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  1. #1
    Senior Member jupp is on a distinguished road
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    raising holstein calves

    we have had some bad fits off and on where we lose a lot of dairy calves ina row at about 7-10 days of age. start out doing awesome, then just go to hell and get weak and fade away. we just went the whole summer and didn't lose a live-born calf. now we are in one of those runs, just lost an Airraid heifer today. any suggestions? or what is your program for raising them from hitting the ground to weaning? we dip the naval w/ strong iodine at birth, along with a clostridium vaccine and Nasalgen, besides the colostrum thing. We have also sometimes given a few cc's of Excede at 5or6 days of age to head whatever it is off. Oh and the cows get Endovac-Bovi at dryoff. sometimes if we are losing them I feel like getting rid of all this preventative stuff we use and going w/ straight milk and say see what happens. I just get frustrated. Losing a young calf is about the worst feeling in farming, it just makes me ill. thanks in advance

    -livin' the High Life in WI since 1982

  2. #2
    Senior Member dairyfarmmn is on a distinguished road
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    I quit all that preventive ****te and HAVE had better luck. Sounds like you may have Salamonella bug or Rota Corona Virus. Seems a little early to me to be a Crypto sort of thing.

    You said you dip the navels, that's something I don't do, probably should but I don't. Do you give a gallon of colostrum to the calf as soon as possible after the calf is born? Do you use the cows milk or a colostrum replacer? I'd get a gallon tube feeder if you don't have one and give a gallon of colostrum from the cow to every calf. Other wise I like to give the colostrum replacer for 2 feedings. (I like Secure from Vita-Plus)Also what is your vitamin E level in the dry cow diet? You want it above 2000-2500 IU/day. I'm a big believer in this, vitamin E is an anti-oxident and helps the immune system of the cow and calf.

    What is the color/consistency of the manure. That will tell you alot about what bug you have. There are many tricks and things you can do. Been in your shoes and it is the worst feeling losing a calf, especially a heifer. But knock on wood, I haven't lost a claf that has been born alive in 2 or 3 years.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pete is on a distinguished road
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    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">[i]Originally posted by dairyfarmmn[/i]
    [br]I quit all that preventive ****te and HAVE had better luck. Sounds like you may have Salamonella bug or Rota Corona Virus. Seems a little early to me to be a Crypto sort of thing.

    You said you dip the navels, that's something I don't do, probably should but I don't. Do you give a gallon of colostrum to the calf as soon as possible after the calf is born? Do you use the cows milk or a colostrum replacer? I'd get a gallon tube feeder if you don't have one and give a gallon of colostrum from the cow to every calf. Other wise I like to give the colostrum replacer for 2 feedings. (I like Secure from Vita-Plus)Also what is your vitamin E level in the dry cow diet? You want it above 2000-2500 IU/day. I'm a big believer in this, vitamin E is an anti-oxident and helps the immune system of the cow and calf.

    What is the color/consistency of the manure. That will tell you alot about what bug you have. There are many tricks and things you can do. Send me an email to this email address dairyfarmmn@gmail.com, we can exchange emails and I'll give you some ideas. Been in your shoes and it is the worst feeling losing a calf, especially a heifer. But knock on wood, I haven't lost a claf that has been born alive in 2 or 3 years.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    we stopped vaccinating dry cows 7-8 years back and have no regrets. We do use that "First Defense" bolus to a calf as quick as we see it born-for both bulls and heifers.Our first feeding is that product called "Life" We use a tube feeder if the calf won't drink.We use whole milk and a good calf grain with excellent results.No hay until weaning but we do use "barley and wheat" straw plus shavings as needed. We've had excellent results and tons of heifers coming out of our butts..

  4. #4
    Senior Member dungbeetle is on a distinguished road
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    ARe you raising your calves in poly domes? If not, I would switch to them. We very rarely have ever had a sick calf, especially in winter beleive it or not.

  5. #5
    We had great results when we installed a automatic dishwasher to sanitize our bottles every day.

  6. #6
    Junior Member kjackson is on a distinguished road
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    Has anyone used a Biotic calf feeder? It auto feeds and mixes milk replacer as the calf drinks through the day.

    KJ

  7. #7
    Junior Member slo23s is on a distinguished road
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    I have raised calves for 25 years and have seen many problems. Analize you entire routine not just vaccination. Make sure colostrum is quality, preferably from the calves mother or milk colostrum and freeze. Second, it is always a good idea to collect a manure sample and take it to your vet to identify exactly what you have and have a sensitivity test run. Next make sure you practice good sanitary measures, disinfect nipples and bottles after each use. Lime the beds after each weaning or after you lose a calf. When a calf becomes sick, create an isolation area and move it away from others. Disinfect hands after handling sick calves.

  8. #8
    Senior Member curious is on a distinguished road
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    With your sick calves, first feedings of colostrum are critcal, as you know. Assuming they have scours, have you tried replacing a few feeding with electrolyte solutions, they get really dehydrated, eyes sink back in their heads from loss of fluids, can tube them if they can't nurse the bottle.

    Sulfa boluses, calf size, works well for antibiotic, give as directed per weight of calf on box. An injection of B12 and Vitamin A might help. Isolation is important, washing the sick calves bottle with regular bleach is useful, rinsing well afterward. I have found that Kaopectate (human diarrhea aid) is helpful with scours also if you have nothing else on hand, just drench them straight from the bottle.

    My standby antibiotics are always sulfa boluses and 5 cc's of LA 200, depending on the severity of the illness of the calf, it gets a bolus of 10cc's of LA 200 along with the sulfa bolus, that combo works well for me, long acting. Being warm, clean bedding is a must for a sick calf. They will huddle under a heat lamp if you can provide that for them in a stall.

    Best of luck to you!

  9. #9
    We share your frustration at times. Tubing at least 3 quartz of high quality colostrum ASAP, dipping navel and if possible feeding a 2nd feeding of colostrum are all good practices to follow. When we lose calves, we usually find that their immune system has been compromised at some point, either by feeding bad quality colostrum or not feeding enough of it andor too late after calving. Checking colostrum quality with a colostrumeter is a good practice, if you are not already doing so. Enhancing colostrum quality by vaccinating dry cows and feeding them a higher level of vitamin-E can also make a difference. Some times we will take blood samples from the calves to check total proteins or to be more specific igG counts in order to evaluate our colostrums management.
    Also, we find that some times the calf’s immune system gets overwhelmed by a large number of bacteria and viruses. So washing stalls, pens , walls with lots of hot water and soap or bleach is of importance. Do not use a pressure washer however since this will only create a fine mist of water particles that then carry bacteria and viruses throughout the rest of the barn. Also keeping calf areas empty for 2-3 weeks after washing will help lower bacterial and viral load since their isn’t any animals, manure or bedding present to multiply on. I heard of some farms using flame throwers or propane torches to sterilize their calf barn or pens in between uses.
    Just a view thoughts, hope they’ll help


    Manager

  10. #10
    Junior Member ddave111 is on a distinguished road
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    i have a biotic feeder --the id tec--the best money i ever spent--any questions call me ask for dave--423-257-6726--cell423-741-7888---calves grow faster eat grain sooner , almost no scours--feeds the calf 1 pint of warm mixed powdered milk as often as you want--set each calf different--feeder takes care of 25 calves

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