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- Workinonit Farm
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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".
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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.