Sh...... it's nap time. Ellie here does not want to get up. She is all cuteness and the beginning I hope of great things to come. This is our new milk cow. She is not for milk consumption so much as to raise a few calves on each year when she is of age.
Cutey pie is a Brown Swiss / Normandy cross. Swiss being known for sweet disposition, easy keeper (good feed conversion), and excellent milk production. They are from the alps so she should feel right at home here in the winter time. The Normandy is known for a sweet disposition, besides being a dual purpose animal with a more beefy frame. They still are a good milk producer. Right now I'm just glad Ellie has gained a bit of coordination. This momma was panicked for the first five days. I was sure she was going to break a leg. Poor girl just could not get those appendages coordinated and still she ran full tilt around the barnyard. Her legs seemed unattached, flying outward in all directions.
Let me introduce you to Hesston. He is a bull calf. Never raised a Holstein before but hopefully we get an opportunity. Hesston is hanging on to life by a thread. Up one hour and down two from that. He has had the scours something fierce. See the slight hump in the back? This is Hesston upon his arrival here. He had a belly ache and was a bit constipated. I fed him his feedings four times a day, made sure he made lots of trips to the water trough, and fed him additional milk flavored bottles of water just to hydrate him well and stimulate the bowels. I mean very heavy on the water and just enough milk to get him to drink it.
Hesston is also trying to take a nap. He doesn't want to show you a picture of himself standing up as he is all bones. He got the scours and I have doused the poor thing with cow medicine up to the wazooo to no avail. We have fought the fight for four days. I decided to just stay home for a few days despite a cazillion things I need to go and do. I have got to try and get him on his feet. Despite treatment and feedings four times a day I have about lost him a number of times. He would look like he might turn the corner, his sides filling out a bit, and then he would crash once more shooting fluids out the back end.
I am doing six feedings a day today as then I can do smaller doses of milk or milk and electrolytes. Smaller also doses of Pepto-Bismol. The Pepto-Bismol is doing better than calf scour pills. Hesston can suck a short time and then he opens his mouth and I use the calf tuber. I don't put it into his stomach but put the tube a short distance down the back of his throat and he just swallows the milk or electrolytes. I'm also doing vitamin B shots as it gives an animal, and I suspect a human, an appetite. He has had lots of penicillin meds besides the sulfa drug with no improvement so I've stopped those.
It will really tear me up if I lose this sweet, sweet calf as he has stolen my heart. He likes back rubs. I suspect the dairy got busy and forgot to give this calf his colostrum. That or an inadequate amount. That is the consensus of another dairyman I spoke to the other day when I outlined what all I had done to see if he had any suggestions.Ellie on the other hand clamors for her bottle and Hesston's bottle too as soon as she is done with her own. I've learned to lock Hesston and I up in the stall and her outside when I'm trying to feed him. That girl has got some suction on her. I swear she could suck the entire hind end off a rhino. Despite turning the bottle every few sucks to try and break her lock on the nipple, she still collapses the nipple and caves in the sides of the hard plastic bottle. If your lucky you only have to disassemble the bottle four times during a feeding. That is unscrew the cap, pull with considerable force the nipple that has a death lock on the hard plastic bottle.
Ellie is eating a gallon and a half of milk a day in four feedings and is looking quite nice. The second day here our 9 year old grand daughter found her sweet spot. I thought her eyes were going to roll back into her head. She was in heaven.