Is this the norm?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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lilfarmangel
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Is this the norm?

Postby lilfarmangel » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:40 pm

So, everything I've read says cattle love their grain. And for the most part, mine like it ok. But they prefer the alfalfa. They'll walk away from the grain pan and empty the alfalfa. This morning I decided to not give the alfalfa until the grain was gone. My heifer (3/4 Jersey, 1/4 Holstein) layed down beside the grain pan and wouldn't get up or eat a bite, the steer (1/2 Jersey, 1/2 angus) just whined to be let outside. (I lock them up at night cuz of coyote, and have to seperate them for feeding cuz the steer will try to nurse the heifer after his bottle is empty) Finally (2 hours later) I let everyone out into the corral and gave them alfalfa, even though neither really ate any of their grain. (I might also mention that they do have a mineral block by their feeder outside) So now what? The steer is 2 months old and still takes a bottle. The heifer is 4 months old and doesn't get a bottle anymore. Aren't they supposed to be eating about 1-2 lbs of grain a day? Is not eating his grain going to delay weaning the steer from the bottle? What about the heifer, will not eating the grain cause any growth problems if all she eats is alfalfa?
Thanks in advance!
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dun
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby dun » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:47 pm

Sure, it's as normla as anything else cattle do. If you're feeding alfalfa the protein they need is there but it's harder to digest for young rumens then grain. The couple of pounds a day of grain is to keep them growing and not getting potty. Some like grain, some don;t. If it has rodent butts on it they may like it better, but some don;t like it except plain.
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lilfarmangel
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby lilfarmangel » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:59 pm

dun wrote:Sure, it's as normla as anything else cattle do. If you're feeding alfalfa the protein they need is there but it's harder to digest for young rumens then grain. The couple of pounds a day of grain is to keep them growing and not getting potty. Some like grain, some don;t. If it has rodent butts on it they may like it better, but some don;t like it except plain.

Cool! thanks, but there's a couple of adjectives I don't understand (sorry, must be really green) "potty" I really don't know, and rodent butts I think explains itself? I've been watching them and they don't have scours, it gets a little thin when I decrease the quantity of milk I'm giving the little one, but I think it's because he's having to eat more "real" food to keep his tummy full.
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby hillsdown » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:15 pm

What kind of grain, is it a dairy ration calf starter or even a beef ration with beet pulp ,corn , oats or barley and molasses ?
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby lilfarmangel » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:31 pm

hillsdown wrote:What kind of grain, is it a dairy ration calf starter or even a beef ration with beet pulp ,corn , oats or barley and molasses ?

Both get Calf Manna (1/2 lb) and Ranchway 3-way grain mix(1-1/2 lbs). I've got a beef grower I give just a little (about 1/4 lb) to the steer. Not planning on keeping him on it, just trying to get rid of what I've got. I figured being 1/2 angus it wouldn't be bad to give him. Maybe it was just the "in thing" this morning. Most mornings they eat most of what is given to them - the heifer usually eats it gone. Could be the heat too.
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Suzie Q
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby Suzie Q » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:50 pm

I am no expert but if feeding grain, no lucerne (alfalfa) hay, as too much protein. Grassy hay instead.

I have also been told that if you do not give them a feed as a calf, they may not eat it later as an adult.
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby hillsdown » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:56 pm

lilfarmangel wrote:
hillsdown wrote:What kind of grain, is it a dairy ration calf starter or even a beef ration with beet pulp ,corn , oats or barley and molasses ?

Both get Calf Manna (1/2 lb) and Ranchway 3-way grain mix(1-1/2 lbs). I've got a beef grower I give just a little (about 1/4 lb) to the steer. Not planning on keeping him on it, just trying to get rid of what I've got. I figured being 1/2 angus it wouldn't be bad to give him. Maybe it was just the "in thing" this morning. Most mornings they eat most of what is given to them - the heifer usually eats it gone. Could be the heat too.



Just keep feeding them like you have been, my dairy calves got nice leafy 2nd or 3rd cut alfalfa hay as well as there 22% dairy ration calf started from day one and I never raised a pot belly sorry looking calf in my life. Just make sure that they are eating grain and continue to if you want to ween at 3 months.

You are right about the heat being a factor too, they sometimes will back off the grain .
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby lilfarmangel » Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:07 pm

hillsdown wrote:
lilfarmangel wrote:
hillsdown wrote:What kind of grain, is it a dairy ration calf starter or even a beef ration with beet pulp ,corn , oats or barley and molasses ?

Both get Calf Manna (1/2 lb) and Ranchway 3-way grain mix(1-1/2 lbs). I've got a beef grower I give just a little (about 1/4 lb) to the steer. Not planning on keeping him on it, just trying to get rid of what I've got. I figured being 1/2 angus it wouldn't be bad to give him. Maybe it was just the "in thing" this morning. Most mornings they eat most of what is given to them - the heifer usually eats it gone. Could be the heat too.



Just keep feeding them like you have been, my dairy calves got nice leafy 2nd or 3rd cut alfalfa hay as well as there 22% dairy ration calf started from day one and I never raised a pot belly sorry looking calf in my life. Just make sure that they are eating grain and continue to if you want to ween at 3 months.

You are right about the heat being a factor too, they sometimes will back off the grain .

Yeah, that's what my goal is; to have him weaned by 3 months. I'll just keep watching them. It's a little cooler today, maybe they'll eat better this evening.
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby FarmerShell » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:38 pm

:?: :?:
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby 3waycross » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:20 pm

FarmerShell wrote::?: :?:



Shell I have a little news flash for you. You don't get a free puppy when you reach 5000 posts. Try posting something pertinent once in a while or do like a lot of beginners do on here and just READ and LEARN. :nod:
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby cowmilker » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:17 am

The widely held opinion on our farm is that no calves get alfalfa until well after they are weaned. Grass hay only in addition to grain.
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Re: Is this the norm?

Postby bigbull338 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:21 pm

just keep feeding them their grain an alalfa.yje reason they arnt eating much grain is because they are getting that good alalfa hay.
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