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  #1  
Unread January 31st, 2012, 16:24
clawskitty clawskitty is offline
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Default abandoned calf... -my- first calf/cow -EVER- knuckled.. help??

OK, we have a calf and thats it. No cow, no goat, just a calf and pigs and rabbits. The calf we were told is couple weeks old (im willing to buy a week at most) its real thin. I have seen newborn calves bigger then this girl. She's willing to eat from a bottle, but im taking it slow, dont want to give her the scours. We are on milk formula, and electrolytes, and i've had her a grand total of 17hrs now. *note i do believe cows need to have diapers, and her first time of going, she didnt have the scours at all, in fact, i was almost thinking she was impacted at first.. she remedied that thought.

She's stood up for me, and i've noticed her front feet are knuckled a bit, and she literally walks on the tip of her hooves, tip toe fashion. If not careful, she knuckles over. I was told this will work itself out, i have to keep massaging the tendons. Then i went searching and found something called bumblefoot, then i read something about vitamin deficiency... yeah im confused. Can anyone give me any pointers?



yes i know im probably going to get yelled at for her being on tile, but she could walk really well on it, and wouldnt stay on the carpet, but if you notice her feet, you can see she's tiptoed, and on the carpet, knuckled. dont worry she's now at the barn, it was a one night thing for her to be at my place so i could feed her
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  #2  
Unread February 1st, 2012, 11:14
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Default Good job !

Hiya Clawskitty,
After reading your post I was dreading looking at the photo's as I envisaged some skinny, dirty-coated calf with not long to live, the reality however is what looks like a perfectly good calf albeit with knuckled feet & a real credit to you. I love the way your dog & calf get on, awwww cute.
Ok several ways you can deal with the feet, the first obvious one is via the vet, my method & the second one, I used a lot, get some bandage or other fibre, 'pollyfilla' or similar & some splints, you'll need to hold the calf until the filler dries but esentially you're aiming to keep the knuckle straight for a few weeks. Another method is saw some plastic drain pipe along it's length & tie that round the knuckle, you may find that it rights itself naturally but if not you now know what to do.
Good luck & please keep us appraised of how you do, there is no way of knowing if it is a congenitial condition but I would advise not breeding from it until you know for certain.
Jon
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  #3  
Unread February 2nd, 2012, 14:36
clawskitty clawskitty is offline
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Default Thanks, but i still need help LOL

Thank you for the information, we are working to correct her feet with those ideas of yours. I was wondering if you might be able to help still though. This is my very first calf ever. Do i need to give her vaccinations/shots or anything? So far i have not spotted any worms, so thats at least good.

I've been giving her some electrolytes, but not anymore, and she was given a shot of LA200 because of some goopy eye, and boogers, and for anything else that might be going on. But after that, Im not sure about anything else she should be getting. The piglets we raise would be getting iron shots, and wormings, but does this need to be done in cows?

And just for an update, she has started to eat more. Yesterday, i got her to eat 2qts for the day, but dismorning, she wanted nothing to do with eating. I will go back in a couple hours to see if she changed her mind.

We also had her up and moving around yesterday, she got out of the pen and had some pasture time. But she's just so small we didnt leave her side, we made sure to keep her from knuckling over. the 15-20 min of exercise was more then enough to tire her out.

Im happy to report no scour and no impaction. nice yellow cow type poops LOL she's on straight milk right now, not sure when i should switch some real food into there, i was going to keep her grass/hay fed, but i hear that im suppose to get calf starter grain, and i guess after that she can go to the grass/hay? We are located in FL, so we have grass all the time she can eat, just in the indoor pen where she's at, all she has avail right now is some hay she's using for bedding
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  #4  
Unread February 3rd, 2012, 11:55
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Default Ring your vet !

Hiya,
Glad she is still alive and eating etc.
Ok I cannot tell you what to vaccinate her with, every area has it's own list of requirements, I could tell you what to use in one part of the UK or another country and it would not always be right for other parts if that makes sense. Some diseases tend to proliferate in different areas, for example fly-born diseases are less-prevalent in high-lands or windy areas whereas in lower lying areas will be a major problem.
Some very basic common requirements though are for worms as you mention, please ring your local vet, they won't charge you for the information. Just tell them you plan on buying some calves and can they give you a shortlist of local diseases that need vaccinations for.

