Tubing Calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by countrygurl, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. countrygurl

    countrygurl Well-Known Member

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    tube feeding can be very tricky, i would try to find someone fast to show you how if done wrong he will surly die drowning him and are going into his lungs.
    email me your # i will call you alot easier than writing
    countrygurl601@aol.com
    countrygurl/donna
     
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jerseys sickly animals???? Die anyways? Only under the care of people who have no right having them in the first place!

    Heh, maybe a little weak due to the inbreeding but our calves are very strong and we rarely lose any calf that hits the ground alive unless we leave them on their mother and they don't get that colostrum (happens extremely rarely!) or if they weren't meant to live (not formed completely).

    Tubing is really something that ought to be done as a last resort.

    When you feed him, he doesn't try to suck at all? What about when you stick your finger in his mouth? Have you tried clamping your hand around his mouth and opening and closing it around the nipple so he gets the idea that that particular motion gives him liquids? Is he scouring badly? We had one cross calf that scoured very badly...and to the point where he wouldn't drink or get up or anything. I used Sav-A-Calf and poured the bottle down his throat while paying attention to him. Eventually he felt better and started sucking again. Part of his problem could be he is very weak and so won't suck. The eloctrolytes and colostrum are a good idea in this case.
    What shape is his umbilical cord in? Has it dried and fallen off yet? Does the area feel kitty (could indicate naval ill)? This could also help you figure out if he is really six days old yet.

    You really need to find a farmer nearby to show you how to tube properly as it isn't easy. The vet should have helped you, that is what you pay him for.
     

  3. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    ajabj First of all my congratulations and respect to you for your kind heart :worship: seriously.. persevering and taking 2 hours for one feed. You are a good person.
    I have my doubts about that calf being 6 days old. With difficult calves I find it easier (sometimes) to stradle the calf, his bum pointing in the same direction as mine his neck between my knees so I can use both hands and he cant run away.
    When you have the teat in his mouth - with one hand squeeze the teat against the roof of his mouth this releases milk and he has to swallow (hopefully) Do you warm up the milk? It helps to make it as plalatable as possible. Colostrum is NEVER a waste. I hate tubing also. If you can keep enough fluids in the little guy so he does not become dehydrated you may not need the tube.
    BTW How many vets in your area?? If I were you I'd shop around coz I personally would have nothing to do with any vet with that sort of attitude. If the vet didnt think it was worth his while doing anything to help this little calf then I dont see why you should think it is worth your while paying this useless &$%@#$*^%= any sort of fee!!!!!!
     
  4. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Full marks to you for trying - and change vets as quickly as possible. Your not paying him for that sort of attitude.

    At this stage of it colostrum will be a waste in terms of it's usefulness as an antibody as the calf should have had it within 12 hours of birth.

    Tubing is not hard to do but is not going to fix the problem. Doing it will stop him becoming dehydrated but is not going to teach him how to suckle.
    As Valmai has suggested, stand astride the calf and back him into a corner. Get the teat into his mouth (with lots of swearing and milk everywhere :haha:) and squeeze. If he refuses to swallow and you feel you have enough hands :haha:, use one of them to clamp around his nostrils so that he can't breath and has to swallow.

    I feel that this is going to be an uphill push for you and these scum bags have given you a calf that has never had the chance to drink from it's mother. Even over here Jersey off-spring are not considered to have a lot of monetary value unfortunately. I reared four this season and had I not taken them they would have been knocked on the head - but having said that, they had spent 4 days with their mothers in the hope that somebody like me would take them and were all healthy lively little calves when I picked them up.

    Good luck to you :)

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  5. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    The calf was suppose to be six days old on Thanksgiving. I belive it was actually the day he was born. An yes Ronney no one around her thinks a jersey is worth the trouble or any amount of time or trouble.

    His naval cord is still there it is dry. I have been watching for it to come off to help determine his age.

    Since the day we got him he would not suck at all. I done as you have suggested when we got him home and Valmi by straddling him and inserting my middle finger to see is he would suck and he wouldn't he would lick at the finger and done the same with the nipple of a bottle. LIke I may have mentioned before I even tried getting him to drink from a bucket.

