stunted calves

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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Re: stunted calves

Post by ccr » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:57 pm

JMJ, looks like you done good.


i know as much about this as anything else i don't know much about
happiness is healthy cattle

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Re: stunted calves

Post by M.Magis » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:15 pm

My sons 4H market steer was a bottle calf. He looks good now but sure wan’t profitable. As for the calves already behind in growth, it may be best to cut your losses now. I have a “runt”, dam was old and didn’t provided enough milk for him to grow well. At around 8-9 months old I penned him with the 4H steer and fed him twice a day for 2-3 months. He still looked like crap, he just wouldn’t grow. One day he got out with the other cows and I just left him there. He’s not worth the feed.

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Re: stunted calves

Post by TexasBred » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:49 pm

Wife use to raise over 400 holstein calves a year and one year lost only 4. I just don't have the patience for it myself. These calves came off bottles at 6 weeks and calf starter had been made available to them since the first week in the pen. All the heifers eventually went into the milk herd and the bulls were sold at 16 months. None ever looked like bottle calves. Takes a special kind of person to raise baby calves on a bottle and I'm certainly not one of them.
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Re: stunted calves

Post by JMJ Farms » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:35 am

Update on my 1/2 Brangus 1/2 Limosuin bottle calf.

I was asleep in recliner Monday night. Phone rang at 11:40 PM. Neighbor down the road.
He said “You got a black calf with an orange tag at your house?”
I said “Yea”
He said “Number 308?”
I said “309”
He said “Well guess what? She ain’t at your house anymore!”

Short version. She was a mile down the road (a pretty busy highway even at night) They had gotten her out of the road and into a cotton field. I jumped up, fixed a bottle, and me and my two boys headed that way. Got her calmed down with the bottle but then we had to get her home. Wasn’t gonna go 15 miles to get my gooseneck just for her so we decided to tie her legs and put her in the back of the truck. So we did. Brought her home and locked her in the barn for the night. Apparently something spooked her and she ran through a welded wire panel. Pulled out staples, broke wire, and bent panel. The panel was 10’ away from where it started. She’s never gotten out before but she made a heII of a first impression. Fixed the fence the next day and beefed it up even more. Should hold a brimmer bull now. Cows. Gotta love em bc they are a lot of trouble. But all is well that ends well.
Until we remember that the left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird and we come together as a nation then this country is in for more turmoil - Jogeephus

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Re: stunted calves

Post by Hereford2 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:42 pm

Your calf looks great!! Also anyone who wants to shoot a calf, just so they don't have to take care of them. I will gladly take and raise the calf .. I have figured out how to make money raising bottle calves.

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Re: stunted calves

Post by Nesikep » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:07 pm

Buck Randall wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:43 pm
The mistake most people make with bottle feeding is skimping on the milk replacer. Yes, it's the most expensive feed they'll ever eat, but it's also the best rate of feed conversion they'll ever have. If you feed 2 quarts twice a day of cheap milk replacer and wean at 4 weeks you'll end up with a stunted calf that never pays for it. Pony up and feed them double that for 8 weeks and you'll end up with a calf that's grown well enough to pay some bills.
Yup, I've found the first 2 months of a calf's life are really important.. I've had some calves from really good cows lose their mommas (atypical pneumonia) at a few months old and they did fine because they had a really good start.

One of my orphans a couple years ago was on a bottle for a while, then his sister adopted him, but the time weaning came along he'd learned to steal milk.. from about 5 cows.. He looked as good as any other calf out there
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Re: stunted calves

Post by Caustic Burno » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:26 pm

Nesikep wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:07 pm
Buck Randall wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:43 pm
The mistake most people make with bottle feeding is skimping on the milk replacer. Yes, it's the most expensive feed they'll ever eat, but it's also the best rate of feed conversion they'll ever have. If you feed 2 quarts twice a day of cheap milk replacer and wean at 4 weeks you'll end up with a stunted calf that never pays for it. Pony up and feed them double that for 8 weeks and you'll end up with a calf that's grown well enough to pay some bills.
Yup, I've found the first 2 months of a calf's life are really important.. I've had some calves from really good cows lose their mommas (atypical pneumonia) at a few months old and they did fine because they had a really good start.