Your calf should have access to ad-lib good quality hay and clean fresh water to help develop it's rumen etc from week 2 at least. Try with calf concentrate from a mugful to begin and watch how it affects her, don't rush her but the aim is to wean her gradually. Keep her on milk so she's getting approx 1pint twice daily but offer hay & concentrate on top and cut down on milk as her input of other foods increases.

Lets get her through the next few weeks then review what we do then ?
Meanwhile call your local vet, they will also be able to appraise you of any local regulations you need to meet apart from any vaccination information.
Good luck all the very best !
Jon
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  #5  
Unread February 6th, 2012, 02:11
clawskitty clawskitty is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Default Hows it look?

Hi again, well, i managed to get some vidoe of her walking and halfway running today. I am keeping her at a friends "ranch" but he's not an expert on cows, even though he has a few. The one he did have that was knuckled had to be put down because it never got better.

Anyways, I wanted to see if you thought this was looking good so far? Pictures can only show you what its like at that point in time, to see in motion in my opinion helps alot. So here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsGx56eXWdo

Also, today for the first time, she had the scours. Soon as the feed store opens tmarrow, I'm getting more electrolytes and some anti-scour meds for her. I think its because of the change in milk. They ran out of the stuff I was using, so i had to change it to another brand. It could be the combo between that, and her upping herself to 2qts in the morning and 2qts in the evening, verses 2qts for the day.

By any chance would you have any recom. for getting her to drink milk from the bucket instead of the bottle? Bucket feeding would be so much more convenient! And less strain on the back.

I've tried letting her suck on my hand and lowering that into the bucket. She sucks a couple times, then lets go. Im making sure that her nostrils dont go under. She did take a slurp or 2 from the bucket before realizing that my hand wasnt in her mouth, but when she found out that was happening, she immediately pulled out and started to try in suck on my elbow, then when I stood, immediately tried to suck my jeans off of my knee. Any suggestions?
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  #6  
Unread February 6th, 2012, 10:19
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Default Lovely job !

Hi Kitty,
I watched your video & your girl looks like she's going to be fine, some 'knuckles' are congential/hereditary, some are caused by too big a calf in too small a cow with the result that it puts pressure on the joints/ligaments. These latter type tend to right themselves & as you can see from the video there is not a lot wrong now, carry on with twice a day massage of her 'ankles', [use warm oil or similar] & you'll be fine.

2qts twice a day ? In my book your giving her 4 pints of milk twice a day [a gallon ?!], no wonder she scours, that is way too much. Cut it right back to at least half that, ad-lib hay & a handful of concentrates.

Bucket-feeding, wish I had a pound for every calf I got a bad back from, bent over with my finger stuck in it's mouth & dipped in a bucket of warm milk then slowly remove my finger but leave it so that it touches the side of the calf's mouth so it thinks it's still there. As you mention make sure you hold the bucket at an angle so your calf doesn't suck milk up it's nose. You might like to also just leave it until it's really hungry & see what happens, some calves suddenly manage to bucket feed when they want to.
It won't kill it to go without milk for a day but ensure you have water on tap & hay, feed etc.

Good luck keep in touch !
Jon
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  #7  
Unread February 6th, 2012, 15:45
clawskitty clawskitty is offline
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Default

Jon ^_^ I have a funny feeling i'll be on the boards a bit with her LOL, but I will keep ye updated.

As for now, im getting the scour meds, and you are correct in the amount i'm feeding her. But i swear, every product, weather it be the scour meds, the milk replacer, no matter what brand, is telling me, to feed 2qts every 12hrs. While dismorning, i took your advice and cut her feeding in half, i can safely say, she was reading me the riot act and was less then pleased when i tried to leave the pen. She was chasing me down and mooing her fool head off. Even as I stand there cleaning the bottle she was protesting.

