Calf scour

Jdunn55

Member
Hi all, had a heifer calf die today, she was 3 weeks old but was premature (about a month early) i noticed she didn't drink this morning and tubed her along with some electrolytes took her temp (normal 38 degrees so didn't give antibiotics) but was looking OK so was feeling hopeful I'd caught her in time but at lunchtime I checked her and she was stone cold, there's a couple more scouring in the calf house.
I've given the 2 who are looking a bit rougher electrolytes and taken their temperatures and they are at 39 and 39.5 the rest look good and running around still. I have given the two poorly ones a jab of metacam and diatrim. Got the vet coming tomorrow to dung test for cocci, corona etc (snap test so will know instantly) and just give them a look over.

Would anyone do anything else?
Thanks
 

pappuller

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
M6 Hard shoulder
Hi all, had a heifer calf die today, she was 3 weeks old but was premature (about a month early) i noticed she didn't drink this morning and tubed her along with some electrolytes took her temp (normal 38 degrees so didn't give antibiotics) but was looking OK so was feeling hopeful I'd caught her in time but at lunchtime I checked her and she was stone cold, there's a couple more scouring in the calf house.
I've given the 2 who are looking a bit rougher electrolytes and taken their temperatures and they are at 39 and 39.5 the rest look good and running around still. I have given the two poorly ones a jab of metacam and diatrim. Got the vet coming tomorrow to dung test for cocci, corona etc (snap test so will know instantly) and just give them a look over.

Would anyone do anything else?
Thanks
I think you have done everything correctly, try and keep the fluid levels up, you could get a snap test from the vets yourself if you wanted to
 

Jdunn55

Member
I think you have done everything correctly, try and keep the fluid levels up, you could get a snap test from the vets yourself if you wanted to
Thanks, I'm going to ask to have a couple spare for the future, but they're pretty good and will dorp it out for free and tbh while she's here she may as well look at them

Bloody annoyed about it 😞 been trying my best to do things right guess its one of those things!

While we are on the topic, what's everyone's calving plan, I calve in a calving pen (usually!) Then 2 litres of colostrum within 2 hours and another 2 litres within 4 hours after that (so 4litres within 6 hours), I brix test all colostrum and make sure its up to 25% immunoglobulins anything under 25% gets sccl colostrum powder added to bring it up to 25%
Navals are all dipped a few times throughout the first day
Anything else I can or should be doing?
 
We have bloods done on the dairy heifer calves to make sure we are doing it right.
what your doing seems spot on. Maybe if the tests tomorrow Show disease then vaccinating could be an option. It has made things so much better here. To the extent that we have one buyer for our beef calves now. He’s been taking more and more each yr as he has very little hassle with them and they grow well on a forage only system. This yr he wants the lot.
 

pappuller

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
M6 Hard shoulder
Thanks, I'm going to ask to have a couple spare for the future, but they're pretty good and will dorp it out for free and tbh while she's here she may as well look at them

Bloody annoyed about it 😞 been trying my best to do things right guess its one of those things!

While we are on the topic, what's everyone's calving plan, I calve in a calving pen (usually!) Then 2 litres of colostrum within 2 hours and another 2 litres within 4 hours after that (so 4litres within 6 hours), I brix test all colostrum and make sure its up to 25% immunoglobulins anything under 25% gets sccl colostrum powder added to bring it up to 25%
Navals are all dipped a few times throughout the first day
Anything else I can or should be doing?
Do you vaccinate for anything ie rota virus?
 

Jdunn55

Member
We have bloods done on the dairy heifer calves to make sure we are doing it right.
what your doing seems spot on. Maybe if the tests tomorrow Show disease then vaccinating could be an option. It has made things so much better here. To the extent that we have one buyer for our beef calves now. He’s been taking more and more each yr as he has very little hassle with them and they grow well on a forage only system. This yr he wants the lot.
I'm open to vaccinating but don't want to waste any money on vaccinating for the wrong thing (seems to be hundreds of them available!) What do you vaccinate for?
 

frederick

Member
Location
south west
Thanks, I'm going to ask to have a couple spare for the future, but they're pretty good and will dorp it out for free and tbh while she's here she may as well look at them

Bloody annoyed about it 😞 been trying my best to do things right guess its one of those things!

While we are on the topic, what's everyone's calving plan, I calve in a calving pen (usually!) Then 2 litres of colostrum within 2 hours and another 2 litres within 4 hours after that (so 4litres within 6 hours), I brix test all colostrum and make sure its up to 25% immunoglobulins anything under 25% gets sccl colostrum powder added to bring it up to 25%
Navals are all dipped a few times throughout the first day
Anything else I can or should be doing?
Your probably still doing the job better than me but 3 litres of colostrum at first feedandno second feed would actually be better than another 2 litrres 4 hours later because after the first feed and colostrum crossing the gut wall starts reducing the amount passing through.

Going forwards you do make life difficult for one man calving lots of cows.
Rather than sticking to two hours post calving it might be better to do all fresh calves once at 4 different points in the day.
It is better to do all calves at 85% than 85% of calves at 100% and 15% slipping through the net because time pressure is too much.
 

Jdunn55

Member
Your probably still doing the job better than me but 3 litres of colostrum at first feedandno second feed would actually be better than another 2 litrres 4 hours later because after the first feed and colostrum crossing the gut wall starts reducing the amount passing through.

Going forwards you do make life difficult for one man calving lots of cows.
Rather than sticking to two hours post calving it might be better to do all fresh calves once at 4 different points in the day.
It is better to do all calves at 85% than 85% of calves at 100% and 15% slipping through the net because time pressure is too much.
I got told that if you tube a calf with too much colostrum it'll spill over into the rumen which causes rumen fermentation which is bad for calves as they haven't got the bugs to digest the colostrum?
I'm not calving lots of cows atm I've only got 75 due this spring so can cope, I don't mind working hard but do mind calves dieing
 

Spudley

Member
Location
Pembrokeshire
I'd agree with what Frederick said, give the full 4 litres at the first feed. I'm sure it's okay to give that much by stomach tube in the first 24 hours, and as he said, once the calf has some colostrum the gut starts to close and the absorption isn't as good from then on.
 
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TheRanger

Member
Location
SW Scotland
No, not currently, I thought he rotavec vaccine only works if you feed cows milk for a few days? Mine only get colostrum for the first 2 feeds within 6 hours and then they're on powder
Looked into doing the Rotavec Corona vaccine here, but according to the paperwork it only provides protection while feeding cows milk, for 2-4 weeks. Heifer calves here are straight onto powder after 8L colostrum over 2 feeds.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
find out if anything nasty, vet job.
pray its not crypto
we had crypto one year, its horrible, we bought new pens, and in another shed, halocur, and stopped it from that point, the effected ones, it would have been cheaper/better to have euthanised them, those that lived, never really did.
Ever since have vaccinated for rota corona, religiously, an occasional cow gets missed, and we can usually spot them ! We consider ourselves decent rearers, used to rear hundreds a year, all bought in, but crypto never.
But you are doing all the right things, just make sure its not a nasty bug. This weather isn't the best, hot/cold dry/wet. Plenty of fresh air, dry beds, and no drafts.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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