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Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:17 pm
by M.Magis
Saw something funny from the house tonight, and upon closer inspection found one of my cows tits up. Not sure what happened, but she has a three week old calf that’ll need fed. Its far from tame, and once I manage to get it caught I doubt it’ll be interested in a bottle from me. Whats the best way to get it to eat? Thought about mixing up milk replacer and leaving it in a bucket. Is there a better way?

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:28 pm
by Bright Raven
That does not sound like a funny sight to me.

I would get the calf penned. Of course, I don't work off the farm so I have time. I would spend lots of time just gaining the calf's trust. Tame it down. Then bottle train it.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:31 pm
by Rydero
IMO the only way is to catch it, contain it and get the bottle in it's mouth. A maternity pen would work good. It'll bounce off the walls for a bit, after that if you could catch it behind the gate and hold it long enough to get the bottle in you might have a chance. Could take a day or two for it to get hungry enough. Chances are it'll never see a bucket of milk as a food source at that age.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:40 pm
by JMJ Farms
Pen him up. When he gets hungry, he will get cooperative. May take a couple of days.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:30 pm
by farmerjan
I agree on getting it penned. Then getting him cornered and putting the nipple in its mouth. It will take a little effort and time but I think you will be able to get it to take it after a few days. It is going to need to get hungry, and you are going to have to be it's only food source. I doubt it will take the milk from a bucket at that age. It is a tough age to try to transition. But if it gets hungry, it will take the bottle after a bit. I would not offer water for a couple of days either. If you can get it to take the bottle, then a bucket of water is okay. You have to make it totally dependent on you. Might take a week before it doesn't fight you. Offer hay and grain after that too.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:03 am
by DCA farm
I bought let me rephrase my wife bought I just paid a bull calf they split at sale of a older cow. It took me 2&1/2 days of pure living be nice to get him
To take the bottle I ended up almost drowning the sucker when he finally realized I was trying to feed him instead of kill him I put him in a 10x10 pen for a week them just left him
In the barn yard.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:00 am
by wbvs58
Ahhh derrr. I was sort of wondering what was wrong with the cows tits for you to have to bottle feed the calf then the penny dropped, the cow was terminal, belly up. I'm getting a bit slow in my old age.

Ken

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:45 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Ken - you are a hoot!!! LOL
It WILL suck a bottle - sooner or later. Perseverance!

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:10 am
by M.Magis
Looks like I have a small rodeo ahead of me. Catching it in the field of mud is proving to be more difficult than I hoped. The other calves are making a game of it. Every time I approach they all take off like a herd of deer, running circles around the pasture, taking the one I need with them. Had a rope on it once but slipped off. Guess I'm no cowboy.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:18 am
by Dsth
I have seen 3 week old calves rob enough from the rest of the cows in the herd that it may be fine left out. You will need to keep a close eye on it to make sure it finds be nice on its own.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:00 pm
by 76 Bar
What farmerjan and others said! A few other tips. It helps immensely if the pen is small AND you have a panel gate hung close to a corner that you can trap him into and close to the opposite side to wedge him tightly. Imagine a V shape. Ease yourself in, grab his muzzle and force the bottle nipple into his mouth. If he's spunky it'll be a rodeo for sure the first couple of feedings but he'll figure it out quickly. Don't let him out with your other cattle until he's thoroughly bonded to you as his source of vittles e.g. greets you greedily for his bottle/calf starter/fresh hay etc ~ 3 weeks or so. Its advantageous to train him to a vocal expression that he learns to associate with positive experiences with you. Makes it way easier to call him to you when you eventually turn him out but wish to continue bottle feeding. Hope this made sense. Good Luck and keep us posted!

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:19 pm
by 76 Bar
Ken - you are a hoot!!! LOL
I second that. :lol2:
I bought let me rephrase my wife bought
:lol2:

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:43 pm
by Caustic Burno
I have a semi dummy that comes running to the mule for a bottle.
He cannot for the life of him find the teat on the cow.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:19 pm
by backhoeboogie
I've fought that fight way too many times in my life. Get them in a pen and get straddle of them. They'll back up. Let them back right up against a fence wall. Once they ever start sucking you got it beat.

Re: Feeding 3 week old orphan

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:51 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
You may have to catch the whole group of cows and calves to get the one calf.