Pot bellied calves

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by luke93, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. luke93

    luke93 New Member

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    Hi,

    I have 2 Aberdeen Angus cross calves about 4 months old,

    They were early weened at around 7 weeks which they seemed fine with and went on to eating calf starter pellets and pasture with no problem.

    Over the last month and a half they have got very bad pot bellied and don't seem to be growing very well,

    They are on quite a roughage pasture and I don't know if that has caused it.

    I put them back on a high protein calf started witch made no difference, they are now on a mix of calf starter and cattle grower.

    I also noticed over the last few days that that are trying to suckle from each other.

    Would it be okay to put them back on milk replacer at such an old age? Would this help to correct their pot belly? as I have read elsewhere that it can be cause by the rumen not forming properly due to early weening,

    Please help guys

    Thanks
     
  2. smokingsixgun

    smokingsixgun New Member

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    It would not hurt them . I don't ween my calves until they are 6 months that gives them a little extra boost in their growth but I don't know that is your problem. I would also get some ivamec and worm them if you haven't already . Worm can cause a bolted belly and no growth.
     

  3. DoubleR

    DoubleR Repro Lover

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    I would not try and put them back on replacer. Not now. There stomachs have transitioned over to roughage at this point. Could cause a lot more problems than it's worth.
    With bottle calves they are very often behind and have pot bellies. Especially early weaned bottle calves. It's best for them to have been on starter then grower this whole time.
    Have you wormed and vaccinated them?
    Has there been a change in pasture? From dry to green?
    Do you have any photos? Preferable from the side and from behind?
     
  4. luke93

    luke93 New Member

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    ImageUploadedByCattle Forum1408637154.952535.jpg ImageUploadedByCattle Forum1408637191.967219.jpg

    Thanks for your help, I am glad you didn't recommend putting them back on milk.

    Here is a couple of pics, I have recently wormed them and have put them back onto the calf starter pellets,

    As you can kind of see in the pictures they are slightly bigger on the left side if facing them, but are still quite large on the other side

    They have always been on the same pasture it's just that it is over grown as I rent the land and I am waiting on it being topped.

    Sorry for the bad pictures!
     
  5. DoubleR

    DoubleR Repro Lover

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    Luke,
    Your pics are fine :)
    They just look like bottle calves that haven't had the greatest nutrition all along. They tend to look pot bellied like that. They also look full. That's the one side higher than the other full look.
    What I would do is get them on a good grower (not starter anymore). Get them a good mineral supplement, loose trace minerals and wait it out. It will take a good while for them to grow out of this but with good nutrition they will.
    They are on the leaner side so I would definitely get on it. They can end up stunted in the long run. Don't think you'll run into that with these but you never know.
    What's your long term plans for them?
    How sure are you they are angus?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  6. luke93

    luke93 New Member

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    Thanks for your reply once again

    I will defiantly get them started back on the grower pellets, they are moving pasture in a month so will be on a lot better quality grass, I am hoping this will help.

    What minerals do you suggest I get? Is there anything in particular I should look for in a mineral bucket? Or should I just go with a all round one?

    On all the documentation it classes them as Aberdeen Angus Cross, just wondering why do you ask?

    I plan to breed from them in the future (obviously not for a long time)

    Do all bottle fed calves suffer with the bloated look or is it just some?

    Thanks again
     
  7. DoubleR

    DoubleR Repro Lover

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    No problem! :) Raised quite a few bottle calves over the years. Happy to share what I can.
    I don't know what's offered in your area (minerals). Cargill has good minerals. Wind and rain minerals aren't bad. Highly recommend a dry loose mineral. Also a loose trace mineral salt.
    The reason for a loose mineral and a loose trace mineral salt is pretty simple. Loose dry minerals are more palatable for livestock. It's easier to get what they need. With molasses tubs and blocks it's hard for them to get what they need. Think of it as a lolly pop vs sugar sticks. (I think candy ;) ) When licking a lolly pop your tongue gets raw. A sugar stick you can ingest more before your tongue gets raw. Now think of it as SALT or minerals. I can only imagine how quick their tongue gets sore. This causes them to stop eating it even if they are needing it. There's a bit of research around on this topic.
    The reason for loose trace mineral salt also is because they need a good amount of salt. If all they need is salt they can get just salt. It helps prevent over eating of minerals just to get enough needed salt. If they need minerals they will go to the minerals.
    I ask because they are pretty lean. Look a bit more like Holsteins in the pics. Hard to see their faces well.
    What documentation do you have on them if you don't mind me asking? Where did they come from. Are they cycling yet?
    No not all bottle calves suffer from pot bellies. A lot do. Especially if they haven't had starter all along, not the greatest milk replacer (especially if they were fed Soy replacer) weaned early etc etc etc. They eventually grow out of it.