bottle calves for newbies

Cattle problems.
Post Reply
rony albert
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:49 pm

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by rony albert » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:32 am

I have heard that it is not hygienic for newborn calves. Is that right?



iBLeslie
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 3:22 pm

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by iBLeslie » Mon May 08, 2017 7:29 pm

Great post...but what if u have a 6 week old beef calf that wont drink milk period but eats hay some manna and grain and drinks water well and is healthy? lack of milk at this age will cause what kind of problems? My kids are very attached so he will probably be just a pasture ornament so stunting isnt that big a deal. I do tho worry about nutrition. Do I give loose minerals at this age???

User avatar
Workinonit Farm
GURU
GURU
Posts: 7098
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:34 pm
Location: Ctrl Virginia
Has thanked: 108 times
Been thanked: 13 times

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by Workinonit Farm » Mon May 08, 2017 7:57 pm

iBLeslie wrote:Great post...but what if u have a 6 week old beef calf that wont drink milk period but eats hay some manna and grain and drinks water well and is healthy? lack of milk at this age will cause what kind of problems? My kids are very attached so he will probably be just a pasture ornament so stunting isnt that big a deal. I do tho worry about nutrition. Do I give loose minerals at this age???


You can sprinkle the powdered milk replacer on the feed, or mix it in with the feed. This way, they're still getting "milk".
Live each day as if it were your last.

iBLeslie
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 3:22 pm

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by iBLeslie » Tue May 09, 2017 11:33 am

Thanks Workinonit. Good idea

UStraveler2017
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:08 pm

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by UStraveler2017 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:45 pm

Thank you really informative for beginners. I'm newbie my father got a farm in Texas. I was planning to visit him this coming November and he wants me to take care of the farm for a while since his going on a vacation with stepmom. So I'll take charge. Thanks!

Coriellemcgill
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:13 am

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by Coriellemcgill » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:10 pm

I have 3 bottle calves right now. One is 2 months old and the other two are 4-5 weeks. Any tips on starting them on grain? They all turn their nose up to it.

User avatar
Dyahes
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:13 am
Location: https://top10sextoys.com

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by Dyahes » Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:01 am

Most calves seem to have various 'upsets' after being moved and I usually make sure they are kept nice and warm somewhere quiet, stress is the last thing they need.
I don't usually give them anything to drink the first 48 hours apart from warm water with added electrolytes and some molasses to flavour and make it all more palatable, I certainly wouldn't advise any grain within this period but would offer good quality hay [barley straw is fine] if they want it. [helps to develop the rumen]
I would only offer grain after the 48 hour period if all seems well with them and then only in very small quantities, I would start with a mugful, see how they go with that and increase gradually until they can manage a 1lb twice per day [total 2lbs grain per day]. Once they can manage this amount and are eating hay/straw comfortably you can wean them. It is vital that you don't rush them, I keep records of amounts fed and how much they leave so that I don't push them too early, some calfs will do better than others, treat each as an individual and you won't go far wrong.
I would also let them have milk after the 48 hours but in very small amounts initially, you don't want to cause any stomach upsets [milk replacer is fine], I would start with 1/2 pint/litre and build up to 1 litre twice per day [try and serve at body temp], again I always keep records, amount fed/amount finished.
As you are already feeding grain I would cut back until the one with the loose stools calms down and see how he goes. Whilst I applaud the use of antibiotics etc, remember that while they help destroy harmful bacteria they can also destroy beneficial bacteria so should only be used as a last resort.

It helps if you have a thermometer and learn how to take a temperature, usual temps are 100.5 - 103 degrees.
I think that you are doing fine so far Kate, just remember introduce any new feeds in increments and always try and have clean hands/clothes when handling them and keep records.

samanthasteven
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:10 am

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by samanthasteven » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:19 am

Some really useful advice right here! Thanks.

Trudylamb
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:18 pm

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by Trudylamb » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:25 pm

Hey y’all. I have a six day old angus beef bull calf. When we got him he was 2 days old. I was told to feed him 3 times a day. So I started with some powder milk then found some pellets to grind up and add to the milk. He was eating all three times a day until today. Bottle Fed him at 5am then went out there at noon and he refused to take the bottle. He won’t even suck my thumb. Thought it might be milk scours and bought some probiotic yogurt he ate a little of it but then laid down again. Someone please help me.

User avatar
Double R Ranch
Rancher
Rancher
Posts: 875
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:26 pm
Location: CA
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by Double R Ranch » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:54 am

Trudylamb wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:25 pm
Hey y’all. I have a six day old angus beef bull calf. When we got him he was 2 days old. I was told to feed him 3 times a day. So I started with some powder milk then found some pellets to grind up and add to the milk. He was eating all three times a day until today. Bottle Fed him at 5am then went out there at noon and he refused to take the bottle. He won’t even suck my thumb. Thought it might be milk scours and bought some probiotic yogurt he ate a little of it but then laid down again. Someone please help me.
The best chance for answers is to start your own thread on this.
Are you feeding milk based replacer or soy based?
How much milk per feeding are you giving him?
What does his stool look like?
Does he have a temperature?
Is he drinking water?
What pellets are you adding to his milk?

