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Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:55 pm
by dun
mjdtexan wrote:
dun wrote:
Better to get a 5-6 weight.


how come? calf more mature at that stage?


Older, nutritional needs are a little more flexible, less time to slaughter, easier to judge individual health and give you some leeway in treating sickness if it pops up.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:11 pm
by mjdtexan
dun wrote:
Older, nutritional needs are a little more flexible, less time to slaughter, easier to judge individual health and give you some leeway in treating sickness if it pops up.


On average, how old is a calf at that point.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:29 pm
by dun
mjdtexan wrote:
dun wrote:
Older, nutritional needs are a little more flexible, less time to slaughter, easier to judge individual health and give you some leeway in treating sickness if it pops up.


On average, how old is a calf at that point.


Roughly 5-8 months, depends on the calves genetics and feed up to that point. Figure an average calf on an average cow with average grass should generally wean at 205 days between 6&7.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:50 pm
by Nesikep
Quick note on the colostrum, if we see the calf isn't going to nurse right away, we're happy if we can just get a pint into him, it's a good start, then he's got a little time, and by 12 hours he's got a much better chance of finding his own supply, assuming the cow cooperates

As for raising a calf vs buying one.. we've always found you need to look for one that has been growing quickly, dont' look for a yearling that's 600 lbs, look for a 6 month old that's a nice 500, he's been growing well and will continue to do well, and typically be a better tasting animal

Our first year on the farm when we bought our cattle, we also got some feeder steers... we told the ranch we wanted the heavy, late ones... what did we get? all the light, early calves, all potbellied... we weren't impressed...

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:42 pm
by Dixieangus
How many times a day do you have to give the calves the bottle and at what time...what age do you start them on calf starter...

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:49 pm
by dun
Dixieangus wrote:How many times a day do you have to give the calves the bottle and at what time...what age do you start them on calf starter...


Twice a day pretty clsoe to 12 hours apart. Started on starter as soon as they will eat it.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:53 pm
by Dixieangus
And when they start eating the calf starter you take them off the bottle...

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:58 pm
by dun
Dixieangus wrote:And when they start eating the calf starter you take them off the bottle...


If they're eating 2-3 pounds of calf starter a day and they're at least 8 weeks old is when we wean them. Remember you have to keep putting the grain to them after weaning.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:01 pm
by Dixieangus
Thanks that answers my question

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:03 pm
by dun
I know that keeping them on grain AND increasing it as they grow is common sense, but I've seen too many calves that when they're weaned are kicked out on pasture with no supplement. Makes for some pretty crappy looking calves without much grow in them.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:20 am
by ctlbaron
Great Post Milkmaid. You helped me along many times. Thanks

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:23 am
by rulintheroost
Hello,

I have been posting lately about a cow that was prolapsing..she gave birth on Sunday 4/26, all seemed fine after the
birth baby nursed and all, then yesterday 4/28 mom had a complete uterine prolapse and had to be put down.
Does anyone have any ideas on getting baby to accept the bottle? I have the 20-20 milk replacer. I have only been able
to get small squirts in her mouth since yesterday, she tries push the bottle out with her tongue every time. As of now I have
been going out at least every couple hours to try to get something into her. She sure is a strong booger..LOL
I know it takes work, but what is a realistic time frame for her to take the bottle before she is in danger?
Thanks for any and all assistance

Rulintheroost
Jen

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:50 pm
by DavisBeefmasters
Jen,

Get that little bugger backed into a corner, straddle her with your legs (1 leg in front of the chest and 1 leg behind the front legs) -- get the bottle in the mouth and lock your hand on the jaw... now, as you're wrestling... take a warm rag and wipe the little backside just like momma would have done.

If that doesn't work -- use both hands at the front and squeeze the nipple inside the mouth with one of your hands and have the jaws clenched around the nipple with the other to get her started.

Try this for a little bit...

...then get someone to help you tube the calf (insert a tube either through the nostril or mouth into the stomach and you feed through the tube directly), but you MUST know what you're doing to make sure you get the liquid into the stomach instead of the lungs...

Best of luck -- get some liquid into that calf fast or she will dehydrate and no longer have the ability to fight you which may be too late.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:00 pm
by regolith
eta - cross-posted, but I think we essentially say the same thing. So you get it twice:


she tries push the bottle out with her tongue every time


I think MM covers method of starting a calf at the beginning of this thread, but just in case...
First couple of times feeding a calf you need to straddle its neck, so you've got full control of the head. Holding the bottle with one hand, give it a taste of the milk with the other then use that hand to clamp the calf's mouth shut over the teat.
She may well sulk and try to pull back, but she shouldn't be able to push the teat out of her mouth. If she doesn't start sucking relax, both have a breather, try again with squirting the milk into her mouth first.
Typically, I offer the bottle to every calf shortly after separating from their mother and while most latch on straight away, it can take a few attempts before a *hungry* calf starts sucking the momma replacement. If I try three times and still no suckle (from a strong healthy calf) I presume it's not hungry and walk away... sometimes I'm wrong.

A new calf coming in with a full belly of colostrum - I wouldn't worry if it went 24 hours before accepting the next feed. Otherwise, twelve hours and if the calf still isn't sucking it's probably better to tube feed rather than leave her hungry.
Someone else may reccomend a shorter time. They're probably right.

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:44 pm
by rulintheroost
Hey Me Again,

Thanks for the posts!!! I figured out how to get her fed...get frustrated, straddle and lock em in with the knees and tell
them to eat or starve to death. I think I was being too gentle..No more Mrs nice girl.. :lol:
I have really learned so much from all of you thank you for everything.
She ate 2 pints at 3:30 and I will give her 1 more at about 8pm..I don't want to overload her system too much at once.
If you have anymore tips or suggestions to keep her strong, healthy and going for the long run, please let me know.

Thanks Again,

Rulintheroost
Jen