Sick calf

  • Sick calf

    Posted by Flygirl on July 18, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    Hi all, I bought three calves at a livestock action, mid June . Two are thriving, one is not.

    Seems like he has a hard time trying to eat?

    Any ideas?

    Bright_Sunday replied 2 months, 2 weeks ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Drake-Farms

    July 18, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    How big are the calves? Do they have runny noses? What feed are you offering?

    • Flygirl

      July 18, 2023 at 11:29 pm

      Yes, runny noses but not horrible, even the healthy ones have a bit if a runny nose.

      I’m giving them Timothy and orchard grass here that was just bailed a week ago. Giving the sick half oats, mixed with sweet cob and a little molasses. Feeding him about 3 cups every two hours.

    • Flygirl

      July 18, 2023 at 11:30 pm

      They are 5 to 6 months old

    • Flygirl

      July 18, 2023 at 11:33 pm

      I have also does Tim with ivermectin Pour On and getting him 3 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth a day.

    • Flygirl

      July 18, 2023 at 11:33 pm

      Dosed him

  • PackersRboss

    July 19, 2023 at 12:35 am

    Call a Vet

  • Drake-Farms

    July 19, 2023 at 2:58 am

    Get a hold of your local vet. Bet they need a round of antibiotics for BRD/shipping fever. It’s a respiratory virus that was probably picked up in the sale barn.

    When I buy from a sale barn I stop at the vet on the way home and they get a shot that evening or the next morning. Then they are monitored and quarantined for 10-14 days. Resflor is what my local vet usually prescribes. Follow the label and residue will be out of their system in a few weeks. Well before slaughter or resale.

    Weigh their feed. Shoot for 1-2% of body weight. Buying a feed from a Local mill that has a known protein and fat content is what I would recommend. Also get something with a vitamin pack and offer a mineral/salt supplement either mixed with feed or free choice. I like commodity feeds not pelleted. Cheaper and seem to eat it better. TSC is too expensive to feed calves on. Their feed conversions aren’t good enough for that gold.

  • Bright_Sunday

    July 19, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    “One of the most challenging management problems resulting from stress on calves is
    lowered feed intake. Feed intake decreases by over 50% in calves experiencing
    respiratory disease and fever. It is often difficult to meet nutrient requirements in calves
    suffering from bovine respiratory disease complex due to the dramatic reductions in
    feed consumption. It sometimes takes up to two weeks for calves to resume normal
    feed intake levels after the start of respiratory disease. Low feed intake is of particular
    concern when using medicated feed additives requiring adequate intake of medication
    for effectiveness against conditions such as coccidiosis.
    While protein and mineral requirements of stressed calves may not differ from nonstressed calves, protein and mineral supplementation levels may need to be increased
    with stressed calves to compensate for reduced feed intake. Increasing diet nutrient
    density helps supply adequate nutrient levels when feed intake is depressed. Receiving
    diets for lightweight, stressed calves should target 13.5% to 14.5% protein on a dry
    matter basis to meet protein requirements. In cases of severe intake depression, dietary
    dry matter protein levels may need to approach as high as 24% crude protein.
    Much of the shrink or weight loss common with calf marketing, shipping, and processing
    is water loss. Longer transits only increase weight loss and calf stress. Bodily water
    losses can increase mineral losses from the body and, combined with low feed intakes,
    lead to mineral deficiencies. Nutritional programs for stressed calves should include
    1.2% to 1.4% potassium in the diet for two weeks after arrival in cases where shrink
    exceeds 7%. Additionally, high concentrations of zinc have been shown to provide
    benefits to calves suffering from illness. Suggested zinc concentrations for stressed
    calves are 75 to 100 parts per million (ppm) of dietary dry matter. Vitamin E and
    selenium are also involved in immune function. During the receiving period, vitamin E
    should be fed at levels between 400 to 500 IU (International Units) per head per day.
    Later at least 100 IU of vitamin E with 0.1 ppm Se per head per day should be provided.
    Supplementation of B vitamins, for instance, niacin, has also been shown to improve
    response of stressed calves. Daily niacin supplementation of 125 ppm for healthy
    calves and 250 ppm for sick calves can be beneficial.


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