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Calves dying

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CCRanch

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For the last 3 years I have lost 4 to 6 calves every year. This year I have already lost 2. They are born fine, nursing and then 4 to 7 days old they die. Not coyotes oor buzzards because I have found the carcasses within a few days up to a week or two. This started when I bought 2 Santa Getrudis bulls 3 years ago. Never had this problem until I got these bulls. I have talked to 2 vets and they both say it is not the bulls. They say if the calves are born live it is something else. I can't think of anything else. I have around 60 head and have 8 calves that are fine and 2 that have died for no reason. Also, it hasn't been the same cow that has the calve that died, it is random momma cows that I have had for 8 to 10 years. I'm baffled. Thinking about swapping bulls. All I do and all I have ever done is worm my cattle. No vacs. Never have in the 40 years my dad and then I have. My 65 year old vet hasn't done anything but vaccinate for worms with ivomec. I'm baffled. It has to be the bulls passing something on.
 

balestabber

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back in the 80's we had some very wet and muddy springs after a cold winter.much like this one.
we would have a healthy calf born and nurse then die 3 or 4 days later.

a neighbor was having the same problem.an autopsy from a good vet showed that the calf had starved to death.

even tho the calf was nursing and the cow had milk,, the teat had a plug in it and the calf was not able to break it.

watch the calf closely and the cow that she does't get full or tight or mastitus

we fixed the problem by getting some of the cows up and having to wash and clean a few udders and remove a hard like plug from the teats.

we never had another year like that one.and TRIED to stay out of the mud.

good luck,balestabber
 

CCRanch

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The other calves act fine, as did the ones that died. It has been a wet year and my crossings are pretty bad, but this has been going on for 3 years. 4 or 5 die each year. Never seen anything like it. Thanks for the responses. Don't know what to do about the bulls. Maybe it is pneumonia or a vet said a bacterial infection, but like I say it's been happening since I got these bulls, not before, and I've had a lot of bulls.
 

Clarencen

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Balestabber might be on the right track. If I was you, first I would make sure the calves are getting milk. I have found it is very important that a calf gets colostrum milk at least in the first eight hours or so. If you have wet weather, mud, or cold there could be some desease out there that the calf can not overcome unless he has that first milk. What about scours? I suppos your vet has already looked at that posibility. As far as bulls goes, there are some bulls of some breeds where the calves have less vigor at birth so may not get up and nurse as soon as they should. Are the calves especially big at birth? Big calves sometimes prolong the calfing process and the calves are born loggy and don't get up and nurse as they should.
 

cowhunter

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Well, u got to figer ur goin to loose a scant few even if there's no problem. This would not be the problem but I'd change my wormer around. I've lost only 1 so far from a cow that has had 4 good calfs. Just part of it.
 

CCRanch

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Gerts throw very small calves. I lost one last year because he was too small i believe. Maybe 40 pounds. They probably average 60 pounds. All these have got right up and started nursing. Maybe they are just getting worn out trying to get through the mud. Hell I don't know. I plan on losing one or two a year, but 3 to 5 every year. Somethings not right.
 

Faster horses

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nd, I think you are correct. Something was tugging at my memory,
but I just couldn't grasp it. It sounds very much like entertoxemia (overeating). When our calves used to get that, we would see them
bloat up and lay around wringing their tails or kicking at their stomach.
It's been a long time since we have had that disease. One thing, it is
pretty easy to manage with an enhanced immune system, or vaccinating
early.

Before you get rid of your bulls, CCRanch, I would advise you to
give your calves a shot of Vison 7 when they are born. What you
have described could very well be entertoxemia. It happens to calves
a week of age or less.

If you want to read about it, try this link: (go to the second page)

http://www.csubeef.com/dmdocuments/654.pdf
 

cowboyup

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I don't think it would be overeating they are way to young for that but anything is possible
 

Faster horses

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I thought so too at first, but when I looked it up, the CSU article
said entertoxemia occurs before calves are a week old. As I said, it's been
a long time since we've had it; years, in fact, and I did think they
were older...perhaps a month old. But the article stated it could
happen before they were a week old.
 

Kato

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I second the suggestion to get an autopsy done. Then you can find out what killed them, and what to treat them with.

I'd also talk with your vet about a good vaccination program. You really should rule out subclinical BVD in the herd. That can cause a whole lot of different problems, and a non vaccinated herd is at risk, especially when introducing new animals, for instance :shock: If you are losing a couple of calves every year, and it turns out that it's something that vaccination could have prevented, that vaccine could pay for itself pretty fast.

Also check their navels, and check for scours. Sometimes if the scours are really nasty, the calf can still look clean on the hind end, and if you don't see them in action, you don't know they have it. And those kind of scours will kill them fast.
 

PATB

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If you find one fresh enough get the vet to due blood work looking for pathogens or selenium deficiency. Ask your vet about pathogens that take 6 or 7 days attack and kill a calf. Samenella and several others come to mind. The neighbor that helps on the farm bought a bottle calf that had something that was a costly mess until the herd became adapted to it.
 

George

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In 1994 I had a bad accident and was laid up. My ( then 13 yr old ) son thought he was up to taking over - - -one of the things that got skipped ( my fault ) was the vacination of the cows in November. We lost 3 calves in one week and the vet said it was over eating - - -got back to fall vacinations and have not had the problem again.

The vet said this is more prevelant where horses have been pastured up to 8 years before and new water sources due to spring rains bring the bacteria that causes this to the surface. Apperently the bacteria for this is carried in the horses and can live in the ground for up to 8 years.

The more I learn about cows the more I'm amased we are as succesful as we are to raise them.
 

Stub

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We introduced 140 heifers into the herd many years ago and when calving started, scours started. The vet said our cows were not immune to the new bugs brought in by the new heifers. We lost 113 out of 300 or so cows. Perhaps the new bulls introduced a new bug to the herd and they will either play out or run rampant.
We started a vaccination program and have had very few scours since. Post those calves and find out if you have a virus or bacteria.
Hope this helps.
 

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