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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it was like -40 this morning when we woke to do chores. I work from home but happend to see DH out the window doing chores, when i saw him graining the cows i saw he went in the cow pasture and i only counted 3 cows at the feeder - so i knew something was wrong, bundled up and went out. One of our calves ( for meat in fall of 2009 ) was down and frosty. He is a holstein and about 300-400lbs - he was holding his head up. I ran and got a horse blanket, came back and checked his feet and legs - they are warm - i was worried about no circulation/frost bite but he seems to be ok with that.

So i grabbed another bale of straw and bedded a corner of their run-in shed really well and grabbed some good flakes of hay for him to eat ( they have a round bale in the pasture ), DH and i put him on our feed sled the best we could and dragged him into the shelter and bedded him well and put the horse blanket back on him and put a gate across the entry to lock him in and the others out.We also gave him the hay in front of him ( he nibbled a bit but thats it ), some vit. A, D and E gel, probio gel, wormed him again just in case - especially since i can handle him at the moment - he is normally wild. I also brought out a bucket of very warm water and he drank a couple gallons. I also gave him some nutri-drench i have for my goats.

Then about an hr later i went back out and checked on him, he had moved around some so i had to re-position him, and he drank another 1/2-1 gal. very warm water laced with electrolites. He is holding his head of and seems pretty alert, just can't quite get to his feet.

I don't have a barn, nor electric out there for a heat lamp. My med. box is low, and what i gave him is pretty much all i have- my Jeffer's order shipped on Monday, and should be here Thursday. Is there anything else i can give him or should do for him ??? The other two big cows are due to go to the processer 2/8/09, but i have one other calf thats this one's age/size - i think i'm going to try to lock him in the shelter with this one for the night if i can trap him in there so he doesn't do the same thing. The big cows usually never use the shelter anyways - do you think this would be ok ?

Next question, we want to keep the hide from one of our boys being processed 2/8 - however we are wondering where a good place ( for hair on tanning ) is, that is also reasonable price-wise is - does anybody know where we could ship it and what we need to do with it when we pick it up from the processer and when we ship it ? There is a place in Duluth that does it ( only 25 min. from here ), but they charge almost $300, so we are hopeing to find something better. Thanks !
 

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Here's my only advice, those four animals ought to be locked in the shelter permanently whenever weather turns that ugly. Standing behind a round bale in the pasture is not enough protection. These animals herd, so if the older ones are in the field then so are the younger, it's their instinct. Lock them ALL up somehow and their own body heat together will overcome the brutal cold temps. you're experiencing. I'm sure you know this but her goes anyway,,,,the steers need good hay 24/7 in order to stay warm without it they will die....Lure them into the shed, these harsh days will pass...Topside
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Anybody ? Just got back from checking him again - he still will not stand up- still holding his head up, and looks at us and such, will drink water on his own, but ears are somewhat droopy. I'm really not sure if he will make it or not. He is in good body weight and warm it seems now.

DH and i did kinda get him to stand up for a couple min. while propped on us - wow, he sure is heavy ! It took all we had.

Should i give him some penn. G, or biomycin to ward off pnemonia ? Any other ideas at all ? Thanks !
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Topside, i had not known to lock them up, i'm used to horses, and the young ones will go in when needed even though the older ones will stay out - now i know :+(

We can lock them up in the small run-in shed ( we have a gate in front that we can close ), but now i'm faced with a problem - i have a smaller weak calf in there and worry about the big guys stepping on him or something. Is it OK to keep just the two small ones in there for now ? At least untill this one is better ? They do have hay 24/7. I also didn't pay attention to the weather forcast, another lesson learned :+(
 

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I'd take his rectal temp. he's probably hypothermic...Don't beat yourself up to badly, most folks will never be prepared for -30 below....I think he has a low body temp...
 

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I really can't say, I'm sure you will come up with a solution...like how about just a sheet of OSB or other materials to make a temporary pen for the sick calf...Good luck, stay in touch...Topside
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, it's 100.7 - i'm have to run to town, i'm going to pick up a new therm. and take it again when i get home too.

while i was out there i did manage to hand feed him some hay, lol - silly bugger tried sucking my fingers ( i did bottle feed them ), but took the hay right in and chewed it up, so DH has instructions to hand feed him more at chore time. Also, he has not pooped since about 8am.
 

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Temperature--normal is 100-103 Just a guess, he's probably suffering from dehydration/hypothermia and constipation...my 2 cents.
 

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cold air plus wind can dehydrate and animals just as easy as hot weather. Plus what did he drink all night, anything available had to have been frozen solid. Have you ever noticed how much water these bovines can put away...Maybe sucking on your hand was a sign?
 