One of my orphans a couple years ago was on a bottle for a while, then his sister adopted him, but the time weaning came along he'd learned to steal milk.. from about 5 cows.. He looked as good as any other calf out there
That is one thing I like about Brahman they seem to take on an orphan more easily.
My last last bottle both mine that will take another calf were dry.
I run sale-barn cattle.

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Re: stunted calves

Post by Nesikep » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:25 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:26 pm
Nesikep wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:07 pm
Buck Randall wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:43 pm
The mistake most people make with bottle feeding is skimping on the milk replacer. Yes, it's the most expensive feed they'll ever eat, but it's also the best rate of feed conversion they'll ever have. If you feed 2 quarts twice a day of cheap milk replacer and wean at 4 weeks you'll end up with a stunted calf that never pays for it. Pony up and feed them double that for 8 weeks and you'll end up with a calf that's grown well enough to pay some bills.
Yup, I've found the first 2 months of a calf's life are really important.. I've had some calves from really good cows lose their mommas (atypical pneumonia) at a few months old and they did fine because they had a really good start.

One of my orphans a couple years ago was on a bottle for a while, then his sister adopted him, but the time weaning came along he'd learned to steal milk.. from about 5 cows.. He looked as good as any other calf out there
That is one thing I like about Brahman they seem to take on an orphan more easily.
My last last bottle both mine that will take another calf were dry.
Mine seem to do alright with taking on an orphan too.. I had to fight a momma this year to take a twin (6 week old twin), but her calf she lost (diphteria) was over a month old too.. always harder at that age..
She loves her new baby just fine though now
Image
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Re: stunted calves

Post by cowgal604 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:19 pm

My bottle calves come out almost the same weight as my mama fed babies. Sometimes heavier. Just depends if I fed them 2 or 3 times a day. But you have to bottle feed to 4-5 months. Until they are beating you down. But its not cheap.

I have had one actually stunted calf that stayed small. And I sold him for twice the price I sold the others twice his size for. I would post him on craigslist or whatever your equivalent is where you are.


This is a registered shorthorn yearling. I think he was like 300lbs. Sold him for a good price to a petting zoo.

Image

Image

And just bcs I took the picture today. I also have a mini cow that is really just a stunted cow breed to another stunted cow to make a small angus.

Here she stands next to my Shorthorn X Angus steer

Image

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Re: stunted calves

Post by VaCowman » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:33 pm

Buck Randall wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:43 pm
The mistake most people make with bottle feeding is skimping on the milk replacer. Yes, it's the most expensive feed they'll ever eat, but it's also the best rate of feed conversion they'll ever have. If you feed 2 quarts twice a day of cheap milk replacer and wean at 4 weeks you'll end up with a stunted calf that never pays for it. Pony up and feed them double that for 8 weeks and you'll end up with a calf that's grown well enough to pay some bills.
I agree 100%. Once they are about a month old, I start upping the milk replacer slowly until they get up to two bottles, 2X/d. yes, it's expensive, but MOST of the time, they turn out to be good calves at weaning. All of mine that I have raised on a bottle, I have finished and sold direct. Those calves typically will marble VERY well. Maybe it's the fact they get feed as suckling calves? Maybe it's the fact they are the first one to the feeder? I LOATHE bottle feeding calves, but it's much easier to feed a nice looking calf than a dink.

PSA-do not name the bottle calf...it'll quicly become a money pit. :tiphat:

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Re: stunted calves

Post by GusPeterson » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:15 am

If you pen them by themselves you can add a scoop of dry milk replacer to their grain for a little while to get them started better on feed. Wont hurt to give em some probios and an implant.

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Re: stunted calves

Post by WFfarm » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:54 am

PSA-do not name the bottle calf...it'll quicly become a money pit. :tiphat:
Don't let your kids name any calf, you will never be able to sell them at weaning time.

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