How much milk does the calf need?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
raykour
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How much milk does the calf need?

Postby raykour » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:39 pm

Raising a holstein/dutch galloway mix.
She is 5 weeks old and has access to good grass but I am not feeding her any starter.
Cost isn't a concern.....how much milk should she be getting? She gets 6 pints per day.
All bags give directions for calf that are started on starter at day 3.
She seems like she could be getting another full bottle a day to me, but I don't want to overdue it. If she was on a cow, how much milk would she be drinking per day?
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby tom4018 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:03 pm

We give 2 bottles or 4 quarts a day, per milk replacer instructions. We keep them on the bottle until they are eating feed good. I would offer her feed.
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby regolith » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:34 pm

She could use another three pints.

Offer 10% of her weight, she could drink more than that if she was on the cow and will need at least that if not offered grain.
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby raykour » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:08 pm

I miswrote my first post....she gets 6 pints TWICE PER DAY. So, basically a bottle and a half TWICE PER DAY. I am not sure how I didn't finish my sentence there.

At this amount (essentially, a gallon and a half a day) there are no scours and she does not look thin but she would certainly eat more if I let her. She is probably 130 lbs. at this time.

I am not grossly underfeeding her, which is how I made it sound.

She is probably getting spot at on what she should be (10% of 130 = 13 lbs she is probably getting closer to fifteen) but I feel like if she were nursing a cow maybe she would drink more? I don't want to mess with starter, she is in with other small livestock (goats)
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:52 am

raykour wrote:She is 5 weeks old and has access to good grass but I am not feeding her any starter.
She seems like she could be getting another full bottle a day to me, but I don't want to overdue it.
If she was on a cow, how much milk would she be drinking per day?


After day 35 scours is not an issue. She would suck 2 gallons a day if her mom produced it.
Her rumen is not yet developed to take advantage of the good grass she has access to.
You stated you did not want to mess with starter.
She needs to get an increasing amount of nutrition from somewhere to keep growing.
Give her an extra bottle a day for the next 5 weeks, while she learns to eat grass.
Cost isn't a concern, you stated she acts like she wants another bottle, go ahead and spoil her.
I'd add it as a 3rd feeding, and she should get fat and sassy.

Best of Luck
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby dun » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:31 am

No matter how good the grass may be, it doesn;t have the nutrient density that a calf requires togrow properly. More milk won;t be of any help come weaning time. Calf starter is to get the rumen started functioning with a dense enough nutrient supply that the calf doesn;t end up all potty looking. If she gets that way it will take even longer to get her system straightened out so that she can develop like a normal calf/cow.
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby bigbull338 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:02 am

increase that calves milk to 2 full bottles a day.and watch her for the scours.and put her on feed as well.because as soon as she is eating 4 to 5lbs of feed for a week or more she can be weaned.and just on feed grass and water.
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby raykour » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:29 am

Thanks Son of Butch. That is the info I needed, that I can give her 2 gallons a day of milk and not worry about having a problem with scours or other digestive issues.

I don't see the need to give her starter feed if I am giving her "extra" milk She will have ample milk and the same grass and mineral available to her as her dam raised counterparts. I am willing to bottle feed her for 4 months. I am not looking to wean her for convenience....I am home all day working outside anyway. It doesn't kill me to feed her an extra feeding. Her rumen will develop just like the other calves and they never get starter....
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby raykour » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:21 pm

Just an update this calf is getting 2 gallons, sometimes 2.5 gallons, per day. No tummy troubles and growing like a weed.
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby suzorse » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:00 pm

just so you know there is a big difference in a bottle fed calf on replacer and a dam fed calf on the cow , a bottle fed calf needs starter to grow well as a dam fed calf is consuming anywhere from 3 to 4 gal of milk a day or more and you can not do that with replacer as it is designed to get the calf till it is consuming at least 1 and 1/2 lbs of starter 2 times a day , you could do it the way you want to if you are feeding real milk for 4 to 5 month , I have a butterball bottle calf but she has been getting 2 gal 2 times a day for the last almost 5 months born March 10th , of Jersey Swiss milk, I milk and then fill her bucket and the rest is for the house or pigs and chickens , Just bought more bottle calves so she is being weaned off milk
this is her the other day and the others were taken a few weeks ago and she is 1/2 Jersey 1/2 beef
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby TexasBred » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:44 am