    I got intouch with several farmers and retired farmers and we were told to tube him and give him electrolyte. We done it with success he was given half a bottle of electrolyte last p.m and half a bottle this am. This evening we gave him a full bottle measurement all through the tube. He was more alert this evening but before we tube feed him we give him the chance to suck on our fingers and even a bottle of electrolyte laced with Karyo syrup to make it sweet to tempt him. Still he wouldn't. His scours is improving we noticed today.

    I am just wondering how long should we continue using the tube if he will not suck?

    The farmer that came out told us not to force a liquid into his mouth if he isn't able to suck because we could still drown him that way too. They were nice enough to come out and even questioned what vet they used. They don't use any of those darn things they cost to much money and won't come when you need them. They all said and I spoke with 5 and one is a dairy. They all said they do all their vetin' them selves.

    Like us we don't have a large head of cattle so we don't have access to a good vet, and most of them only treat cats and dogs. The only large animal vets we can find are for horses.

    I appreciate all of your advise and will do my best to keep ya posted as best I can.
     
  6. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If he never had a chance to suck mom he may not know how to suck. Strange, I know, but we run into with bull calves generally. They just tend to be much weaker at birth than the heifers. :no:
    Did you try opening and closing his mouth over the nipple? With a nipple that doesn't flow *too* quickly this tends to work with the stubborn calves I have run across. It takes a little while (do this while straddling him of course) but he should get the idea.
    He ought to receive a bottle for around a week to help his esophgeal grove form. I usually switch calves over to a bucket at a week of age, though I have a couple of bull calves I will be switching voer a tad bit earlier so they can get more liquids.
     
  7. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    I should have mentioned this before. Have you checked inside his mouth to be sure he doesnt have ulcers?? If that is the problem you will have to tube him until they heal.
     
  8. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Like Roseanna, I suspect this calf never had the chance to suckle which is both bad and sad. You would seem to have cottoned on to the "art" of tube feeding and while not the preferred way to feed anything, it does at least get nourishment into them. I would now try knocking off the electrolytes and substituting milk if the scouring in on the improve because he can't live exclusively on electrolytes.

    The situation may mean that you will have to think ahead a little. Carry on with what your doing in terms of tube feeding and trying to stimulate a sucking response. If he's not going to suck you are going to have to look at an early weaning so now is the time to look at getting him started on alternative feeds - and this is where I can't be a lot of help. We have something over here with a brand name Moozlee - it's a mixture of lucerne, pellets, crushed maize all mixed up with molassas and calves love it. They will start eating it at about 10 days of age and helps start rumen activity. There must be a similar alternative over there and you will have to ask around your rural suppliers to find out what is available. Do you have some high quality hay? Make that available to him as well and keep him on the best grass you have which may be a bit hard as I realise you are now well into winter.

    Keep us posted, we all want this little one to make it :)

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  9. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    I have had the calf since Thanksgiving. I was called to pick him at 10 o'clock. I thought this was odd since the calf was suppose to be six days old on this day since it was a holiday, one more day or one less day would not have made a difference if he really was nursing in my opnion. I honstely think he was born on this day.

    To date I have had him 11 days, and have worked with him to try and get him to nurse, I even resorted to PET Cream thinking this may be a bit richer and closer to the tast of his mother and it might get him to nursing. This was on Friday, after Thanksgiving.

    I have put my fingers, in his mouth to get him to suck, and no luck, I have even used the opening and closing method to see if he will drink on his own this way. This has resulted in no good results. We do have a nipple with a large hole in it and the milk would just pour down him I didn't like this because it wasn't helping him and running the risk of drowning. We got another nipple that was new and the slits were small. He wouldn't suck and wasn't getting anything from the biting motion. I would hold the nipple in his mouth with my hand around his mussle and another person would squirt a small amount into his mouth by squeezing the bottle. This was done for a couple of days, no luck their either.

