Any advice

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Hippie Rancher
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Re: Any advice

Post by Hippie Rancher » Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:24 pm

you can bottle feed them for 6 months if you want, or you can start weaning them pretty fast. if they are eating and their dung is not watery they are probably doing well. you can leave a little bagged calf feed or a bit of grain (or something like calf manna) out for them to nibble, but change it out every day or so to prevent problems.

hot on the hay probably means alfalfa and it can cause problems because it is "too rich" or hot for them, but if they start on it slow it should be fine.

long term nutritional problems will show as pot bellies and rough hair coat,



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Re: Any advice

Post by farmerjan » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:15 am

Sounds like you are doing okay so far. Don't move them in and out from heat to no heat. If they are in a pen, shed, something where they are dry, just keep the wind off of them and they will be okay. They need to get their system regulated and in and out of a heated building can actually make them sick. There are calf "coats" that some will put on babies that are in little calf hutches in zero temps. It is wind and wet that will make them sick quicker. So at 3 weeks, if they are not out in the worst of the wind, and if you can "lock them in" if it is pouring down rain or snowing and hail coming down, then they will be fine.

Start them on a calf starter feed. 16% protein is enough. When they get done with the bottle, put a little in their mouth. Leave them a little in a bucket hanging on the fence or in their stall/shelter. At 3 weeks they are ready to start trying it. The sooner they do, the sooner you can get them off the milk. As "hippie rancher" said, you can feed bottles for 6 months, but 6-10 weeks is normal. I like 8-10 weeks as an average. They need to be eating good to wean them off.
If the hay is alfalfa it is very rich for a young calf. They need more of the bulk/fiber to get their rumen's to start working as they come off the milk. Try to find a good grass hay that is like 2nd cutting or so, a little finer stem than first cutting which is usually a little coarser.
If they don't eat enough feed, and eat mostly hay, they will get potbellied because they are not getting enough protein in comparison to the roughage. So grain is really necessary.

Find a good simple book like raising a calf for beef from the "storey publications".. Good reading material for the family, good basic advise.

Sounds like you have a great start and the kids will learn alot. The covexin 8 is fine for the blackleg.

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Re: Any advice

Post by callmefence » Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:31 am

Aaron wrote: โ†‘
Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:42 pm
Forget bottle calves. If you are a noobie, you are going to have significant pile of dead bottle calves. Far too touchy.

Buy 10 small yearlings this spring, put them on grass and sell in fall. Less likely to die and you might actually make money.
And add two wires
Support your local hardworking white boy.




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Re: Any advice

Post by Montanaidiot » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:45 pm

Thanks for all the great advice. I'm going to get some started feed and better hay asap.

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Re: Any advice

Post by greggy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:10 am

After doing a few groups, I will say it again, feed them exactly what your milk replacer says - not more, not less, feed them milk for as long as you can bear it if you want breeders or even for beef.

Starter pellets or calf pellets. Yes, get them going on that from day one IMO if a few weeks old.

Hay, well, it can be rubbish straw really, you have to understand, they are not getting the bulk of goodness from hay or grass, it comes from milk or milk replacer & or specific pellets.....it is also ok to give good hay....but do not fall into the trap that hay is what they need the most of....

I would also control all hay intake, some will fill on it, actually, chaff some of the hay and put it in with the calf pellets, that prob works best for getting them going....do not let any young calf fill on hay, most wont anyway, but just watch.

is very hard when you only have a couple and no priors, but if you keep in mind...milk....milk...milk....you cannot go wrong, and hold the meds, healthy animals do not need them, vaccinating is prob far more important.

Treat them like your own child, you do not want to be pumping them full of medication, just pump them on right amount of MILK ! lol :)

Thanks for the update.....

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Re: Any advice

Post by FarmerShell » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:07 pm

Interesting.... do you have ๐Ÿšœ, cattle trailer, all the equipment you need? What is the price you can buy a cow slaughtered versus what it will cost you to raise a few plus slaughter? If its the cows you enjoy thats one thing. Cows are great just normally more work and cost more than people think.
We started with some young calves. It was bad time. May not be for everyone.
Our very first cow was a bottle calf Larry. ๐Ÿ˜ Back in the car hood hay days. ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜ We didn't have a tractor used a car hood to move the hay. Larry was a great cow. He did really good. We bought a few more bottle calves. One got sick and passed on the 2 day we had her. Larry and Girlfriend did good real good. We moved them fields something killed them. These people's dogs or wild animals never figured it out. Larry wore a dog collar...he dog collar was cut. Never made sense.
We got feeder calves the next time. Bad time. End of story on that.

