Help new to bottle Calfs

Farmboss

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Hello everybody, I'm new to raising Calfs and need some help. I have a four week old Holstein and a five day old Jersey bull
And the Holstein has a knot on its jaw line the size of a big marble and it does move some , it's like a cyst .
And the jersey has the scours. But I just read somewhere that it should only get a quart of mr at a time because the don't drink as much as other breeds. So I may have overloaded him with mr and that could be why he has the scours. Any help and input is appreciated.
Farm on!
 

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Greetings and welcome to BYH. I'll tag a few folks who may be able to help. Hope they both do well for you. Make yourself at home and browse around.
@greybeard @farmerjan @WildRoseBeef @jhm47 And I'm sure there are others out there.
 

farmerjan

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Welcome to BYH also. Okay, the lump on the holsteins' jaw. I have had some get these lumps, sometimes I think it is due to getting kicked by a cow that I am trying to get them fostered on to since I raise nearly all my calves on nurse cows now. Milk replacer is just too expensive anymore for me to effectively raise calves.
If the calf is just on a bottle, I would still not get too worried over it, but since I have raised many over the years, I don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes a calf will get a piece of hay or a thorn or anything like that stuck into their skin and it will cause them to get a lump that will usually reach a point and then just burst. Infection, and when it opens up will be puss and all, draining, IF THE CALF IS EATING NORMALLY AND WITH ENTHUSIASM, and seems to not have any other problems, just monitor it and don't get too bent out of shape over it. Lump jaw disease, and other problems like that are not usually a big problem in any baby calves, and are not that common overall. If it gets hot and hard feeling, then it is probably an infection but may need to be opened up by a vet or other knowledgeable cattle person, but seldom do I ever purposely open them up. Once they do start to drain, I will take and wash out with epsom salt or something like that and try to keep it open so it drains and I have been known to re-open one that may seal closed after first draining, but mostly a warn washrag that you rub somewhat vigorously on it will re-open and keep it open enough to drain. Sometimes they will just get reabsorbed and you will just notice that it is getting smaller.

As for the jersey, yes, they do not need as much milk right off the bat. I would feed a quart for a feeding 3 x a day for a day or two and see if that helps to slow it down. As long as the calf still is acting like it wants to nurse, then you are not in crisis mode. I might even try to give it strictly electrolytes for a 24 hour period so it does not dehydrate, then switch to the milk replacer, reduced quantity at a feeding like a qt or 1 1/2 quart at a time. The electrolyte mixture I would give 2 qts if they want it. They make some electrolyte formulas, in a package, that have a "thickening agent" that will gell up in their stomach to slow the speed that it passes through and slow/stop the scours. Have used them with some success on calves with real watery scours. Now one thing to look for is any blood or reddish looking color to the scours. It could mean coccidiosis or some other problem and that needs to be addressed immediately.
One other thing, you may need to make the "concentration"of the milk replacer a little "less", in other words water it down just a little. Jersey milk is of course a higher butterfat than say a holstein, but sometimes I have found that the standard mixing formulas are just a bit too "concentrated "for jersey calves. There is no one set way to do it, but less at a feeding and feeding 3 x a day seems to work better for about the first 2 weeks. Once they are eating/drinking good, then up the quantity per feeding and cut back to 2 x a day. Figure that the calf will be getting about a pint to a quart a feeding from a cow but they will nurse 3 to 6 times a day. Smaller amounts more frequently will keep their stomachs full but not a "glut "all at one time.
 

Farmboss

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Welcome to BYH also. Okay, the lump on the holsteins' jaw. I have had some get these lumps, sometimes I think it is due to getting kicked by a cow that I am trying to get them fostered on to since I raise nearly all my calves on nurse cows now. Milk replacer is just too expensive anymore for me to effectively raise calves.
If the calf is just on a bottle, I would still not get too worried over it, but since I have raised many over the years, I don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes a calf will get a piece of hay or a thorn or anything like that stuck into their skin and it will cause them to get a lump that will usually reach a point and then just burst. Infection, and when it opens up will be puss and all, draining, IF THE CALF IS EATING NORMALLY AND WITH ENTHUSIASM, and seems to not have any other problems, just monitor it and don't get too bent out of shape over it. Lump jaw disease, and other problems like that are not usually a big problem in any baby calves, and are not that common overall. If it gets hot and hard feeling, then it is probably an infection but may need to be opened up by a vet or other knowledgeable cattle person, but seldom do I ever purposely open them up. Once they do start to drain, I will take and wash out with epsom salt or something like that and try to keep it open so it drains and I have been known to re-open one that may seal closed after first draining, but mostly a warn washrag that you rub somewhat vigorously on it will re-open and keep it open enough to drain. Sometimes they will just get reabsorbed and you will just notice that it is getting smaller.

