Friday, August 12, 2011

Operation Coccidiosis Begoneis

Its going well. A few days ago I had several posts about one of our calves who died due to complications from Coccidiosis, a parasitic infection. Since then we've been working hard to beat the tar out of that...that...that PARASITE !

Two days ago we pulled four of our calf hutches off their old sites and scrubbed all things dead and alive off their poly bodies. First our intern Aaron and I used the pressure washer to remove the major debris. Then we used good old hot soapy water and scrub brushes to remove the stuck on junk.

After that it was Clorox time. Very hot bleach water was splashed around the inside of the hutches. (Yes, we were careful) and then I crawled inside to do a better job. Not only did the bleach do a great job of sanitizing the calf hutch it also cleared up any lurking bacteria on my own  lower legs.

My knees haven't been this white since I played a nun in my second grade's play of Sound of Music. That would be Lady of Lourdes, Ashland Ave, Chicago circa 1967.

Calf hutch prior to cleaning
Following the bleach, another rinse with the power washer. The hutch was flipped back to an upright position and we started on the outside. Aaron and I completed two hutches while Keith took a hog to the locker. When he returned home and after a short break, he and Aaron finished the other hutches.
Hutches scrubbed, buffed, debugged sportingnew grass/weed carpets.
Later that afternoon, we moved the two oldest calves out of their hutches entirely and into a nicely sized overgrown pasture. Calves were happy with this arrangement. I wish we had the room to put all our calves into a separate pasture from day one but we do not. If we put them out with older cows they get pushed through wire fences so for now they are kept in hutches on long chains until they are about 3 months old then they can fend for themselves better.

Keith walking older calf around his new pasture to show him the hot wire
before he finds it himself and lurches THROUGH it.
The squeaky clean hutches were moved to the south side of our machine shed so now calves have clean housing in a clean neighborhood, Our one other calf who we suspected maybe was also infected with coccidiosis was given Calf 180 from Crystal Creek in the am and pm, plus an extra bottle with the electrolytes mid afternoon.
Four youngest calves enjoying clean digs
He is looking good with high energy, great appetite and dark tarry stool (old blood?) but without any active bleeding or watery stools. Hooves crossed but maybe our efforts are paying off. Now in our 7th day of organic approved treatment for him and prophylactic treatment for our other calves, we are hopeful.
Pic taken yesterday morning. Treatment day 6


  1. That's interesting, Donn. I didn't realise that Coccidiosis was a problem for cattle.

    I give a solution called 'Coxoid' to my young chicks, diluted into their water for a week or two when they are very young, until they build up an immunity to it.

    How long does it take for the calf's to do the same?

  2. If hard work and determination could be bottled they would name it after you. I certainly hope all this effort pays off for you. It is so painful to watch these sweet little guys suffer. Good Luck.

  3. Great pictures, well done on your hard work

  4. awful worry
    Just treated my hens for the same thing!=x

  5. geez, I don't deserve you folks. Not one of you is saying" why did you not clean those hutches sooner ? Or if were vegetarian none of this would've happened" Obviously you are all real people with real farm/animal/life issues yourself. None of you being computer generated. If this kind of support keeps up I'll have to continue farming AND blogging.

    I blame each of you for that.

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