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Fluid tube

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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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We ve got a neighbor who makes a neat little device that turns a 2L pop bottle into a tube for tubing sick or newborn calves. No more fussing around with one of those pouchs for milk that the zippers let go in. This thing works great and its cheap. You can use it over and over again.
There is a nifty esophageal feeder available in this country, but I'm not sure of the brand name. It is a two-quart plastic bottle-type container, with a screw-on tube. The best thing about it is that as the milk goes into the calf, the bottle collapses. About half-way through the process, air gets into the bottle around the screw-on lid, which allows the second half of the liquid to almost go into the calf's stomach faster than the first half. Having used these for quite a few years, it is one item that it would be very hard to go through a calving season without. Lancaster Livestock Supply, from Cody, Nebraska, sells these feeders. It is money well spent, and a great improvement over the bags with the ziplocks.

Speaking of pop bottles, that was the method of choice in my younger days. After milking out a pop bottle full from some old snake of a cow, you'd straddle the calf and reach into its throat to grab the tongue. Then you'd dump a little milk down the throat, and allow the calf to swallow it. By manuevering the tongue just right, you could almost force the little critter to swallow, whether they wanted to or not. Believe me, this plastic feeder is a tremendous improvement.

One word of caution; always insert the tube down the LEFT side of the calf's throat. After getting it into place, if it is in the correct position you can feel the little ball of the tube, by feeling from the outside of the calf's neck. If it is wrong, you cannot feel it, and chances are it is in the calf's windpipe. From erroneous personal experience, it just takes one little moment of bad judgement to drown a calf. The feelings of remorse prevent at least one night's good sleep. :oops: :cry:
M_R, Those bottle-type e-feeders that Soapweed mentioned are available in Mb. I have a couple. They work great. :)

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