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If calves become bloated after weaning, put them back on milk for a few more weeks. It took me 30 years to find that out and only came about because I changed vets. I have lost one ot two in my time or had to let the gas out etc.
I have been an agricultural student for almost six years (including year out). In my work experiences I have often come across ideas, methods, practices or whatever which are unheard of when I am back at college, similarly, I read about practices at college that people in the industry regard as strange. It is a bit disturbing to think that what I have been learning doesn’t necessarily make me as knowledgable as I think I should be. Learning principles in college and applying them in practice to then relate experiences back to studies in an attempt of better understanding is great in theory. Unfortunately in practice is another thing! But from all my study and experience I think I have established that gut feeling is not to be shunned when working with livestock and if something works why change it? With regards to the feeding of calves, I think it is important to make sure the calves are eating enough forage aswell as concentrates so that when taking them off milk they do not gorge themselves on the concentrates which may lead to bloat, remember that milk and conc. are digested cocmpletely differently in seperate compartments so a sudden switch is always going to be somewhat tricky for the calf to get used to quickly. I hope I have made sense and not repeated your own knowledge. Regards Ellie.
I agree there! I am a 2nd year vet student, but there are a lot of things farmers do which work, but no one can explain, you could almost compare it to homeopathy! If it works on your farm why change (unless with the current economic status of most farms you come across a cheaper method which is just as effective).
I don’t think in my case it has got anything to do with forage or roughage. My calves are well supplied with good clean staw (don’t use hay for calves).
It is only very rarely a calf becomes bloated and it is only after weaning. It has more to do with the calf’s inability to burp. That doesn’t sound right because I have never heard a calf burp! I think the vet said it was something to do with the oesophagial groove closing after coming off milk – hence put it back on milk for a few more weeks.
I am glad to report that the calf is now weaned again and is thriving.