean as the daily milk feeding will become a chore. The transition to solid food should be gradual. Leave the calves in their pens.
     
  7. Heritage

    Heritage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    OK great! Will do. I have another question about the water in the pails. The dairy we got them from had water pails by their hutches, however FIL told me not to put out a pail, but offer them one pint of water between feedings in a bottle only. He said that way, we can determine how much water they are getting. Wouldn't the water pail be a better plan? Is there some significant reasoning I can give FIL if I put out a pail? Thanks.
     
  8. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,747
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi, follow Agman's advice and also go to the post "Cow Poop" as your calves are suffering the same problem.

    With all due respect to FIL, I think it might be time to stop listening to him.
    If you've got good weather, get your calves out on pasture at least during the day as they start experimenting with grass at a very young age, and offer them grower ration daily as Agman has suggested. Calves kept in confined areas are much more prone to passing on their bugs.

    Although young calves don't drink a lot of water, they should have access to it at ALL times and should NEVER be limited as to how much they have. Leave water in their bottles by all means but make sure there is also a trough or bucket available as well.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie