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2 month old orphan calf

llucy69

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HI, I'm new to this forum and new to cows as well. We moved out to the family farm Aug 08 and are having a great time. Last night we acquired a 2 month old Charolais calf. He lost his mama 2 weeks ago and the farmer has been feeding him sweet feed and hay. He went through a bout of scours but has recovered from that. They wormed him and banded him. I now have him in a stall with alfalfa hay and calf intensity starter and of course water. But he is super wild. Won't let me anywhere near him. My delima is 1. I feel he needs some forage during the day but I cant put him out to pasture because I wont be able to catch him again and insure that he gets the grain and shelter he needs. 2. I've only had him 24 hours, but he doesnt seem to be eating very much..picking at the grain but I'm not sure he's touched the hay. He is Drinking good. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any idea how long til he gets used to me and lets me handle him? How much should he be eating?
Thanks in advance...from a happy mom to two rambunctious boys, a chicken obsessed husband, 3 old dogs, 4 kittens, 2 horses and 6 cows (Rambo: a 9 mo old holstein steer, Sara: Maine Anjou/Jersey cross bred back to a Jersey bull..due in May..Diamond: Holstein/Jersey cross heifer, Peanut:Brown Beef Heifer, Big Man: Angus Bull yearling..and Casper: Charolais calf....
 

regolith

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Not too clear - is he getting milk? If so, how much?
That for a start will impact how much solid food he wants to eat, or is capable of eating.
 

llucy69

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No milk. The farmer we got him from said he didnt need milk. Hasnt had any in two weeks. He's so wild, I dont think he would take a bottle, but should I offer him some in a bucket?
 

regolith

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If he's eating enough grain, he shouldn't need it. Thing is at eight weeks, the rumen isn't fully developed - they need a high-energy feed source of some sort, either milk or grain, until the rumen develops enough to allow them to survive on just forage (my calves are on grass-only from about twelve - fourteen weeks).
If he's not eating about 2 pounds of the dry food in a day, he's not getting enough.
If it was me I'd offer electrolytes (for the glucose boost mainly) in a bucket, rather than milk and watch for another day or two - make sure you can measure how much grain he's eaten. If he can't eat enough grain he'll need milk - and as it's been two weeks since abrupt weaning, he'd probably be losing condition by now if he still needed it.

I can't help with the wild trait - all mine are bottle-fed almost from birth.
You might have some luck putting him with your older heifers, then bring the whole group in when you want him back inside. As long as your fences are reasonably sturdy that he can't go anywhere else before settling with the herd.
 

Baldie Maker

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If he hasn't drank from a bottle in awhile you might have trouble getting him to drink milk from a bucket. If you can get him to suck your finger and lead his mouth down to the milk in the bucket he might drink it. The grain and alfalfa might be the reason he is so wild as I would think it's high in protein. A good thing about that wild part tho is that atleast he's healthy. If he starts moppin around with his ears back and head down then you have problems.
 

llucy69

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Thanks guys! I think I'll try the electrolytes. And measure his feed. He is very alert and looks healthy. Just dont want him to fall off. He's so wild because folks around here dont handle their cows at all. He spent the first two months at pasture with his mama and wasnt handled at all. Poor guy, now his mamas gone and he gets thrown in a stall. Not me though, I like to be able to get my hands on them if I need to or just cuz I want to. My girls love to get itches behind the ears and under their jaw. Hopefully he'll come around in time.
 

kenny thomas

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since you just got him last night it might take a day or two for him to start eating well. If he is drinking and acting ok i would keep him good hay and some feed and watch him. He will start eating.
watch for sickness from the stress of moving and being in a new home.
 

dun

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Sit around somehwere that he can hear and see you and read out loud to him. Nothing that's exciting that might make you raise your voice, just something boring. The local swap sheet is alwasy handy for that. That at least will get him familiar with you and your voice and not see you as a possible threat/predator
 

llucy69

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Yes, I will be watching him close. Noticed your from SW tip of VA. I grew up visiting my aunt near Big Stone Gap. Beautiful country! I was even there during the big flood of the late 1970's i think.
 

llucy69

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Hey, I did something like that today. I sat in the corner of the stall and talked real soothing to him while i stared at the ground. I read somewhere not to make eye contact or he would think of me as a predator. Thanks
 

kenny thomas

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Big Stone Gap is in 30 miles east but I am there several times a week. Flood was 1977 and was the worst one we have ever had. Most of that area is now coal strip mines.
 

braunvieh

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If you have some milk replacer powder, you might sprinkle some on their feed, we used to do that when we transitioned bottle calves from milk to grain, and it has nutrients he still needs at 2 months old. Good luck with him!
 

llucy69

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What a difference 24 hours makes. He started eating his hay today and he ate some of his grain out of my hand. I was shocked but very pleased. He acts right..stretching when he gets up and poops look right. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

PS my aunt lived in Keokee Va. right on the side of the mountain. We were visiting when that big flood hit and had to escape to relatives who lived on top of the mountain. I still have visions of a large roof floating down the river and a pickup tail bed sticking up out of the mud. Roads washed out etc...Hate to hear that they've stripped the land.
 

kenny thomas

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Good to see he is eating. Thought he would after a day or so.
Strip mines start about 10 miles west of Keokee and you can stay on one for probably 40 miles. A lot of it is being planted back to trees but it will be a long time before it looks they way you remembered it.
 

msscamp

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regolith":g0rog8qw said:
Thing is at eight weeks, the rumen isn't fully developed - they need a high-energy feed source of some sort, either milk or grain, until the rumen develops enough to allow them to survive on just forage (my calves are on grass-only from about twelve - fourteen weeks).

Ummmm, yes it is. Most calves are chewing their cud at around 3-4 weeks of age, not to mention that 8 weeks is when most people wean bottle/bucket calves. If the rumen wasn't developed, those calves would not survive.

As long as your fences are reasonably sturdy that he can't go anywhere else before settling with the herd.

Wanna bet? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

regolith

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Can I do the bold thing too?

Thing is at eight weeks, the rumen isn't fully developed

Wean on to hay or grass plus grain at 8 weeks, forage alone at 12 weeks. Or do you do it different?
 

dun

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regolith":3gpq4es4 said:
Can I do the bold thing too?

Thing is at eight weeks, the rumen isn't fully developed

Wean on to hay or grass plus grain at 8 weeks, forage alone at 12 weeks. Or do you do it different?

The forage alone at 12 weeks works if you have very high quality forage. If it's poor quality they will still require grain to grow out properly. Calves raised that way will be hard to distinguish from calves raised on their mother.
 

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