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Re: Any advice

Post by Montanaidiot » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:04 am

I completely understand how much none of this makes sense. I try to justify it but my wife knows it's all bs. And that first steak will be the most expensive one of the planet!!!

I cant explain why it means the world to me to do all this. I just really appreciate everyone help with great advice. I still have so much to learn :)

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Re: Any advice

Post by Montanaidiot » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:08 am

Image

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Re: Any advice

Post by greggy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:52 am

I could not eat my calves....well not maybe unless one got nasty or was having a go at me....

But if your going to eat them, then the cost etc is not as important, it will prob still not be that expensive, but, what you can do is know exactly what they ate and how they were looked after.

Another reason to hold the meds, whoever eats some of mine will get some of the best cared for, happy calves, that also were kept away from heavy metals, plastics, meds, no pesticides, and grounds that have natural fertiliser etc....

If I was going to eat them, I would look into what feeds may do to flavour, and what handling etc.....

I feed some novel feeds....and have read many studies on effects on meat in sheep...some foods do nothing, some do, some may effect milk etc...carrots for example can effect fat.....not one or two....but beta carotene can change even our colour :)

So I think your on the right track...and you do not need to explain.....your having a go and why not.....

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Re: Any advice

Post by Montanaidiot » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:45 pm

One of my girls has a lump where I gave the vaccine. It's kinda hard and seems to be getting bigger. Should I be worried?

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Re: Any advice

Post by Buck Randall » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:00 pm

Montanaidiot wrote: โ†‘
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:45 pm
One of my girls has a lump where I gave the vaccine. It's kinda hard and seems to be getting bigger. Should I be worried?
No. It will go away on its own. Worst case scenario is that it's an abscess, and it will eventually break open on its own and she'll be fine.

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Re: Any advice

Post by greggy » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:24 pm

Montanaidiot wrote: โ†‘
Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:45 pm
One of my girls has a lump where I gave the vaccine. It's kinda hard and seems to be getting bigger. Should I be worried?
Nah, some have this reaction, some sheep same, just make sure it is subcut and not injected into muscle.

It should not get larger than say a marble to golf ball, and will go down with time.

On sheep I massage the injection site a little, but cattle I wont put my arms in that area or through a race even when calves unless I can stand on top of them when real young.

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Re: Any advice

Post by Montanaidiot » Sat May 23, 2020 3:27 pm

So my girls are 9 weeks now and have been on starter grain hit and miss. Some days they eat it all and others they dont want any of it. I have cut milk back a little for the last week but they still dont go after it as much. Some hay has been disappearing. Idk if I should continue to cut back on milk or of they need more time.

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Re: Any advice

Post by sstterry » Sat May 23, 2020 3:49 pm

Montanaidiot wrote: โ†‘
Sat May 23, 2020 3:27 pm
So my girls are 9 weeks now and have been on starter grain hit and miss. Some days they eat it all and others they dont want any of it. I have cut milk back a little for the last week but they still dont go after it as much. Some hay has been disappearing. Idk if I should continue to cut back on milk or of they need more time.
My personal opinion is that it is time. When you take away the milk replacer they will eat more of the grain. It is probably time to start them on more grass too (slowly though).

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Re: Any advice

Post by greggy » Mon May 25, 2020 6:53 am

Control the hay intake......

I would feed them milk, if you want to cut back, milk once a day...

But to cut the milk, as I said before, they have to be eating the right amount of pellet, read all the milk and pellet packs info...

I had a 20% protein starter, it reqd at least 2lbs + a day before you could start cutting milk.

Remember, the hay is to only get rumen working, nutrition must come from milk or pellet at that age.

Cut the hay before anything else.

Try this.

Milk in morning early, nothing else in pen but pellets and water, can put some chaffed hay in with pellet to lead them to eat that, you must measure the amount of pellet and milk, so you know what each is getting, nothing else till night, which would be milk & you can give them a handful of hay then.....

So they then have no choice on what to eat.

Go back to 101, what would a calf that age be doing if with mumma ? The only reason to move them to pellet, it is a darn sight cheaper, well, here it is....otherwise...milky time :) Stop thinking of them as weaners...lol

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