Post by FlipFlopFarmer on Jul 13, 2005 13:46:59 GMT -5
I've never given a bolus before and the was told to give the new calf (still yet to be born) a colostrum bolus. I bought a calf size balling gun last night but they lady at the farm store couldn't give me much detail on how to properly use it.
I've been searching on internet for drawings or instuctions on properly administering it without harming the calf or tearing the windpipe. Can anyone provide with the details on how to do that or direct me to a photo or drawing? I couldn't find any info in KFC on this.
Also, naval care....Do you use iodine straight or diluted? or something else???
Can you tell how nervous/anxious I am about the birth/calf? This is our first babe and I just want everything to go well. I called another vet as the two that are in my town are non-responsive to even a phone call to make an appt. let alone any direction to things like this.
Last Edit: Apr 1, 2010 18:01:00 GMT -5 by barnydhppy
Carla Ruby - Jersey heifer Tangerine - Tamworth sow...awaiting more piglets Too many chickens to count.
Why on earth would anyone have you give a calf a colostrum bolus when it can get it direct (and fresh) from the source from it's mother ???? I don't see a need for it at all.
However, it is a good idea to know how to give a bovine a bolus, so I will explain. With a cow you need to have her in the stanchion. You stand next to her head, pressing it to the side against the stanchion. I hold the balling gun in my left hand and put my right hand under the cow's chin and stick my fingers in the upper corner of her mouth (not too far back or you can loose a finger tip on a sharp molar), which causes her to open her mouth a bit. Quickly guide the balling gun into the middle of her mouth so that practically the whole thing is in and push in the little lever on the bottom to deliver the pill. It will probably take you a few tries to get yourself coordinated and the pill in far enough that the cow doesn't spit it out.
It is one of those things that is much easier to show someone to do then it is to tell them in writing. My vet made me do it 3 times in a row until he was confident I could handle it.
I usally dip the cord in iodine teat dip. I don't bother unless it is wet and icky out or really buggy when the calf is born, because the cow is constantly cleaning and licking that area and the iodine is sucked right off.
I agree with Claire about the bolus. I think the person must not understand you will have the Mama right there with colostrum on tap! Perhaps you can safely forget it.
On the other hand, I dip all cords (goats, sheep, calves) in full-strength, unbuffered (7%) iodine, or in a pinch, alcohol. It is true that this is "unnatural" and that babies of all these species have been born forever without this intervention. It is also true that most of us keep our birthing areas cleaner than average. HOWEVER, navel ill is a horrible disease, from all I've read, easily picked up from bacteria in barnyards, and this is a cheap, simple, ten-second precaution. No downside.
All the sites I've read for sheep/goats/etc. recommend 7% iodine (it's seriously drying, which is what you want for a navel cord, but NOT what you'd want for a teat dip or a daily wound wash). My pharmacy didn't stock it but got it for me within a couple of days. It costs about $6.
Milkmaid to Katika, Canadienne x Jersey born 5/12/2002 Moxie, Jersey rescue heifer, born 8/2009 Rocky, Katika's steer calf, born 4/27/2010 Duke Wayne, foster Jersey bull calf born 10/10/10 Phoenix (Fee), Katika's heifer calf, born 7/3/2011 Birch, 25-year-old Azteca gelding 11 Clun Forest and cross ewes dogs and cat
How interesting, I've never heard of a colostrum bolus. It will be a handy thing to keep on hand for the future Carla As you know, sometimes calving has it's difficulties and you may need it plus you never know when someone may turn up with an orphan calf for you.
After losing one calf last year, even tho I always have colostrum in the freezer, I bought some super strength powdered colostrum and fed it to the twins when they were born as added insurance.
I spray all my calves navels with iodine, once again, added insurance. You won't need to do anything else to the navel. But, guide the calf to nurse from each quarter as soon as she's up to it. This will relieve the pressure on Teensie's udder. Just cup the teat you don't want nursed wth your hand and guide the calf's head to the other one.
Having a few of us with cows due around the same time is so exciting I think Gloria must be one of those cows that bags up properly overnight, there's still not as much progress there as I'd like!
Midge New Zealand Devoted Milkmaid of Ellie and Head Cow of 10 glorious small Jersey nurse-cows.
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