Author Topic: Down Calf  (Read 2513 times)

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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Down Calf
« on: February 15, 2015, 03:56:13 pm »
About a month ago i found a 500 lb. calf (a pet) next to the hay rack and couldn't get up ???, called the vet. he came took blood samples and gave it some shots and told me to put her inside the barn. He called the next day said everything checked out good? i told him the other calfs in with her didn't like her and was jealous of her and butted her around, she would follow me around and let me pet her like a dog ;D., the vet said he thinks they butted and rode her around and caused a spin injury.I've put hip hugers on her to raise her up with the tractor, but she slips out (hips to narrow) put a tarp under her tied to a pipe like a swing  tied to a cherry picker to raise her up on her feet and she turned it over struggling to get out. Been giving her water and milk replacer twice aday with a bottle, along with grain and hay and i turn her over twice aday with a rope. At this point i'm thinking that i might as well shoot her that she will never get up, thought about butchering her, but the vet. shot her full of steroids and antibiotics.Any ideas before i put her down?? Jack

Offline Perry

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 03:58:41 pm »
No ideas Jack, but I am very sorry to hear this. You can take comfort knowing you did all you could. :sad:
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 04:05:13 pm »
How long ago were the shots?  You mentioned a month.. how long before the steroids, antibiotics etc are considered gone?


    When trying to lift her, does she USE her back legs to try to struggle free?  if she has the ability to use them when in a panic situation, it means she is not paralyzed, just HURT, and time will get her back on her feet..  If the rear legs remain limp whens she struggles, there is no hope...      The hard part is balancing your time and effort with the return...   Cattle prices are UP right now, but you can only go so far.
   Scott
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 04:25:09 pm »
Both the steroids and antibiotics were give right at a month ago, her back legs are stiff, but she can move them and try to get up, and i find her in different places in the stall everytime i go to feed her so she does crawl? I tried hitting her with the hot shot once and she tried to get up but didn't have enough strength in her back legs. I hate to see an animal suff, and the other reason is, the vet said if i can get her back on her feet she would bring $1,200.00 at the yards. :o Jack

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 07:57:10 pm »
Yeah, I made a deal for a couple heifer calves a few years ago, and the guy is whining about the deal this year because they are worth so much..
     A lot depended on the severity of the injury.. we had a horse that had a bad front leg.. it was in a horse trailer when the driver crashed.. that horse never did recover right, it always limped, but that horse could PULL a load of hay up into the barn..  It also liked to pull us kids around on an inner tube in the winter.
   
   Best advice i can give you Jack, is stand by as long as you can. One day you will have had enough. If she isnt moving before then, thats the day the struggling ends.  Thats how we always did it with hurt animals..  Give them the best chance we could, and then move on.
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 11:39:08 pm »
Thanks Dunkel, and all of you. She's still down but seems to have more strength. When i go to feed her she is in a different section of the stall, i've tried to pull her up, but she just quite get her feet under her, but tries. Have 7 in. of snow on the ground and temp. tonight -4F which doesn't make things easier on the calf or me.  My cows will start calving around the 10th of March, hope for warmer temps. by then Jack

Offline Dunkel

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 01:30:00 pm »
I know about the weather.  Had one calf Monday in two inches couldn't get her up and she wouldn't let you around her.  By dark we had 12 inches on and 3 more on the way.  it survived the night and next day.  But died last night at 7 below, froze to the ground and she still won't let you around it.  She had me behind trees and ramming them.  Another born this morning and expecting up to 20 below tonight.  Then another 12 of heavy wet snow starting tomorrow night and possible 1/2 in plus of ice.  We will see.  Worried about the ones that are a week plus old in the cold rain.  Usually have this type of weather in January instead of late February.  Could be a nightmare in the making.

Offline G3farms

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 01:56:47 pm »
Good luck to the both of you on those calves, it is so hard to see them in that shape and then a cantankerous old mama cow to deal with also. I don't envy what lies ahead for either of you two, been there.

I have come up with a new idea this winter. I feed 4 x 5 round bales (four foot tall) and made a double spear on the front and back of the tractor. Can carry two on the front and three on the back. Anyway, with the two spears on the front I can pick up a round feeder and move it very easily, might make one that has extra bars on it to keep mama cow out and then just sit it around the calf. This would make for a safe (well...safer) area to get to the calf and work on it or put it on a sled with a long rope to pull into the barn. Just a thought.
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 03:19:43 pm »
Dunkel, i've had good luck with a hot shot, a couple of hits to mama's nose and they back off (sometimes). Most of my cows are gentle,i raised them hear on the farm and around them all the time, about half of the 20 cows i keep i can drive up to them on a 4 wheeler and scratch there head. ;D With this cold spell i try to feed them 20% feeder cubes,if i can trick them into another pasture and shut the gate so i can put the cubes in their trough, otherwise they would trample me into the ground,  :oi'm sure anyone with cattle knows what i'm talking about. The down calf seems to be getting stronger, but i've never had one down this long and lived, that's what is strange to me? Jack

Offline G3farms

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 05:06:45 pm »
The longest I ever had one down was about two months.
Good size calf was about 6 months old.
The watering trough I HAD was a steel one, I put a 1 x 6 oak board crossways in the middle and attached a float valve to it. Went to check the cows one day and came up short on a calf, just figured it was in the woods somewhere. As I was leaving there was a cow that kept acting strange around the water tank and I took a look. There was the calf, in the tank, she was able to barely stand up but could not jump out since the oak board was holding her down. Put a halter on her and tried to pull but she was stuck fast. Her little sharp hooves had made some holes in the rusty bottom so fresh cold water kept trying to fill the tank. Pulled the hose off the float and removed the board, still could not get her to jump out. Tried to pick her up but could not get a grip and too heavy. Tried to tip the tank over but was too heavy so I pumped it out and then turned it over. Drug the calf out to dry ground in the sun but would not get up. At this point I had to go get a new water tank since it was in the middle of summer and this was their only water source. Returned with new tank and calf still down, hooked up new tank and calf still down. Took the little heifer to the vet and they said probably some kind of spine injury. They kept her for two months trying to get her to stand up and on the very day they were going to put her down she came up on all fours. I gave her to the vets and she was their little mascot. Never did grow off to be big and finally died when she was about 3 years old. Not sure how she got in the tank, only thing I can figure out is another cow flipped her in there.


you can see the hose from the sump pump on the left.
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Offline iddee

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2015, 09:27:40 pm »
Sounds like we may be some distant kin.   :D

Fuss away. We can get away easy enough. Let the family rest.  :yes:
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Down Calf
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 12:00:59 am »
Dunkel, my times coming around March 10th, freezing rain on top of 7 inches of snow right now, hoping all this is over by then. :yes: Getting up 3 times a night checking cows in freezing weather and dealing with problems like you said can be miserable  :'(. No use complaining it's what i do and i would miss it if (or when) i have to give it up. :sad: Jack