Mike with Hugo at 5 days old
Mike’s calf had a touch of scours ( calf diarrhea). Nothing alarming or out of the ordinary for a 6 day old calf. He seemed to be ok. He was still bright eyed, playful and eating well.
He was a talkative calf, always mooing. He seemed to be acting normally when I fed him in the morning. He jumped up and bellowed for his bottle when he saw me walking into the barn yesterday.
My husband mentioned he was not quite as active for his afternoon bottle. But he did perk up and drink.
I went out after dinner to look at him and he was very quiet. I ran back in the house and mixed up a bottle of calf electrolytes.
He refused to get up. I picked him up, then he stood. He wouldn’t drink his bottle.
I tried feeding with a syringe and he appeared to swallow some.
I knew it wasnt enough so I got the tube feeder.
This similar to nursing equipment so, while I am new to cattle, I do feel comfortable tubing a calf.
Calf tube feeder
You guide the tube into his stomach through his mouth, open the clamp, and feed directly into the stomach.
This must be done with extreme caution. Feed it accidently into the lungs instead if the stomach and you will drown the calf. We had 2 calves last year that required daily tubing for almost a week.
We have him a liter of fluids. Seemed too brighten him up. For the 90 min that I spent in the barn with him, I didn’t see any diarrhea. I hoped we had turned the corner and he would be perky again soon.
But this morning I went to the barn to find that he didn’t make it through the night.
Mike took it better then me. He was a sweet calf and I had tried hard, but to no use, he still died. I cried.
Dairy calves are notoriously difficult to get through the first month of life. Last year we had several close calls, but they all lived.
Mike with Hugo 3 days old
Hugo has already been replaced by a white Holstein calf . We needed to quickly replace him if Mike was going to show at fair this year.
But there were tears shed for this sweet baby boy who only lived a week.