Stillborn calves

Dustyherefords

Member
Mixed Farmer
We and the vets are struggling to answer why we are loosing calves this year, they are blonde and blonde cross cows/heifers with 3 different bulls used, some calves have been large but most are average sizes, the cows look well but not to over conditioned, they have all been bolused. Often calves are alive inside but then never take a breath once on the floor, a postmortem on one showed nothing unusual. We are just looking for any suggestions after many discussions of possible causes. Thank you.
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
We and the vets are struggling to answer why we are loosing calves this year, they are blonde and blonde cross cows/heifers with 3 different bulls used, some calves have been large but most are average sizes, the cows look well but not to over conditioned, they have all been bolused. Often calves are alive inside but then never take a breath once on the floor, a postmortem on one showed nothing unusual. We are just looking for any suggestions after many discussions of possible causes. Thank you.
Cows calving ok?
 

Dustyherefords

Member
Mixed Farmer
Until last year we were high health and nothing has been bought in, selenium and iodine are both in the boluses, we are just about to offer a high energy mineral block as well as the cows seem to be hiding when they start to calve, lost one yday from a great suckler, small calf, no problems but wondered if she was being lazy to begin with. Never had any problems before but they do also seem to be calving late this year with 10 still left.
 

Dustyherefords

Member
Mixed Farmer
years ago, had a lot of lambs who could not get the gwisc off their faces as they were born, so never able to take a breath. Had Danny Godwin Jones from trace element services to do a soil test and he sold us a trace element mixture for the fields, no problems since then
We are looking to retest the silage but soil testing is certainly a good idea, thank you.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
shouting iodine deficiency, there is only a token amount in boluses. Get vet to check thyroids of a dead calve, but splash some 10% iodine solution on your cows first thing tomorrow, better still tonight ! Works quite quickly, by the time the vet has faffed about, taking bloods etc, that's another week gone, and another bill. If it's correct, great, if it's something else, you haven't lost anything.
 

sidjon

Member
Location
EXMOOR
My first thought was iodine, I don't think boluses alone are enough if you are really low
We are very low, had calf deaths after given cows boluses, tested bloods and iodine was very low still, now injectable iodine is used no more dead calves.
 

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neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
As above, your description screams iodine deficiency, in the absence of disease.

We have had serious losses in recent years due to Iodine deficiency, 8n sheep bolused twice a year. Used Flexidine (as pictured above) as well last year and it’s like having my old, healthy flock back. The Iodine level in boluses isn’t enough if there is a lock up going on, as it’s obviously released into the rumen. Flexidine releases a far lower rate, but directly into the bloodstream.

I was pleased to see my shearers cursing again yesterday, like they always used to.😂
 

davieogrutha

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Orkney
Until last year we were high health and nothing has been bought in, selenium and iodine are both in the boluses, we are just about to offer a high energy mineral block as well as the cows seem to be hiding when they start to calve, lost one yday from a great suckler, small calf, no problems but wondered if she was being lazy to begin with. Never had any problems before but they do also seem to be calving late this year with 10 still left.
Could be magnesium deficient if your finding the cows slow to calf. Vets suggested to sample a few cows after a bad start to calving. Even though they had housing minerals from day they came in Half came back as good and others came back as adequate. Shed that had most of the adequate's got powered magnesium on top of their pre calving minerals and found that when they came to calving they had a bit more oomph with them. Also found that they were giving their calves better colostrum. we were doing a study with other farms with the vets on another topic and this came to light with us.
 

Enry

Member
Location
Shropshire
Sounds like Iodine issue to me….been there got T shirt…cured it with bolus, then changed bolus and found the level in new bolus was lower and saw a few again
 

Wooly

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Romney Marsh
If the vet hasn't suggested iodine is a possible problem by now, I reckon you need to get another vet !!


What is the TB status of the herd ? You don't put your location in your profile, so can't work it out.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



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