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Tube Feeding Calves

Tube Feeding Calves

WHEN TO TUBE FEED

•  Newborn calves that do not take the teat or don't consume at least 10% bodyweight in liquid.
•  Weak calves that are unable to suckle
•  Calves with scours/illness requiring electolytes that do not want to suckle.
•  When time constraints require calves to be feed before the 6-8 hours colostrum absorption cut-off level.

 

FEED REQUIREMENTS PER DAY
Examples:
Jersey calf: 25 - 30kg = 2.5 – 3  Litres
x Breed: 30 - 40kg =  3 – 4 Litres
Fresian/ Holstein: 40- 50kg = 4- 5 Litres

 

TUBE FEEDING METHOD

• Back calf into a corner and straddle neck, if calf cannot stand then do the same but in a kneeling position

• Calf must be standing or sitting up in straight position

• Using your left hand, Gently squeeze corners of mouth to open

• With your right hand holding the bottle, fold the flexible part of tube over so its kinked and then insert tube slowly over the tongue towards back of the throat along the left side.

• Remain having jaw/ muzzle control with left hand so calf cannot thrash sideways

• Never force the tube down, if its in the correct place  in the oesphagus then it sould slide down quite easily.

• Insert tube fully

• Raise the bottle and begin to tube feed contents.

• When last of liquid is drained, kink the bottle back down and wait 2 seconds for any residual liquid in tube to drain to avoid going into the lungs.

• Now you can gently slide the tube back out of the calves mouth.

• Disinfect ready for next.

 

A centre of veterinary excellence for North Canterbury.
 

24hr/7day emergency care available by phoning 03 313 7438