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- Posts: 3
- Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:11 am
My name is Wendy and we have our first bottle calf. She was born on Halloween and my fiancé brought her home when she was 2 days old and we began bottle feeding her. She is a twin so she is basically just my pet. We fed her two bottles a day. One in the morning and one at night. We began her on sweet feed and we put some hay out. After several weeks, when we felt like she was eating good enough, we took her off the bottle and she seemed to be doing so good. We put her out with his other cows and she seemed so happy. Last week, we found her hiding and laying down and couldn’t seem to get up. She looks so weak and we can see bones except her belly. She has a huge belly! I know bottle calf’s don’t grow as good as those with their mamas but can someone tell me what to do so she’s not SO weak? It’s breaking my heart. I have tried vitamin A, deworming her, & probiotic paste. We’re new at bottle fed calves so I hope someone can help thanks so much
- Posts: 6924
- Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:41 pm
You can sprinkle a little baking soda on the feed . First I would make sure she is urinating and pooping normal. Plenty of fresh water. Once this is done get a quality calf starter and feed recommend amounts. I assume she is dairy breed and they do show more bone that beef. Hay belly takes time but good nutrition is needed. If she is sick or got scours your best bet is to call or take her to a vet.
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." JFK
- Fire Sweep Ranch
- Posts: 2537
- Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:43 am
I do not raise dairy cattle, but it sure sounds like you took her milk away too soon! How old was she when you stopped giving her milk? Sounds like she might be malnourished to me, can you post a picture of her?
God, family, and Simmental cattle; that's what makes life worth living!
- Workinonit Farm
- Posts: 7065
- Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:34 pm
From what you describe, looking so weak, seeing only bones and a big belly, sounds like malnutrition. The sweet feed should be/have been a calf starter feed, fed at least twice a day, along with good quality hay, free choice. A hay that is not stemmy or like straw, along with grass (if that is available where you are at this time of year). It also sounds like she may have been pulled from the bottle a bit too soon.
Live each day as if it were your last.
- Rafter S
- Posts: 4118
- Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:13 am
If you just turned her out with other cattle, and she isn't getting any additional feed, then malnutrition is almost certainly the problem. She needs extra feed. Every day.
Life is too short to drink cheap beer or dance with ugly women.
- Posts: 2012
- Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
All the other posts have valid thoughts. I raise alot of bottle calves and calves on nurse cows. They cannot get turned out with adult mature cattle once they are weaned. There is no way they can get enough quality nutrition to eat and big cows will bully them at feeding time. If you wanted to let her socialize with the cattle, she needs to be turned out for some daytime hours and brought back in at night for feed and to be able to not be in a situation where she is trying to "fend for herself". Mine have a creep gate that they can fit through and will come in readily for feed and know that they will not get pushed around in there. Once our calves are weaned off their mothers, be that beef calves or calves off the nurse cows or off bottles, they ate kept separately from the adult cows. They are only competing with other animals their own size and age. You don't keep little ones and big ones together and expect the big ones to be "fair" to the small ones. This is not a thinking democracy, it is nature and survival of the fittest. Your bottle calf has known nothing other than feed and kindness from you. To put it out with big cattle and let it fend for it's self is unfair to the animal.