    I then went and purchased a nipple for a lamb that will fit into a baby bottle. This is easier to handle for me alone because the calf bottle is to large for my hand to keep a good hold on. The nipple has a bit of a texture on the end. This could help him to keep his tongue in place but he isn't able to suck from it either. I even put my finger in his mouth (always straddling him) and then putting the nipple in his mouth to see if this would work. No luck there. I done this by offering a bucket, nothing.

    I even took the water bucket and mixed up milk and put in it to see if he would drink it after we had left him alone. When we went out later to measure to see if he had and he had not touched it.

    He is weak. Last night when I mentioned his scours appeared to be improving. This was because even though he was scouring he was getting a little texture in the last little bit dropped. This morning back to liquid. He did go to the water bucket and drink some water. I hoped he was thrusty enough to try to drink some electrolyte but he wouldn't. So we tubed him again.

    I think the reason for the little improvement in his scours is because I am giving him Biosol based upon his weight. It says to only give this amount within a 24 hour period. I am wondering about dividing the dosage and giving him smaller amounts twice a day instead of one full dosage once a day.

    He has access to hay. He got a piece in his mouth and tried to eat it but couldn't. He is eating on some calf starter, the best way to describe it is it looks like 10% sweetfeed with more sweet added to it. He isn't eating enough of any of this to substain him for any length of time.

    Someone mentioned about waiting until a calf was a week old before putting them on a bucket. Can I ask why you wait the week. My step-dad says that there is no need to even use a bottle that he will drink from the bucket no problem. I prefer to give them attention by talking to them and rubbing them while giving them a bottle. He had someone tell him that there was no need in using a bottle at all.

    I am not sure what you mean by ulcers in the mouth. Could someone explain this a bit more?
     
  10. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I mentioned the week because that is what we have been told. They used to put calves straight on a bucket ehre on our dairy but were told that the calves need to be bottle fed to help form the esphogeal grove. So we keep them on the bottle for at least five days...though more often a week before training them to bucket.


    Absolutely wonderful find! This should explain it adn now I have a better understanding why myself. :)

    www.calfnotes.com/pdffiles/CNCE0396.pdf+esophageal+grove+in+calves&hl=en]Espohageal grove[/URL]
     
  11. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    Just a shot in the dark here, but you mention you have other cows, are you sure he isn't stealing milk from somebody else ?
    If he is still alive now with little or no milk he must be getting something from somewhere, unless he's older than you think and he's getting enough from the grain ?
    As mentioned by others, we normally have them gobbling from a bucket in a week, I've taught them to do this by holding their whole nose in the bucket, normally they get the idea pretty quickly.
    Good luck, hope it works out.
     
  12. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    ajabj I mentioned mouth ulcers because I've seen it occassionally and the calf is not interested in taking a bottle or even sucking your finger because it hurts. Peer in to his mouth, can you see any red or swollen or 'odd' things in his mouth.
    At this stage I dont think it matters how or what you use as long as something is going into his tummy.
    Has anyone mentioned navel ill? Does his navel look swollen? do any of his joints especially 'knees' feel warm? Has this little guy got dry warm draft free housing?
    We are all with you on this Good luck.
     
  13. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    We accumlated three other calves about 2-3 months ago. One was not in good shape then either but we were able to get him turned around. We are watching the signs and getting ready to wean them they are eating well. They are not old enough for him to get milk from.

    I looked in his mouth and saw nothing. The top of his palate is soft but it is all there. He did have a rough place on one side but it doesn't look like there is any sours or anything out of the ordinary.

    The others we have are two jersey bulls and one holstein heifer, I think the heifer is a free martin that is why they wanted rid of her. She was in good health when we got her though.

    We are going to get them a little bigger and see if someone will let them live on their farm right now no one wants to take them in and they are a source of stress relief. They are commical to watch.

    My husband done something last night, he used his finger to put inside the calfs mouth, and he put it pretty far back and he was able to get his tongue right and began sucking. The nipples we have are not long enough to reach that far. He is swallowing better this morning when we put liquid in his mouth.

