It's not something any of us want to do, but to be responsible meat eaters, it is something we need to know how to do.
Zaphod is not sucking correctly. I watched him nose the water earlier today, and that's what he did, nose it. He didn't suck as cows normally do. He stuck his snout in the water several times, licking the drops off from around is mouth and up his nose. I attempted to drench him. Drenching is basically holding the calf between your legs and shoving the bottle's nipple down its throat and not letting off until they give in and suck. No such luck there. I stood there with him for a good twenty minutes, milk dripping down his throat and out his mouth. He went limp on me, refusing to even fight. The second drenching was after a bit of karo, and hours after a tube feeding. He fought, but his tongue always hung out to the side. Never once had he even attempted a suckle.
So to the tube feeding. It is a bit scary, what with reading about drowning your calf and all. There is that chance of course, but ignore it for now. Tube feeding is surprisingly easy, and no need for 20 items to do list like so many I found. The vet's directions over the phone are as follows.
Make sure it's all clean ( feeding tube and bag)
Lube tube with Vaseline or crisco
Put calf between your knees
Kink tube and insert over the tongue, following the left side of the jaw
Cough, pull it put. Gagging, gently push deeper allowing calf to swallow.
Once all the tube is in, unkink tube and let it flow.
Remove and wash.
We are feeding about two pints three times a day for the moment, and giving him 20cc of electrolytes. He has access to clean water and fescue, though we will be switching him to a creep shortly.
And now for your viewing pleasure, Husband and Zaphod present a tube feeding pictural.