Weak Calf Syndrome Protocol from TechMix

Weak Calf Syndrome

Don't Wait: Be Prepared to Protect Weak Calves

Are your calves lacking energy? Frigid and extreme weather and even changes in handling can bring stress on a calf and leave them depressed. Or worse, a difficult calving can make them slow to stand after birth, with little interest in attempting to nurse. Each of these scenarios can lead to weak calf syndrome and threaten a calf’s potential from the start. Give them a boost to return to normal function and appetite with over-the-counter (OTC) Newborn/Weak Calf Protocol from TechMix.

What is Weak Calf Syndrome?

Weak Calf Syndrome occurs when late-gestation heifers consume low-energy diets and experience a drawn-out labor and difficult birth (known as dystocia). It makes calves slow to stand after birth and they aren’t interested in nursing. Many calves in this situation will die not long after they arrive. If they survive, it’s because of the quick-acting management team.

If the calf has a swollen head or tongue, bruises, or broken ribs, take caution as these are all signs of dystocia. Keep a close eye on them for the first hour, and if they don’t stand and nurse, give the calf colostrum or colostrum replacement (ideally in the first 90 minutes after birth).

Pregnant Cow

Other Factors that Lead to Weak Calves

Beyond dystocia, here are a few additional signs that you’ll have a weak calf:

  • Dams that lose weight in the last two months of gestation often bear weak calves. In fact, about 80% of fetal growth occurs during this time, so it’s extremely important for the dam to support this growth with proper nutrition.
  • Age is more than a number when it comes to calving – it’s a possible indication of a weak calf to come. First calf heifers can experience energy deficiency because they’re not just growing a calf – they are still growing themselves. Older cows, too, can struggle to keep extra weight if they have bad teeth or other illnesses.
  • Dams infected with Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) virus can experience nutrient deficiency of vitamin A or selenium that leads to a weak calf.

If you observe any of these factors in your herd, be prepared with extra staff on hand at calving to watch, help and treat calves when they arrive. Also make sure your cows have dry and clean shelter for calving during cold or inclement weather. A weak calf born in cold and/or wet weather is at risk for hypothermia and must be warmed up before it can stand or nurse.

Newborn/Weak Calf Protocol from TechMix

The Newborn/Weak Calf Protocol is one of a series of four supplementation protocols from TechMix that are each designed to meet specific health challenges for calves. TechMix's Newborn/Weak Calf Protocol is science-designed to energize calves and provide nutrients to help them recover and thrive.

Calf Perk
STEP 1: Give calves a boost.

Calf Perk is an all-natural, fast-acting source of energy to increase body temperature and respiratory rates. Give to calves who need help standing or need encouragement to take their first meal. TechMix says if you’re using this protocol on a newborn calf that’s slow to stand or experienced a difficult calving, follow Calf Perk with 4 quarts of good quality colostrum in the first 6 hours of life.

Protocol Use: Squeeze entire contents of tube on the back of the calf’s tongue. Repeat once 30 minutes later if the calf is still lethargic.
Calf Restart One-4
STEP 2: Rehydration, electrolytes, and nutrients.

Calf Restart One-4 is a time-tested, veterinarian-approved supplement that encourages feed and water intake. It contains a highly digestible powder that provides essential nutrients and oral hydration support for young calves to help them return to optimum health.

Protocol Use: Drench with ready-to-use 5 oz bottle. Mix 5 oz of powder with 8-12 oz of warm water and provide as a drench. Mix 5 oz of powder with milk, milk replacer or water and feed to the calf.
BlueLite Replenish M
STEP 3: Optional added hydration.

BlueLite ReplenishM’s high-quality calf electrolyte formula is an ideal third step for weak calves that show persistent lethargy. What’s more: it’s the only liquid oral electrolyte with high palatability that gives calves the best chance to reach their genetic potential.

Protocol Use: Add 4 oz of BlueLite ReplenishM to 2 quarts of water and feed to calf in between milk feedings or immediately if signs of dehydration are present. Provide 1-2 times/day for 2 consecutive days as needed.

Help Calves Recover and Thrive with TechMix Calf Protocols

Don’t wait for signs of weakness in your calves – be prepared to keep them drinking, eating and producing with the fully over-the-counter protocols from TechMix. PBS Animal Health carries Calf Perk, Calf Restart One-4, BlueLite ReplenishM and a host of other TechMix products for a variety of species.

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