    As far as leaving him only on grain and not worrying, I thought by waiting to let him get hungry he may be ready to eat, this was last week, and he really went to falling off on the weight. He became very thin compared to what he was looking like and his belly is always sunken.

    How long would the navel cord be attached approximately how many days until it falls off?

    An old farmer has a barn he allows us to use, his daughter use to raise calves in the same space we have these. There are two stalls one is small and the other one is the lenght of the barn pretty good sized, and they have a large fenced in lot to play in and to get excerise and sun.

    We took him out into the large pasture so he could graze if he wanted to and he would look at the grass but wouldn't graze. We plucked some and tried to offer it to him and he wanted no part of it.

    He will walk some but not a lot. I have been trying to make sure he is up and moving around and he will just lay down after a few feet. I was pleased with him swallowing almost a half bottle of milk. The bottle is to where the liquid will just pour out but instead of just letting it run out of his mouth he did swallow so this was encouraging. It did take an hour to do it. He needed breaks in between and anytime there is any body functions that happen to him everything has to stop. It is like he is concentrating. He is still going to the bathroom so we are hoping he is getting enough to help him an I did add electorlyte to his water source.
     
  14. ashaaron

    ashaaron Guest

    I have a bull calf that was taken from its mom when it was approx 1 month old. My husband and I took it in and tried to get it to bottle feed without success. We left calf stater and water for it at all times, but it would not touch the feed. I don't know if he was drinking any water or not. After about 3-4 days of unsuccessful bottle feeding, we finally tube fed him. I had called a vet before doing this and he explained to me how to do it. We tube fed him for about a week twice a day. I finally called a vet and talked to a lady that worked there who raises sick or abandoned calves. She told me to take away his water for 12-24 hours and try again. She said that he was filling up on water and that's why he didn't want the bottle. I felt like this still was not going to work, but I did what she said. After approximately 12 hours, I tried bottle feeding him again. I worked with him for about 20 min doing the same things you have done with the nipple, straddling him. I was just about to give up and tube feed him when all of a sudden it was like something clicked in him. He started sucking the milk down as fast as he could. I haven't had any problems since. We have had him now for approx 7 weeks and are getting ready to wean him. He got scours once last week. That cleared up with some scour tablets and a shot of LA-200. He is eating grain and grass now. We only bottle feed him once a day now. I hope everything works out with your calf. Please let me know how he does.


    Ashley
     
  15. ajabj

    ajabj Member

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    Ashley,

    We tube fed him last Sunday and Monday. We were told by another lady that owns a dairy that tube feeding is only suppose to be done as needed that it isn't suppose to be repeated for a few days.

    I finally got his scours cleared up. He is eating some grain but still will not suck a bottle at all. He is getting weaker by the day. This morning we had trouble getting him to stand so I could try and bottle feed him. I have picked up a drench that has vitamins in it and is suppose to help if a calf/cow goes off grain, for mastitis, vaccines, and many other things. He has had two dosages of this nasty smelling stuff and still no improvement I can see.

    His belly isn't filling out he is loosing weight again and next to his hip bones they look like they could almost touch each other. He has gone back to the arched position. I have contacted several people who operate dairies and they have said that he is being stubborn. Stubborn is one thing but going hungry is another. I think we may try and tube feed him again tonight and see how that does. This time I can give him the milk replacer instead of the electtrolyte because his scours are gone now.

    Some of the farmers told me that if this calf wasn't doing any better with all I have done then it just isn't meant for him to make it. One even contacted a retired vet for me and he said I was doing everything he would do that he didn't have any other advise to give me.

    I think now it is just a wait and see game.

    Jen
     
  16. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    I really dont know if this will help. Had a calf like that who just would'nt drink (due to mouth ulcers) I know you havent seen any mouth ulcers but this brew may help. A generous handfull of comfrey and elder blossoms (leaves are ok if you dont have blossoms) chop finely boil in 1 1/2 ltrs water (3 pints?) allow to simmer untill its 'sludge' strain the liquid. Add some molassas for palatability. This can be a brilliant cure for many things.