Tips for kinder, easier and safer tube feeding.  Appropriate handling of your calf is important to minimise stress, maximise ease and ensure safety.  Please also watch our demonstration video, read our FAQs and ask any questions.

Our top three tips when using the Trusti or Flexi Tuber:

  • Gentle hands on the tube.  Expect to be pleasantly shocked at how easily the flexible tube is swallowed.
  • Pass the tube far enough past the airway entrance (throat) and ensure the tube stays in that position throughout feeding i.e. do not accidentally pull the tube out during fluid flow.
  • Ensure the head or neck do not drop below the level of the stomach, as this will result in back flow of liquid toward the airway entrance.
Use a corner where possible

Always use a corner or backstop where possible.  Calves positioned into a corner do not require a strong head lock therefore are much more relaxed.

Ensure the head is higher than the stomach

A low head position e.g. held at the knees, is dangerous as the liquid cannot flow down to the stomach. The fluid will flow back toward the airway entrance and flow into the airway.

Do not turn the nose up when passing the tube

When inserting the tube a natural, comfortable position is best for the calf.  Do not turn the nose up as this makes it harder for the calf to swallow and creates a more direct line toward the delicate airway area.

Placing the bottle on the is easier than holding all in one hand

Simplify the process by placing the bottle on the ground or a nearby ledge rather than holding all in one hand.

There should be no resistance when passing the tube

Resistance most likely means you have encountered the airway entrance as the structures protrude out into the throat area.  Do not push through, use gentle hands and realign so the tube passes smoothly into the oesophagus.

Standing suits most calves, sitting is suitable for sick, weak or very quiet calves

Use your judgement as to which position is most comfortable and safe for your calf.  A sitting calf must be sitting up and not lying flat.  Standing allows easier handling for more energetic calves.

Another safe position is to sit the calf on its rear, similar to tipping a sheep to trim its hooves.

Checking the tube position

You can double check tube location by looking for tube movement in the oesophagus in the left jugular groove.

To aid with head movement hold the mouthpiece with the calf and maintain some slack in the tube.

Calves will move their head through feeding.  The hand holding the mouthpiece should also hold the calf, this way you will move with the calfs movement and the mouthpiece will not be misplaced.  Maintain some slack in the tube to avoid the tube being pulled out of position.

Wait for two seconds after all liquid has passed through before removing gently

Do not remove the tube too quickly.  Remove gently while the calf swallows to ensure liquid flows down the oesophagus.

Clip on the handle end, not the mouth end, to keep your tuber handy and hygienic.

Easy mistake!  Clip on the handle end, not the mouth end, to keep your tuber handy and hygienic.

You can cut the tube to your required length. Remember: measure twice, cut once.

As the wise guy says; measure twice cut once.  Note: when feeding it is a good idea to maintain a curve in the tube, this provides leeway for any calf movement to avoid pulling the tube out of position.

The finger hook extension on the black sleeve is greaet for tube security.

The finger hook extension on the black sleeve allows you to secure the tube in position rather than watch the tube throughout feeding.

You can use your Trusti Tuber to relieve rumen bloat

Another feature of the Trusti and Flexi Tubers is the ability to relieve rumen bloat by passing the tube all the way to the rumen.

Head above stomach for tube feeding, below stomach for teat feeding.

Head high for tube feeding, head low for teat feeding.