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Cleft palate calf

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burnt

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This hasn't been one of our better calving years. Lots of twins with a very poor survival rate born - dead or very tiny and non-thrifty.

Well, I've been working with one calf for a week now getting it started on its momma that somehow escaped the cut last fall when we culled for bad udders. I couldn't understand why this calf had so much trouble latching on for a feed. I've seen calves get on by themselves after being helped for a couple or 3 days, but not this one.

Turns out it's got a cleft palate, which explains why it has trouble ingesting milk while it's nursing. It's doing better all the time and looks pretty good, but it's a lot of work every day.

Any stories about what happens with cleft palate calves?

And momma will not be around another year for sure . . .
 

lefty

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I had 1 about 5 years ago , I never had to help it But milk went everywhere when he sucked . He grew well . Size wise & flesh he was as good as the rest in the fall .

Good luck .
 

balestabber

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we had 2 back in the 70's-----one calf and one pig--

both ended up being bottle babies,after weaned from bottles they were able to eat and did well

they both went to town in the fall.i was young,and they made good pets.
 

Faster horses

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Our daughters 4H heifer project had a calf with a cleft palatte. It was caused
from the heifer eating mountain Lupine at the wrong stage of pregnancy.
Seems like we helped the calf and as was said, milk went everywhere when
she sucked, but she made it to weaning. We didn't keep her but I'm not
sure what we did do with her exactly.

Good luck with yours, burnt.
 
A

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If you don't give up, and as long as the mother will stand (more or less) patiently...the calf won't give up either.

...and there's always the bottle, till the calf learns how to drink water and eat grass...

Once you clear that hurdle, you're home-free.
 

burnt

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Thank you for the replies. The calf is now conditioned to stand outside the barn door until I open it and it walks in and up to the cattle crate and waits for momma to step into the chute for grain.

Then it takes 40 minutes to fill its tummy.

And I'm not known as a patient man . . . :roll:

Gotta go, I hear a calf bawling for lunch. :?
 

Faster horses

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burnt said:
Thank you for the replies. The calf is now conditioned to stand outside the barn door until I open it and it walks in and up to the cattle crate and waits for momma to step into the chute for grain.

Then it takes 40 minutes to fill its tummy.

And I'm not known as a patient man . . . :roll:

Gotta go, I hear a calf bawling for lunch. :?

Maybe this is God's way of teaching you patience. :p
 

gcreekrch

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Faster horses said:
burnt said:
Thank you for the replies. The calf is now conditioned to stand outside the barn door until I open it and it walks in and up to the cattle crate and waits for momma to step into the chute for grain.

Then it takes 40 minutes to fill its tummy.

And I'm not known as a patient man . . . :roll:

Gotta go, I hear a calf bawling for lunch. :?

Maybe this is God's way of teaching you patience. :p


He does work in mysterious ways............. :wink:
 

burnt

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Well in any case the calf is managing on his own now so we'll see how he does. That was about as much work as I've ever had to put into a calf but at least he's thrifty. Nothing is worse than putting a lot of time and drugs into a calf and then you find it dead in the morning.

So it's all good!
 

Faster horses

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burnt said:
Well in any case the calf is managing on his own now so we'll see how he does. That was about as much work as I've ever had to put into a calf but at least he's thrifty. Nothing is worse than putting a lot of time and drugs into a calf and then you find it dead in the morning.

So it's all good!

But it's also so satisfying when they want to live and do their part!
I'm glad he's managing on his own. Good for you for the extra effort!
 

katrina

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We finally got to turn out project out yesterday after a month.. We lost a cow and a hiefier lost her calf so we grafted it on to the hiefier.. She never has claimed the calf but will stand quietly in the stanchion for grain and green grass... While I wait for the calf to nurse I do my prayer list. It's kinda sweet music listening to the nursing calf and doing my prayer list... I miss that this morning terribly..
 

burnt

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Katrina, That is interesting! A silver lining behind every cloud, I guess. One thing I won't forget about this particular calf issue was listening to the starlings sing overhead in the trusses while I sat beside the calf, helping it get back on when it would slip off the teat. I had no idea that they had such a wide range of songs, often imitating the sounds that other birds make. So for that reason I dislike them a little less than before . . .

