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Old 04-26-2008, 07:53 PM   #1
NationBuckingBulls
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Default HELP! Premature Calf

Our Hooter Heifer was too young to have a calf and was not supposed to be bred, but it happened. She calved early this morning and the calf is a little early and is very small. He won't eat good and is weak. We did manage to get some colostrum down him and that gave him a little more energy. But we had to tube him to do that and the tube is actually a little too big for him. We are going to try to get some more down him with a smaller bottle. We would greatly appreciate any suggestions that might help us save this little calf.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #2
Summerrain
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Sorry to hear about the calf.. seems your doing the right steps. If you can get more colostrum down him , that would tremendously help. be sure hes kept warm if he real small. Im sure some other on here can give you more advice.

He may take a botle or nurse momma if he gets more strength from the colostrum.. I wish you the best , dont give up on him, keep going.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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It's hard to tell you without seeing just how small it is but get a goat nipple for you bottle and feed it colostrum as long as you can. Feed it small amounts every few hours instead of trying to give it a large amount a couple times a day. Use a thermometer and heat the milk to around a 100 degrees.If it won't suck and you have to tube it. You can get a clear plastic hose and heat the end so that the plastic rolls back,rounding the edges. This makes it easier to feel when your inserting it on the left side of the throat and it is easier on the calf if the normal tube is too big. It's time consuming but I always like to see them live.
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:05 AM   #4
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Dustin and Jala Nation hows your calf doing today?
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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The calf is still alive. We fed it through the night. But it is a chore getting her to take any at all. We are going to try a smaller lamb bottle today and see if that helps at all. We tried tubing it, but the regular tube is too big. I guess if the lamb bottle doesn't work we will try some smaller pastic hose and round the edges as suggested and see what happens. We guess her to weight to be about 20 pounds, give or take a few. Her body is about the same size as our 8 month old little girl and she is petite. Thank you for the suggestions and concern.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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Have the teeth brooke thru skin ? Are hooves developed ? Hair cover ? These are some ways to tell if its premature or just a small calf .
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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If it doesnt have the above.....does it have a curved spine or a domed skull?

I had one born @ 17# dead and one born @ 20# that lived for a few weeks. My first thought was dwarfism sense we had one the year before, but these didnt really show those symptoms. The big vet school that the angus association uses said "gestationally small" so I never got a definant answer on what was wrong with those two calves. Talked to a few vets and they said that it could be that the live BVD vaccine given at a certain time in gestation can cause this also. We also tested the cows and the calves for BVD and they came back negative. So we switched back to killed and never had another problem.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:42 PM   #8
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The teeth have not broken through, but it has all its hair though it is short and fine. The hooves are developed and the skull and spine seem to be normal. But, she cannot stand up.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #9
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sounds like it is about a few weeks to a month early....try some karo to give it some energy. There is also a paste that they sell in most farm/ranch stores, I dont recall the name of it right now...ah nursemate thats it, and try that. Between those two you might get it going.

Is it maintaining its temp, does it have a suck reflex, is it laying up at all?
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:56 PM   #10
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I just went out to give the calf another feeding. She actually stood up on her own, but was very week and shaky. She seemed to be trying to suck, but just isn't strong enough. I managed to get a little down her, but not much. By Karo, I'm assuming you meant the syrup, so I gave her a little of that too. If she doesn't take some more here in a little while we might just have to tube her with a smaller hose. She seems to be maintaining her temp. pretty well and is penned up with her mother inside the barn.
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