6 week old calf wont take milk

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iBLeslie

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Hello
I have a now 6 week old Highlands calf that was orphaned.I have tried a bottle, a bottle with molasses or honey, a syring and a bucket and he will not take a drop! He is however eating hay well (grass hay with a little alfalfa(, and eating small amount
1cup of manna and cob in the morning and some at night. he is ruminating already. I also give him Calf 180 in a bucket for vitamins. I have had him a week and he seems happy and healthy(now that he has gotten over the loss of his mom) and plays with a goat. He pees and poops normally. I am concerned he isnt getting enough good nutrition. I have never heard of one so young being so sturbborn to take milk!!! Any ideas or recommendations to keep him healthy and gaining would be appreciated.
I have had horses and donkeys and goats but never a cow
 

A.J.

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:welcome: it sounds like you're doing about all you can do if he won't take the bottle or bucket. Workinonit's suggestion on the other post about sprinkling powdered milk replacer on his feed is about the only other thing I could think of. Keeping good hay, feed, and mineral in front of him like you are should give him the best chance to stay healthy. It's good you have some other animals in there with him for companionship. I hope your kids enjoy working with him and he turns out healthy and ok for you.
 

ez14.

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as long as she is eating enough starter grain she should be fine! a lot of dairies wean at 6 weeks! (we do 8 )
 
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iBLeslie

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Thanks for the replies. He isnt crazy about the calf manna but will eat some cobb (empty calories). Is there a starter anyone recommends that is not pellet form? Id like to try that too. How much should he be eating of the starter?
 

ez14.

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iBLeslie":xtvnwyq8 said:
Thanks for the replies. He isnt crazy about the calf manna but will eat some cobb (empty calories). Is there a starter anyone recommends that is not pellet form? Id like to try that too. How much should he be eating of the starter?
He should be eating 4 or 5 lbs of starter a day. I don't recall what the label is on our starter but you might not have anyone that carries it where your at anyways
 
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iBLeslie

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Well, I am still having difficulties...He just wants to eat hay. He seems active and healthy but I know its not enough nutrition. I have tried two different starter feeds and he just nibbles.. Should I take the hay away until he is so hungry he eats grain?? He is now 7 weeks old.
 

farmerjan

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Take the hay away for the day, give him the grain in the evening and see what he is eating, then give him the hay. Some breeds are not big grain eaters. Our Red Polls will eat hay or graze before they will eat grain at any age. Plus keep up with the alfalfa mix so that he is getting a higher protein than just a grass hay. You may just have to resign yourself to the fact that he is not a grain eater and will grow slower than if he is eating grain.
 

TexasBred

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iBLeslie":2ehuv48t said:
Well, I am still having difficulties...He just wants to eat hay. He seems active and healthy but I know its not enough nutrition. I have tried two different starter feeds and he just nibbles.. Should I take the hay away until he is so hungry he eats grain?? He is now 7 weeks old.
At that age its very unlikely he's going to starve to death. Pull the hay and keep the calf starter out. A good high quality "sweet textured" calf starter. If you can't find one try to find a 16% textured sweet horse feed. when he get's hungry I bet he eats.
 
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