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2442
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Has thanked: 148 times
Been thanked: 68 times

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by farmerjan » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:37 pm

Double R has the same basic questions I would ask.
I would not be adding any pellets to the milk mix. Not at 6 days old. He doesn't need them, and can't digest them. He needs to be able to absorb all his nutrients from the milk for the first couple of weeks. The abomasum digests the milk and for at least 2 weeks milk is the only thing a calf should be fed. Read 4 stomachs of a calf, that you can google. A calf will begin to mimic it's mother as it gets a few weeks, and the size of the stomachs change and the rumen will start to develop so it can digest the more solid food. He could be having a "bloating" type problem because he cannot digest whatever is in the pellets you are grinding up. Did someone tell you to do that? I have never done that in over 40 years of feeding baby calves.
The other questions I agree with. How much are you feeding him? Is it only ALL MILK based milk replacer? What does his manure/stool look like? What made you think of scours?
The probiotic yogurt will help with digestion. You can also buy probiotics in a tube that you give to them, it is a gel. But a "drinkable yogurt" will work as well. But until we have more info, it is hard to begin to tell what the problem might be.

greggy
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:35 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by greggy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:53 am

farmerjan wrote:
Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:31 pm
If it is runny and diarrhea like, then it is scours. Scours is another term for diarrhea. It can be caused by different things, nutritional, virus, bacterial; so there is something causing it. The CLEANLINESS factor is #1 and yes, the bottle and nipple should be washed out after EVERY FEEDING, especially if she is still scouring. I would definitely try a couple of feedings of electrolytes instead of the milk, and use something that has a thickening agent in it. It will make it more gelled in her stomach, slow down the passage so that she doesn't dehydrate. I would also give her a couple of scour boluses at this point since there is an underlying reason she is scouring. Did you buy her through the stockyards? If so, there is a very good chance that she has picked up some bacteria or virus there. She needs to be treated before she gets weak and dehydrated.

What kind of milk replacer are you using? It NEEDS to be ALL MILK, milk replacer. NOT SOY BASED. It should be a 20/20 protein/fat using all milk because the soy based ones will almost always cause them to be runny and they cannot utilize the soy protein and will do poorly if they do not actually starve to death on it.

Many dairies are feeding their calves 3x a day if they can, and if not, have upped the milk replacer to 6 qts a feeding instead of the usual 4 qts twice a day. But you have got to treat the problem of scours.
is this always the case ?

I have 2 I feed, and I would consider they have always had loose stools, when I cut the milk and give more hay & dry pellet, it hardens to be like small version of a normal pat, re introduce the milk, which is a top quality calf milk replacer, and viola, loose stools again, on both...

Apart from that, they run around like mad if let out, eat various grasses, clover, any hay.

They eat normal, they will eat pretty well & could be weaned, but at a bit over 2 months or so, I would like them to get a bit more from milk prob for another 4 weeks or so, I could put the powder into a feed mix I make, they do not seem to be too thrilled if put onto pellets, well not a few weeks ago anyway.

I am no expert, but it would seem to me that loose stool is also tied to the amount of moisture (water) intake as well, I have a few milk feeders, the delivery speed varies, but I am thinking it is volume, not how quick.

I suppose it also could be the milk replacer brand, or, it could be that they were fed completely different from birth, I think they were a week or 2 already.

Anyway, interested in your and others feedback, I have seen stools where things were getting to the critical end, neither of these 2 show or have not shown any signs of not being healthy and hydrated, skin bounces back straight away too.

User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2442
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Has thanked: 148 times
Been thanked: 68 times

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by farmerjan » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:49 pm

Some calves just seem to have more "runny" manure. If the calves are running around, acting good, eating some solid feed at this point, don't over think it. Sometimes I do think that they will drink more water and then get runnier from that. I usually do not wean until close to 12 weeks also. I agree that they seem to do better if they get a little more of the milk protein and nutrition. But it is a matter of money for most commercial dairies and I get that too. BUT they have to be eating and drinking good, in order to get continued growth after weaning.
There is a difference between loose and scours. I have a couple that are very "loose" but they are not scouring. Sometimes it is quantity..... each one is different. To me scouring is "like water" or a very bad smell, or"shooting out like through a key hole at 20 paces", or blood in it.... something that is not a soft pile of poop.
My answer was more specific to the poster that had asked the question. I think maybe the calf was just getting too much and not knowing whatever kind of pellets they were grinding up and adding to the milk replacer, they may have just given the calf a belly ache or even worse.

greggy
Cowhand
Cowhand
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:35 am
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: bottle calves for newbies

Post by greggy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:01 pm

Yes, fair enough, I think we are on the same page, but I have about 2 months of experience with cattle :)

I think it is fair to say, if you find matter sprayed over yard rails, items outside yards, or on walls and anything else about calf hip height, then this is watery and is scours. I have seen this too, I cheated and made up some tasty mix that contained salt to then have them drink more water, water intake never seemed to matter, but I think the fat in the liquid of milk replacer certainly does, I may be lucky that mine are happy to eat quite a bit of dry matter, so made sure they had pellet and good hay.

Ironically when I let them on green grass, while the milk was cut, they both went to a normal adult type pat, I was expecting to become a tad worse.

Anyway, the moral that I have picked up on, is pay close attention to hydration when young, this is what causes vulnerability, they must stay hydrated, or die if ignored, where a grown cow could get the runs and is prob no big deal unless it persists.

Post Reply