As for the jersey, yes, they do not need as much milk right off the bat. I would feed a quart for a feeding 3 x a day for a day or two and see if that helps to slow it down. As long as the calf still is acting like it wants to nurse, then you are not in crisis mode. I might even try to give it strictly electrolytes for a 24 hour period so it does not dehydrate, then switch to the milk replacer, reduced quantity at a feeding like a qt or 1 1/2 quart at a time. The electrolyte mixture I would give 2 qts if they want it. They make some electrolyte formulas, in a package, that have a "thickening agent" that will gell up in their stomach to slow the speed that it passes through and slow/stop the scours. Have used them with some success on calves with real watery scours. Now one thing to look for is any blood or reddish looking color to the scours. It could mean coccidiosis or some other problem and that needs to be addressed immediately.
One other thing, you may need to make the "concentration"of the milk replacer a little "less", in other words water it down just a little. Jersey milk is of course a higher butterfat than say a holstein, but sometimes I have found that the standard mixing formulas are just a bit too "concentrated "for jersey calves. There is no one set way to do it, but less at a feeding and feeding 3 x a day seems to work better for about the first 2 weeks. Once they are eating/drinking good, then up the quantity per feeding and cut back to 2 x a day. Figure that the calf will be getting about a pint to a quart a feeding from a cow but they will nurse 3 to 6 times a day. Smaller amounts more frequently will keep their stomachs full but not a "glut "all at one time.
Thanks for your help!
 

Farmboss

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Update on Jersy calf. Doing much better now and starting to look better health wise.
The lump on the Holstein calf is huge but it doesn't seem to bother her yet.
 

Farmboss

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Ok now I have a problem with the jerseys eye. I think when it was out in the weedy pasture it may have cut its eye on some weeds. It looks terrible, was using pinkeye spay for a few days and got a really good look at it last night. Kinda looks like a cataract . I'll upload a picture. Thanks a ton!
 

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farmerjan

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It's pinkeye. You need to use antibiotics and do it NOW!!!!. Either use LA 200 or LA 300, look at the bottle but if memory serves me right it is 1 to 1 1/2 cc per 100 lbs of calf. Give it SQ ( under the skin) on the neck and it will sting and burn, they hate it. Also use something like "TODAY or TOMORROW" mastitis medicine in the eye. It comes in a tube that is infused into the udder. Just a little bit of a squirt, we usually straddle the calf and get it under the eyelid so that the first couple of times they blink their eye it smears it over the whole eyeball. It DOES NOT Sting or burn. I find that it is as much a soothing thing as well as a bit of antibiotic. The white in the center of the eye and cloudiness is the infection and the spot can and often will get bigger and actually can come to a "head" and it will not go away on it's own. It is very unlikely the eye was cut BUT the irritation of an animal reaching down through weedy or overmature grasses or those with seed heads, will irritate the eye and it is thought by some to "cause" pinkeye. Personally I do not believe it causes it, but it does irritate the eye membranes and seeds can sometimes get under the lid and scratch the eyeball and make things worse.You will usually have to do a second shot about 5-7 days later.

I don't have much faith in the sprays because the calf's normal reaction is to blink when you spray so there is probably not much getting in there and it won't get rid of the infection. Only a shot will help at this point and the sooner the better.

We have used Draxxin this year for some really tough cases and it has worked really good. Expensive and you have to get it from a vet....but had a calf that was blind in both eyes and walking into things and finally got him in the barn, gave him the draxxin; and treated both eyes and put patches on them to restrict the light, (we use cut up soft old blue jeans and some glue like they use for heat detector patches; you can buy it in any farm supply store, just ask for it;) and kept him in the barn and brought his momma in daily so he was able to nurse. Gave him a second shot of draxxin about 8-10 days later and then turned him out about a week later with her. He rubbed the patches off which is what they are supposed to do if you don't take them off, and now he has only a small white spot in each eye. I honestly was hoping that he would get enough sight to see shadows and be able to get around fairly decently. This was a definite plus to have him doing so much better. The longer you let it go, the worse it is for the calf.

It sounds like the lump on the holsteins jaw will just burst open one day, as long as she is not bothered by it and still eating fine, I wouldn't worry. You will go out one day and see it opened up, and the best thing is to try to get it washed out if possible, even squeezing it a bit to get all the junk out. She will probably be rubbing it on a fence post or a tree limb or something and it will be enough to get it to finally open up. It happens. Looks awful I know, but it is not in her blood stream if she is eating and not running a temp or anything. Like you got a sliver in your finger, couldn't get it out and then it gets all junky and pussy around it and then one day you manage to get it opened up and the junk comes out and the offending sliver goes with it. If she starts to run a temp or acts öff" in her feed or anything, then you are looking at infection that has gotten into her system. This other way, it is like the body is localizing it in one place until there is enough pressure that it pops open.
 
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