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close this bookEthnoveterinary Medicine in Asia - Ruminants (IIRR, 1994, 143 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCollaborating organizations
View the documentParticipants and workshop staff
View the documentHow to use this manual
View the documentLack of appetite
View the documentFever
View the documentCoughs and colds
View the documentDiarrhea
View the documentDehydration
View the documentBloat
View the documentConstipation
View the documentPoisoning
View the documentInternal parasites: Stomach and gut worms
View the documentLiverflukes
View the documentTick infestation
View the documentScabies (mange)
View the documentLice
View the documentFungus infections of the skin
View the documentInfectious diseases
View the documentFoot rot
View the documentEye diseases
View the documentWounds
View the documentBleeding
View the documentSnake bite
View the documentSprains
View the documentDifficulty in urinating
View the documentHousing
View the documentFeeding
View the documentMineral deficiency
View the documentBreeding
View the documentPregnancy and birthing
View the documentCare of mother animals after birthing
View the documentCare of newborn
View the documentUdder infection
View the documentDecreased milk flow

Care of newborn

Right after birth

Allow the mother to lick the newborn and clean it completely. This also helps to induce milk flow in the mother.

Right after birth

If the mother does not lick the newborn thoroughly or is too weak to lick, help clean the newborn. Dry it with a clean, rough cloth and remove any mucus from its nostrils. Rub this cloth on the hooves to remove their plastic-like coating.

If the newborn is not breathing properly, insert a clean finger into the mouth to remove all mucus. Use a rice straw to tickle the nostril to make the newborn sneeze. This expels the mucus blocking the breathing passage.

Expelling the mucus blocking the breathing passage

Navel cord

You can choose any of the following practices to dry the navel cord. These practices also prevent bacterial infection and infestation by maggots.

· Apply a spoonful of turmeric powder to the navel. Apply urine from the mother animal onto the navel.

· Pound 1 medium-sized bulb of garlic and apply it to the navel.

· Cover the navel with fresh, cooled kitchen ash.

· Apply vegetable oil to the navel and then cover it with wood ash.

Do not pull or irritate the navel cord unnecessarily. This could lead to hernia, a swelling in the navel region.

The mother's first milk

Within 2-4 hours, the newborn ruminant should suck the colostrum. This is the first milk from the mother. The colostrum contains antibodies that will provide resistance to diseases in the newborn's life.

The mother's first milk

Reintroducing the newborn to its mother

Sometimes the mother refuses to accept her calf, kid or lamb. This usually happens when it is her first-born. In this case, you may try one of the following:

· Sprinkle milk on the nose of the mother and her newborn. Then, allow the mother to smell the newborn.

· Rub the rear end of the newborn on its mother's nose.

· Rub the newborn with vinegar or with the mother's urine.

· For cattle and buffaloes, tie the hind legs and horns of the mother to prevent her from kicking or hitting the newborn. Allow the newborn to suckle for 15 minutes and then free the mother. You may need to do this for three succesive feedings, after which she usually will accept the newborn

Reintroducing the newborn to its mother


If the mother has died, try to introduce the newborn to another female which has recently given birth. If she refuses to foster the newborn, try any of the practices suggested for reintroducing the newborn to its mother. If this does not work, milk the lactating animal and feed the newborn, using a small cup. Or you can dip some cotton in some milk and allow the newborn to suck on it.


Keep the mother and its offspring separated from the rest of the herd to prevent other animals from hurting the newborn. Provide clean, dry bedding for the newborn. If the barn has a slatted floor, cover it with grass or other materials. Otherwise, the newborn may get its legs caught between the slats.

Feeding To stimulate the appetite of the newborn, place one of these mixtures on its tongue:

· A pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon of brown sugar. (India. 1, 2)

· Half a teaspoon of brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of sweet soy sauce. (Indonesia. 1, 2) Some farmers do this for several days.

# Reminder

Do not intervene with the natural process of giving birth and early care by the mother unless absolutely necessary.