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Concerned about calf

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Calves' started by speckled6, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Sep 12, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    @Eteda; I am not sure how the lamb got founder from mature dry tall summer grass. I am thinking that what you have is fescue toxicity not founder. Founder is from a rich high protein, high carb diet that is very digestible and not from eating tall mature summer grass. But fescue toxicity is very prevalant and is a bear to deal with. It can cause abortion in cattle, and one very typical behavior is to see them standing in a pond or stream because the toxic fescue will cause heat and make them very sore footed. I think it is alkaloids but I could be using the wrong term. Kentucky 31 fescue grows everywhere, is a real PITA to deal with and I hate it in a pasture even though it is touted to be a good grass to stockpile for fall grazing. Some people do seem to get along with it but we just hate it here.
    I honestly do not know of a "cure" for founder, once they founder, it is constant trimming the hooves as they grow very fast and they don't get over it. Yes you have to monitor them constantly. To me it is not worth the time and money to keep an animal that has founder if it is bad; controlling the diet for little/no rich grazing is one way. Most dry lot their animals. Unless it is an irreplaceable breeder, they do not stay here. The biggest problem we have with our dall sheep is foot rot and barber pole worm. The foot rot will make them sore and not want to stay on their feet. It also smells pretty bad. Just using a topical application of oxytet a couple of times on the affected foot will usually get it cleared up. Or running them through a foot bath.
    But it sounds to me more like fescue toxicity and the only cure for that is to get them off it, until after frost and it doesn't seem to be as strongly affecting them. Getting rid of it in your pasture would be a better solution. The starches also convert to sugars after a frost and the fescue is more palatible to our cattle but I still don't like the stuff.
    Banamine will help with the pain and swelling, but it is only a stopgap.
     
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  2. Sep 12, 2017
    Bossroo

    Bossroo True BYH Addict

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    To get rid of that fescue, you will have to kill every grass in the pasture. Then let any remaining seeds germinate, thein kill it all again. If you want fescue grass, there are endophite resistant varieties that you can then plant.
     
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  3. Sep 12, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    @Bossroo is right, getting rid of fescue is a long procedure and yes there are endophite free varieties. Went to a pasture walk meeting just 2 weeks ago and saw some. Cattle gained more on it etc but it is hard to maintain it as any of the toxic varieties will cross pollinate and then you are back where you started. But if you are having that problem with the lambs, maybe part of it is that they don't have any alternatives to eating it. Our cows will not eat it in the summer if they have any other choices in grazing as it is not near as palatable until after it is frosted and the starches converted to sugars.
    Did the vet definitely decide it is founder on the lambs? We've never had it in the sheep as far as I know; did have a friend have it in an older horse one time and she could not go out on green grass and was not allowed hardly any grain, but it is years since I saw it and do know that they had to put her down when it became too painful for her to get around but again, it was a long time ago so there might be other options today.
     
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  4. Sep 12, 2017
    speckled6

    speckled6 Chillin' with the herd

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    @farmerjan , thanks for the response! Such great information, I appreciate how you clearly and fully explain everything. I don't have sheep, but still read those responses too! Can't ever have enough information!!!
    Thanks again,
    jean
     
  5. Sep 12, 2017
    Eteda

    Eteda Ridin' The Range

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    they have a a roll of hay 24/7 of good quality.
    Yes the vet said it was founder due to the carbohydrates in the tall older grass. due to the time of year. I don't have any fescue. it least not enough to identify yet. but I will look it up again and check it out, can't hurt anything.
    I cleared the land in 1992 and planted bahia. The yard has centipede.
    or did as it has a lot of bahia in it also. I have some smut grass and quackgrass. which i really hate. down in the bottom I finally have grass. its crabgrass mainly. their are native forbs and rushes and some briars. It stays so wet I had a hard time getting bahaia to grow there. but it makes the best ryegrass pasture of all. some common bermuda here and their and a couple spots of johnson grass around the pond. Cud weed in the yard. I have a lot of nut grass in the yard too. I finally bought a lawn mower to help with all those weeds. since i've been working on the locked up brakes on the tractor for the past 5 months I took to lawnmower to the pasture twice to cut down the stinging nettle. I guess it figured it was a disgrace to be used in the pasture cause now it wont start. probably just the coil needs replacing.
     
  6. Sep 13, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    Okay, obviously you are doing things right by having the vet and everything for the lambs. And now seeing that you are in Miss it is not as likely that you have fescue as it isn't as common in the far south from what i have read and heard. So, therefore, I am not much help in the grass department as we have different grasses up here. Maybe @greybeard can comment on it as he is in TX and more familiar with southern grasses or a few other members are in the FL and LA areas. Sorry I am not of more help but hopefully someone else is more familiar with the types of grasses you have. Sorry for the lambs, I am thankful we don't seem to have a founder problem up here. Barberpole worms UGH!!!
     
  7. Sep 13, 2017
    Eteda

    Eteda Ridin' The Range

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    That's ok farmer Jan. It might help some one else and it is good info. That's how I found this web site. Searching for info due to a sick lamb. I was so glad to find some reliable info that I've bedded down beside other herddies to chew the cud and help others.