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I had a beef calf born out in the pasture yesterday and got him in because he had a broken leg about6" above the hock. I saw a little break in the skin. Can I splint this myself with a splint of some sort secured by tape going around the splint? He has had his colostrum & is bright eyed and drank more milk last night from the bottle. Is there any hope for this little guy?

Absolutely!  Not an uncommon occurence with small calves.. they can get stepped on pretty easily, especially if they're laying around a hay ring, or somewhere the cows congregate.

Yes.. you can splint it yourself. You can use a couple of short pieces of wood, wrapped in cotton and secured with "Vetwrap" (The colored stretchy stuff they use to wrap horses legs with works wonderful) or you can use a piece of PVC pipe, cut in half.  But if you use the PVC, make sure the edges are covered, they can be sharp!  I would think 4 weeks would be good, but you may want to call a vet and ask how long to leave it splinted.  And you'll want to re-wrap it so he doesn't get sores underneath the wraps.

I would also recommend a shot of antibiotics if you have any available.  Good old Penicilin would work well.  The biggest thing you want to watch for is going off his milk, or being depressed or looking like he's not feeling well.  It sounds like you're pretty on top of his condition!

You said you brought him in and he's on a bottle.. is his mom okay?  Why don't you split the leg, and put them in a small area together for  a week or so?  That would be better than bottle feeding!  

Please let me know if you have any other questions... is my direct e-mail.

Good luck!



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Eileen DuJardin


I can answer most types of cattle questions, primarily beef types. Genetics, breeding, basic care, herd health and management, and showing. I'm knowledgeable in forages and feeding. Non emergency health and soundness questions. I am not a veterinary, and can't answer critical care questions. Call your local large animal vet for that service.


I've been a registered cattle breeder for over 20 years. My husband and I run a 250 acre cattle ranch in Texas. I've raised dairy cattle, commercial cattle, and registered and show cattle. I'm on our county Beef and Forage committee.

American Simmental Association. American Brahman Breeders Association. Falls County Beef and Forage Committee. Texas Farm Bureau

Associates Degree in computer science.

Awards and Honors
Many ribbons and placings in cattle showing, with most recent being: 2011 Fort Worth Stock Show, Senior Champion Simmental, and Houston Livestock Show Reserve Champion Senior Simmental.

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