[quote="suzorse"]just so you know there is a big difference in a bottle fed calf on replacer and a dam fed calf on the cow , a bottle fed calf needs starter to grow well as a dam fed calf is consuming anywhere from 3 to 4 gal of milk a day or more and you can not do that with replacer as it is designed to get the calf till it is consuming at least 1 and 1/2 lbs of starter 2 times a day , you could do it the way you want to if you are feeding real milk for 4 to 5 month , I have a butterball bottle calf but she has been getting 2 gal 2 times a day for the last almost 5 months born March 10th , of Jersey Swiss milk, I milk and then fill her bucket and the rest is for the house or pigs and chickens , Just bought more bottle calves so she is being weaned off milk
this is her the other day and the others were taken a few weeks ago and she is 1/2 Jersey 1/2 beef
Suzanne

We raised all our calves on fresh cow milk still warm coming right out of the pipeline but never fed over 2 quarts twice a day. We did make a calf starter available from day one and got awesome growth out of them. If they needed more to drink fresh water was always available. Once weaned off the bottle put them on a free choice grower ration and grazing and/or hay.
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby suzorse » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:24 pm

you did good TB as I would have done it the same way and have , but as I was getting 7 to 8 gal a day
and the pigs and chickens could only eat so much , and 500.00 drop calves that could croak at any
time as you do not know if they had colostrum or not, no one was selling private all going to the sale
I could buy a bigger calf for that money, I just let Ginger have it, as she was the only calf I had
I spent 427.00 and brought home 5 head and I will give them starter as soon as I can get them to eat it , they do have free choice hay, starter and water now , 3 eat hay and some grain but they were not day olds they are older calves of a few weeks 2 90 lb Belted Galloways for 200.00 each and a 90 lb Jersey for 25.00 and then 2 drop Jerseys I paid 1.00 a piece for , I can sell the Jerseys when they are 3 months old for 200.00 so they are getting 2 Qts 2 times a day and the drops are getting a little over 1 Qt at this time , with how much I feed and for how long depends on if I have real milk or have to feed replacer , I just did not need to give Ginger a lot of grain she did get starter in the beginning and free choice hay Suzanne
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Re: How much milk does the calf need?

Postby TexasBred » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:38 am

suzorse wrote:you did good TB as I would have done it the same way and have , but as I was getting 7 to 8 gal a day
and the pigs and chickens could only eat so much , and 500.00 drop calves that could croak at any
time as you do not know if they had colostrum or not, no one was selling private all going to the sale
I could buy a bigger calf for that money, I just let Ginger have it, as she was the only calf I had
I spent 427.00 and brought home 5 head and I will give them starter as soon as I can get them to eat it , they do have free choice hay, starter and water now , 3 eat hay and some grain but they were not day olds they are older calves of a few weeks 2 90 lb Belted Galloways for 200.00 each and a 90 lb Jersey for 25.00 and then 2 drop Jerseys I paid 1.00 a piece for , I can sell the Jerseys when they are 3 months old for 200.00 so they are getting 2 Qts 2 times a day and the drops are getting a little over 1 Qt at this time , with how much I feed and for how long depends on if I have real milk or have to feed replacer , I just did not need to give Ginger a lot of grain she did get starter in the beginning and free choice hay Suzanne

Suzanne those calves will be worth more than you're quoting. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised. Don't worry with the hay too early...they can't digest it. Just encourage them with a good high quality textured calf starter. They should do well.
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