The Normal State of Calf Poop : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

OK, I've read the archives and I don't believe I've seen an answer to my questions.

We have a six day old orphaned Angus heifer that we picked up from a rancher. She had at least two days of colostrum before her mother died and then the rancher fed her store bought cow's milk with Karo syrup and water in it. I've switched her to Southern State's Maxi Calf milk replacer. I'd give her goat's milk if our doe were in milk but she isn't.

Anyway, what is the normal consistency of calf poop? My children have done 4-H dairy projects on 4-6 month heifers and their poop was incredibly runny. Am I to compare the Angus calf's poop consistency to what I know of the State dairy unit's heifer calves? Sounds like a dumb question but how can I determine if she is beginning to get scours if I don't know the normal consistency of a healthy heifer's poop?

Can I assume that poop that appears to run down the rear end is bad? How runny does it get before it officially scours?

Jeanne _ Oh, Lordy, if my DC Yuppie friends could see me now....the questions we have to ask! ;-)

-- Jeanne (, February 11, 2001


If its runny down her rear its probally to loose .Make sure your milk replacer is all milk .Also there is a product called scours controll 2 that is very good .They also have scours pills.How much and how many times a day are you feeding her ?

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 11, 2001.

Jeanne, If the poop is like chocolate pudding it should be ok, but if it turns to more water then poop. Then it is time to start with the peto-bismol. Put it right in with the milk. Also give electolights in water ( 2 qts) at least twice a day. After you feed the calf milk wait around to see whats comes out the back end. Also if calf is getting the scours it will have a hard time standing up to come to the bottle. Calfs will die if they get real dehydrated. As long as they drinking real good they will come out of it, but it takes about four or five days. We will give also a shot of pinecillin for good measure. Hope this helps

-- LInda (, February 11, 2001.

State of California Poop....

My, My, Jeanne you are a mother of children, changing babies a daily chore..With a baby calf it will be no different. Your good judgement will prevail..And yes, you do have reasons to be concern.

California Poop...better get my eye looked at ;o)

-- JR (, February 11, 2001.

As far as color....yellowish is kind of normal. If it is running down their backside it is time to get some scour boluses. The only way I know to describe thickness is if you have hay or straw bedding when it is deposited it should sit on top of the straw. If it is liquidy enough to fall through the straw(obviously falling through a bit is ok) you have problems. Another good indicator is the calfs behavior. He should be frisky and bright eyed. I know a lot of people raise calves on the powdered milk replacer but I just don't like it(I've raised lots of calves on it but they just never do as well). If there is any way you can make arrangements with a local dairyman or something so that you can feed him real milk I believe he will do much better. Good luck.....raising baby calves is a lot of fun.

-- Amanda in Mo (, February 11, 2001.


Well... calf pooh is calf pooh no matter what the breed. Calf pooh s sometimes runny but not as a rule. I'd give her some scours pills. there is a 4 way pill we got from animal medic supplies, don't have addy handy, but you can get them from most supply places. Also, we use a product called immuno-G for our goats and calves. We swear by the stuff. We give it to our kids after they are born at the rate of 1 cc 2 x's a day for 3 days and we gave our claves that much too orally. We used that and the 4 way scours pills.

there is a good chance as mentioned the milk may be too rich and the culprit here. I'd try the already good suggestions mentioned and see. You can get immuno-g from this site, also you can get ID-1 from goat world. good luck, hope this helps.


-- Bernice (, February 11, 2001.

Just a general note on bottle feeding calves. When a calf sucks on momma, they get the milk in squirts. This mixes with saliva and then goes into the stomachs. The extra saliva helps digestion. However, most bottle nipples allow the calf to guzzle the milk, meaning not nearly as much saliva is generated. McCarville Dairy Supply, 322 High Street, Mineral Point, WI 53565 (area code may have changed) - 608-987-2416 sells what are called Suck Hard nipples from New Zealand. They are a semi-hard rubber and force the calf to have to suck hard, generating the saliva. They can be put at the bottom of a bucket hung on a wall, or just inserted inside the regular red nipple of a bottle. A calf's digestive system is designed for sucking at a height of about two feet or higher, which is why training them to drink directly out of a bucket on the floor isn't a good idea. It causes some of the milk to go into the ruman(first stomach), when it should go directly into the abomasum (fourth stomach). Last time I had two bottle calves I cut enough of the top off of a five-gallon bucket for a pore opening, then put in three of these suck-hard nipples as close to the bottom as possible. To train the calves, I just worked them towards the bucket (hung on a fence) and switch them over from the bottle to the bucket. They took readily to it. To feed them I just pored the milk replacer, followed by warm, slightly sweatened water, in the bucket. Didn't even bother to clean it out between feedings.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 12, 2001.

The true sign of scours in a calf is the smell of the poop, not the consistancy. This is not another degree of difficulty - it is the benchmark for scours. The smell is very sour and sharp, and very noticable. Once you smell it you never forget. This kind of scours can be treated temporarily with Pepto Bismo followed by reduction of whatever they are eating until it stops. Usually fast results. Terimycin (antibacterial) can help if the case is stubborn (lasts more than two or three days).

Another indicater is color - if the poop is white, it's bacterial scours and you must get the vet immediately. Bacterial scours can be fatal in a very short time.

My father raised day old calves by the barn-full. When thirty calves have the scours at once, it's an aroma that stays with you for life.

-- Maggie's Farm (, February 13, 2001.

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