Another thing I (re)learned is that one shouldn't be too hard on the problems encountered by others until all the facts are known. I thought this little calf was just plain stupid or stubborn for not catching on sooner, but as I now know, he had a permanent and severe disability that caused his troubles - one that he will always have. But through persistence and the right amount of help, he's learned how to get along in life on his own.

Lotsa lessons there!

And by the way, isn't it neat that "prayer lists" can fit in lotsa places like while helping a cow and her baby! That's a memorable contribution you just made to us.
 

George

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I love a half full glass!

My family says I spend way more time with the cows and dogs than they deserve - - - It is a great time to get your ( my ) head stright.

This is a mini sermon I gave to a small group years ago.

Many of the cows spoken about here are no longer here but the ones here still have many different attitudes about me.


The touch of the Master

I must start at the first meeting I had with these cattle. I had not had cattle on the farm for about 20 years but now had time and wanted a small herd.

I purchased 15 registered Charolis cows that ranged from first calf heifers to 13-year-old moms. These cattle had been housed at a remote location and looked at humans as predators to be eliminated.

These were so wild that the man I got them from could only bring three the first load and that so unnerved the rest it was about 3 weeks before he was able to catch two more.

I like my cattle gentle so I purchased some sweet feed ( contains molasses) and would put some over the fence and get to safety before they could get to me. It took about a week before they would come to me instead of after me. However I still could not get them to come up onto the concrete floor that leads to the barn.

When the next two got here they followed the lead of the three that had been here a couple of weeks and soon I was able to get them on the concrete but still not in the barn. As more cattle got here I continued to gentle them and by the time all 15 were here I was able to even touch a couple - - - what a dramatic difference!

These cattle have been here about three years now and it is remarkable to me how each of them reacts to me.

When I go out to check on the herd they have all come to recognize me and all will come whenever I appear. Cow K10 is the friendliest of the group and always wants her ears scratched, K02 is the most standoffish, the bull always has to tell me he is the boss and will try to keep the cows from coming to me. He cannot keep them from me as they are to many and even K02 knows that if I show up something good is going to happen - - - I might have some sweet feed, open a gate to fresh pasture, put out fresh mineral or something else but it will be good.

Now as they have all accepted me as “The Master” it is very interesting as to how each reacts - - - K10 would be quite content with just a touch on the head, K02 will stand back and just wants to see what treat is available and the bull still tries to intimidate me!

This brings Christians to my mind - - - how will we each react to the coming of the master? Will we be like K10 just content to know the master is here or will we be like K08 content to be petted but wants the treat first or like K02 wanting nothing to do with the master but wanting the reward that comes with being in his presence?

When you look at mother and calf pairs the calves do not always mimic the mom. K10 is the friendliest but her calf K610 is very wary. K11 stays back about 10 feet but K611 follows me wanting to be petted. K02 never approaches me but K602 is almost as friendly as K611.

All have been handled with care and affection but have totally different attitudes with me.

Christ is there for all of us but we all have the free will to decide how to follow.
 

thewellnessprepper

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Good morning, I've got a calf that is now 6 days old. She has been thru the ringer in her short life. I've had her at the vet twice so far, and I discovered late last night that one of the reasons for all her problems is that she's got a cleft palate (the vets missed this). I've seen this thread, and although it's years old, I'm hoping that some of you are still around. The mama is willing to stand (she is a Jersey), but I cannot get the baby to nurse for the life of me. She is interested, and knows what to do, but grows discouraged and gives up. I have been tube feeding her for 2 days now (that's how I discovered the cleft palate), but would love to transition to the bottle if possible. My question is this....if she has a hard time suckling a teat, won't she also have a hard time with the bottle? Thanks for all your help! ~ liz
 

Big Muddy rancher

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From reading the first page of this thread the calf probably would have a bit of a hard time with a bottle but patience is needed and possibly could be rewarded with a marketable calf.
 

burnt

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How about that - I'd forgotten about that calf and my wife couldn't recall it either. I do remember sitting there listening to the birds though. Talk about a trip down memory lane! We never had so many poorly twins and never want to again.
 

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