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OK, first off, cattle do not need to be inside in -40 weather, unless they have no other windbreak. If that were the case, we would have had big, big problems around here considering that we just finished off about a month of temps well below -20 C (-2F) and a good portion of those were below -40 with the windchill. And, we didn't have any problems with ANY animal (from 300-800 lb weaned calves to our bulls)

That being said, all of our cattle had access to good windbreaks.

As for this steer, I wonder about the quality of your feed. Is it green and fresh looking or brown, dusty and/or moldy? Are you feeding grain? Is it fed freechoice, or do you just feed enough for the day? If you are feeding once a day, that could be the problem if the big guys are hogging it.

When was he last wormed? I notice that you said you just wormed him while he was down because he is wild...

His temp is normal, so that rules out pneumonia and any other infectious disease. He isn't hypothermic either.

Has he been passing manure? Has he been urinating?

Do they have access to water 24/7 or are you watering them once/twice a day? Cattle generally only drink once per day in the winter anyways.
 

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Contact a few taxidermist and tell them what you want to do with the hides. They typically know the best tanneries. Also the taxidermist will prepare the hide for shipping and for the tannery.
 

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A bison rancher here says tanning for hair on hides runs about $7.00/sf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you everybody - and thanks for the info on tanning :+)

randiliana - They do have trees for windbreak, and a run in shed. They are also fed good quality round bales of hay between the four of them - so they have hay 24/7. We are feeding grain twice a day, and they get watered twice a day as well ( topside - we sure have noticed how much they will drink - wow ! lol ! ), but sometimes more.

He was last wormed in Oct. 2008 by my vet. He has urinated, however has not pooped since 8am - he also hasn't ate much. I've been feeding him hay by hand and he will take it in, chew, and swallow just not a whole lot at a time- seems to get tired. He is still drinking at least everyother time i try, and has drank about 5 gal. or so today. I did try to call my vet since this morning when we found, just to finally get a call back saying he is out until thursday :+(

I just got in from checking him, he is still alive, not wanting to do much at all, but he is laying upright at least on his brisket. DH figured out a way to run cords all the way from the house and hooked up a heat lamp for him - he is not shivering at all, and is nice and warm under his blanket, but boy it is still cold out there ! Weather is saying until Sat. it's going to be like this :+( Well i'm off to bed, i'm going to set my alarm for checks throughout the night till i wake at 5:30. Thanks everyone, i sure hopes he pulls through.
 

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Try giving him some molasses in his warm water. It will give him an extra little boost.
I hope he pulls through for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Trisha - i was wondering if that would be safe to do - i'll try it when i go out there again.

He stayed alive all night, and doesn't look to be in pain or not comfortable. Then this morning at my 7 am check i went out to find he had moved his front legs out in front of him as if he tried to get up, AND he had his head up nicely and looked right at me when i went in. He had got worse last night compared to when we found him, and late last night it sounded like he was getting raspy - so i gave him biomycin - this morning he is now better then he was, so i still have hope. He sure is warm under that blanket and not shivering. He looks to have more spark in his eyes now too.

Thanks everybody !
 

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In your extra time, how about looking into cattle constipation remedies. I think he was not getting enough water and was becoming dehydrated and is now bound up with poop...just my thoughts, of course im not there....glad to hear he's doing better. Your feeding plan is just fine, I know it's tough but adaquate water intake is just a important.
Topside
 

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Well, it sounds like he should have been getting enough feed, energy was my worry, but if you're feeding grain, that shouldn't be a problem.

If he's not pooping, could be that he has an intestinal blockage of some kind. Why that would make him go down, I couldn't begin to guess. It would make him not interested in eating though. But, then again he is urinating, so at the very least water is getting through the system. You might try giving him some mineral oil.

If he was wormed in Oct, that shouldn't be the problem either.

Could he have been injured by one of the bigger guys? At this stage, with no other 'good' reasons for him to be down, I sure would be wondering about that. One of them may have tried to ride him and injured his back. It isn't common, but it does happen.

I would probably have the vet out to look at him as soon as he could. Another question, are you rolling him from side to side? This needs to be done or he will develop sores, and it isn't good for the legs that are underneath him either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you so much. He still hasn't pooped, what can i safely give him to try to help him do this ? I see you said maybe mineral oil - how much ? Is there anything else ?

I also never thought of the other two injuring him - now i feel like an idiot - we have seen the big white cow mounting his big red buddy, i guess i wouldn't doubt now that he may try riding the little ones too. Crap, i hope thats not it. My vet is out until Thursday - if he is still with us and not better i'll have him come out - otherwise i just hope he gets better.
 

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We had a heifer go down, thought we would have to put her down. The vet left us with Dex injections and Bute tablets. It took about a week. We went down to look at her and decide the next step, and she was up! My guess is she was injured either before transport by a big bull she lived with, or possibly fell in the trailer on the way home from the sale my step-dad bought her at. She turned out to be a real nice cow.

Of course, we kept hay and water with her at all times and fed some grain.
 
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