Jazzie delivered her baby a week ago today, went down twice, had the vet out gave her IV's and calcium paste. Well she just isn't her self like her spark is gone, she chokes when she eats her grain and barely eats any grain. She eats alfalfa with no problem. Any ideas, we think coming that close to death can take it out of you but I worry. Laurie
Last Edit: Apr 26, 2011 19:05:00 GMT -5 by barnydhppy
mom to 8,,,, grandma to one,,, and wife to Robert
Laurie, As well as the possibilty that her mouth is sore from the paste it sounds like she has an energy problem. Gloria lacked energy after calving and it is worrisome.
Our Vet clinic has a very good energy brew which they make up. It's molasses based and I see it has garlic in it but I don't know what else. It was quite pricey but well worth it. I'm sure your Vet clinic or feedstore would carry something similar
Initially I fed her 1 cup of this in some boiled barley twice a day for about a week. She had lost quite a bit of condition which she couldn't afford to do, so I've kept up the barley plus 1 tablespoon of Vit C, the usual minerals and ACV and 2 lb of molasses each day. I split this into two feeds and always give her one biscuit of alfalfa before and after each feed. I'm quite pleased with how she's regaining condition and she certainly doesn't lack energy now
Ketosis can rear it's ugly head in conjunction with/after MF when they lack energy so keep smelling her breath for signs of it. Get some meds into her asap if you suspect this.
Midge New Zealand Devoted Milkmaid of Ellie and Head Cow of 10 glorious small Jersey nurse-cows.
Ketosis can occur at any time following stress but its favorite time to show up is following milk fever.
The first and most obvious signs of ketosis are dull attitude (but occasionally there is agitation), loss of appetite for grain and a fruity or acetone smelling breath.
Ketosis is a condition where metabolism has switched from dependence on immediate calories from diet to buring fat as an energy source.
The initial period in the Atkins Diet has you do this with a deliberate fast so as to get your body burning calories from stored fat instead of burning carb calories (which are available only from diet)
However, we do not want out cows doing this! The stress of milk fever causes a cow to stop eating. When she stops eating her rumen bacteria do a big die-off. If the rumen bacteria are dead then the food the cow eats cannot be digested and she is vaulted into a de facto fast. The odd smelling breath is due to ketone bodies circulating in the bloodstream and is characteristic of any fasting creature.
So you want to get her back onto those energy producing carbs. A sugary carb solution such as molasses water does not require digestion by bacteria. Get enough of that into her and she will usually switch off of fat metabolism and back onto carb metabolism. Other things that are sweet such as apples are also a good thing to offer.
You may have to keep temptimg your cow with sweet tidbits for some days. She is not recovered until her rumen bacteria have repolulated. In the Old Days people used to swipe a cud from another cow and put it into her mouth to jumpstart the rumen. We now have various meds and probiotics.
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