Premature Calf; Again

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Haggis, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    My one Milking Devon heifer to carry a calf out of last year's troubles gave birth to a bouncing 32 pound bull calf this a.m. She was not due until the first of June, or at least that is what the vet assured me during her palpation.

    I called the vet a half hour ago and he told me to feed it 4 to 6 times a day a total of 10% of the calf's body weight, or 3.2 pounds per day. The bitsy took a pint of colostrum straight off, but he still can't get to his feet. The vet said to not get my hopes up about the calf's survival.

    Now to figure out how to hold the coming three year old heifer for milking. I thought that I had nearly 6 weeks to play around with her and gentle her a bit, but now it needs done yesterday.
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    This lady we bought the jerseys from had a premature heifer calf. She had it down in her basement, and nursed it to health. It didn't have much fur, breathed strange. But it did live, and I think is still fine.


    Jeff
     

  3. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    HOLY MOLY HAGGIS! You sure do have your hands full there!

    Well, if it's too much trouble breaking the heifer to milk right now, you could always dry her off and just feed the little one spare milk from your Jersey!

    When it rains, it pours!

    Something that occurred to me (and this is a shot in the dark) -- I wonder how familiar your vet is with Milking Devons? I mean, most farm vets probably see mostly Holsteins and the occasional Jersey. So if he palpated and the calf was very small, could it have been possible he underestimated the age? How far is 32# off from a normal birth weight?

    :confused:

    Oh, another thing: try to get that little one up on his feet, even if he crashes around and falls down! By doing so, they knock the crud out of their little lungs. I always felt so sorry for the babies staggering all over, until I read that ... seems everything in Nature has a purpose! :)
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had premie goats born on Thurs. one was bigger and could stand but the little one was real weak...I gave him goat drench and within a couple hrs he was up.
    The mother freshened with no milk....so I think wrestling a first timer for milk is better than no milk at all. My babies were 4# and 3#...and doing well thus far...
    Hope your calf is too!
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    I have read that Milking Devon calves are fairly small, and some birth weights given were as low as 35#. However, this calf's hooves are still soft! The should be hard outer shell feels like rubber bands. He is completely haired over and looks normal but for the hooves, and his size.

    My 4th daughter took the calf home with her and it has taken up residence in their living room. They found a big cardboard box, lined it with old rugs, and watch him constantly.

    So far he is still trying to get on his feet, and is taking his colostrum like he is starving. I told daughter to give him an eight and a half ounce feeding every four hours, and no matter how much he may beg he doesn't get more.

    Dorsey's bull calf "Chuck" has reached the point that he knows what a bottle is for and he sucks down his meals in record times. I guess we were lucky to have Dorsey freshen just a couple of days ahead of Daisy, and had the forethought lay by a couple of gallons of colostrums. Now the premature calf has colostrums wthout my having what little brains I have left kicked out trying to milk Daisy.

    Herself tells me that with Dorsey freshening, we don't need the milk, Daisy is still a growing heifer, she will be carrying another calf during the next year while she is growing, and if we're milking her that would just retard her growth. So I suppose I will just try to gentle her over the next few weeks to get her ready to stand fo AI. If I keep her gentle she'll be ready for next year.

    I still have to gentle two other Milkng Devons so that they will stand for AI! Tulip is still in draft training; doing great, but still training. These two youngest Devon heifers are destined for the yoke, and if the bitsy lives he and Chuck will bypass the freezer to become oxen. I suppose that I have plenty to do without milkng Daisy.