When I went back in there to open up the paddock doors so she could go outside, she was right up my butt, if i stopped short, i had a calfs nose at the back of my leg, trying to eat my pants. I have a funny feeling she will not hesitate to drink the medicine later. Thats a good thing

Today she's also going to be receiving a bath. There's no choice in that, she apparently had some "accidents" last night and she is covered. This should prove interesting!
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  #8  
Unread February 7th, 2012, 11:38
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Default A proper little madam !

Hi Kitty,
I had to laugh at your latest post, forgive me, you've got yourself a right little madam it seems !
Please trust, me on the assumption that she is at most 2 weeks old now, 2 pints of milk twice daily is more than enough provided you also give her free-access to good quality forage like hay/silage etc & fresh clean water along with small amount of concentrate.
Let her blart & perform, she will adjust after a few days.
Sounds like she is spoilt rotten & you need to decided what you are going to do with her eventually.
I hate to sound callous but is she to be kept as a pet or for your freezer ?
Lets be honest she's never going to be a great milker but should give enough for you to pour on your cornflakes & in your tea.
It's not fair to either of you if it's the freezer, you'll get way too attached, if she's to be a pet you need to start training her esle she really will ride all over you.
Meanwhile, bath her ? Up to you but obviously on a warm day & don't use human shampoo, there are specialist products available used when preparing cows for showing.
Keep us appraised & good luck !
Jon
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  #9  
Unread February 7th, 2012, 23:51
clawskitty clawskitty is offline
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Default Innovation

Jon, LOL yes, bath. After her bout with the scours (that righted itself before i could even give her the meds) Her rear and legs were a bit gross. Considering we have to give her "therapy" for the legs, I didnt want to be holding that. Fresh water only, no soaps so that way when she can go out to the pasture with Roy's cows, they wont have too much an issue with her.

You should know, you dont sound callous to me at all. She is meant for the freezer. I wont get attached to her at all. While yeah, its fun now as a calf, I know she's going to get a good size, and since I dont own the ranch, nor have the space for her at my duplex, she has one purpose. Thats why she was named Muffin. Anything thats out at the barn is named after food for a reason. We have: Muffin the calf, Sugar the rabbit, Cinnamon the rabbit, pepper the rabbit (all rabbits are breeders, not for pets), and when we have our pig, the name keeps changing.. we just processed a 260lb gilt named holey (because of her ear, we delivered her, raised her, and currently im cooking some of her as i type) along with Flour the rabbit, buttercup the rabbit, and the bucky the old buck rabbit.

The cats, snakes, and dog are not named after food for good reason ^_^.

As for her eating, hah! We made a holder for the bottle (pic) so i can still go about my doings around the ranch, and it has saved my back! Currently, i catch her nibbling on grass, but not enough to make a huge difference. I have water and starter feed, hay and some grass she has access to. She's being kept separate from the herd at Roys request. As soon as she's weaned, she can go out into the pasture with everyone else. Im guessing she's about 2weeks old myself at this point. Right now, she's being kept in the "pig pen" where our sows farrow. Temps are good in there, and its not drafty. Not to mention, no one can steal any of her food. Everynight things are closed up to keep her warm n cozy. During the day I open the doors so she has access to sun dirt, grass, and can nose up to the sows on the other side of the fence. We did put a young gilt in with her for a day, that did her a world of good, though the gilt was less then impressed about having the shadow.

Anyways, I must get, i have a whole bunch of stuff to get done. Will keep you posted
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  #10  
Unread February 8th, 2012, 10:48
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Default

Hi Kitty,
Thanks for your reply & the photo, she sure is looking fine now, you can see her top-line is bony & back-end thin but as she gets older she'll come round.
You can see that she still has her knuckles, I hope they go soon for your sake & save you some work.
I like your viewpoint & how you name your animals you share your life with.
You sound very practical but loving at the same time, probably the best way to be when rearing animals.
Strange that about the gilt, for some reasons cows get on with sheep & horses but not pigs, there are exceptions of course.
Ok keep up the good work, take care both of you !
Jon
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