Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

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farmboy80
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Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:56 pm

I've got a 2 month old bottle calf, and I recently acquired a nurse cow. What is the best way to get the calf to start nursing her? Or is it a lost cause? Just thought calf would do better mothered up than it will on it's own.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby jerry27150 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:04 pm

when he sucks bottle put it by her bag & try to get a teat in his mouth instead
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:50 am

She's weaned from bottle already.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby Ky hills » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:38 pm

If the calf will still come to a bottle or maybe it tries to nurse on fingers then it still may take back up to nursing. Like someone else said maybe try to get it back on a bottle and coax it over to the cow. Cow might not be cooperative if the calf is slow or hesitant. Some cows and calves too for that matter take to it better than others. I always tried to get the cow occupied with eating and then tried the calf going while she eats.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:51 pm

So I bought her from a neighbor down the road. He wouldn't sell me her calf with her, but sold me another one that was also nursing her (I saw him nurse her). But now at my place I put her in a small pen with the calf she came with and another calf. All she does is bawl, and swats at anything that trys to nurse.
Thought about that orphan calf powder. ??
I'd just be happy if she'd let one of them nurse!
Any ideas?
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby Ky hills » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:10 pm

farmboy80 wrote:So I bought her from a neighbor down the road. He wouldn't sell me her calf with her, but sold me another one that was also nursing her (I saw him nurse her). But now at my place I put her in a small pen with the calf she came with and another calf. All she does is bawl, and swats at anything that trys to nurse.
Thought about that orphan calf powder. ??
I'd just be happy if she'd let one of them nurse!
Any ideas?


I had those issues when we had nurse cows too, they would usually do ok with other calves as long as they had their own on them too. Then when their calf was weaned they would often be difficult to get to let other calves nurse.
I have tried the orphan calf powder on beef cows when trying to graft calves, had mixed results. The way we did was to keep the calves away from the cows except for a few minutes twice a day while they nursed. The cows were then let into the calf stall where they would eat and the calves nurse. Sometimes they would get defensive and kick at the calves. I have stood by them and pushed against their flanks to make it more difficult for them to kick as long as they weren't violently kicking. Have also used a set of kickers as I called them that fits over their hips and puts pressure on their flanks, but I swore I would never use that again after a cow got to swaying around and went down and had an awful time getting to the kickers to get then off.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:24 pm

Thats what I thought. She had her calf with her at his house when she let everyone nurse on her.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmerjan » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:34 pm

I hate to be discouraging, but taking her away from a familiar place, WITHOUT her own calf, is not a good recipe for success. Most cows will tolerate other calves nursing if they have their own. Try only letting the calf she is used to from the other farm, in on her while she is eating. Then if she will take it, try putting the two calves in on her. But don't leave them with her except for feeding for a couple of "milkings". The one you weaned may very well go on her as soon as it sees other calves sucking, if it hasn't been weaned very long.
Don't know anything about the "orphan calf" stuff, some cheap perfume sprayed on her nose and the calves backsides will often confuse their sense of smell, to accepting a new calf. If your bottle calf was very aggressive, it might go on her from the back without much encouragement. But when you do bring her in for grain, and let the calves on her, she needs to be in a stanchion or head catch so she can't turn around and smell the calf right off or move away from it. If there is enough pressure on her udder, she might let it suck. But again, not getting her calf with her, and then moving her away from all that is familiar, is a couple of strikes.....
Hobbles on her back legs will prevent her from kicking the snot out of them as she won't be able to raise a back leg and kick hard without pulling the other leg out from under her. Some cows this works with...
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:08 pm

I gave up, I turned all them out with the rest of my cows. They ran out of grass in the little pen I had them in. At least the calves are eating grain, so they will survive. Just wish it would have worked out like I'd planed.
The third strike was neither calf was very aggressive with her. There both pretty timid.

That's just the way my plans go, most the time. (You'd think I'd be used to it by now)
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby Ky hills » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:18 pm

farmboy80 wrote:I gave up, I turned all them out with the rest of my cows. They ran out of grass in the little pen I had them in. At least the calves are eating grain, so they will survive. Just wish it would have worked out like I'd planed.
The third strike was neither calf was very aggressive with her. There both pretty timid.

That's just the way my plans go, most the time. (You'd think I'd be used to it by now)


Don't let it get you discouraged. It seems like I get into those kind of situations a lot myself, I reckon everybody does.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:02 am

Oh I don't let it discourage me. You win some you lose some! Just par for the course.
Thanks for the advice guys (and gal).
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Wed May 02, 2018 9:13 pm

I've been able to get her to let them nurse of a evening, while she's eating. She's getting better about it, so maybe theres still hope after all.
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby farmboy80 » Thu May 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Saw her let the one that I got with her nurse on her own today. Still won't let other one nurse, unless in coral with me there. But I guess improvement is improvement!
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Re: Older weaned bottle calf to nurse cow?

Postby Double R Ranch » Thu May 10, 2018 10:42 pm

Baby steps and persistence!
Well done!
Keep us posted!
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