8 week old bull calf

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Anonymous

I have been bottle feeding a bull calf and my question how is the best way to wean him off the bottle feeding. He eats a small amout of grain and some grass everybody but looks forward to the milk the most..he is getting to be a handfull and i want to start weaning him this week...any suggestions...
 

hillbilly

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Cut him back to one bottle a day for a while. make sure he has good clean water at all times put out all the feed he will clean up per day.
You will know when he does not need the bottle anymore.
might try putting milk replacer in a bucket instead of a bottle.
 
OP
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Anonymous

Why is he still a "bull"? That may be part of the reason he is becoming a handful. Also I use wall mounted milk feeders. After a few days they butt to hard to give a bottle to. Do you have older animals he can learn to eat from, not nibble? I know others wean that young but unless I'm out of milk I don't wean until they are at least 250 - 300 lbs. I slowly reduce the amount of milk they get until I feel they can go to once a day then take another couple weeks to take them all the way off milk.
 
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Anonymous

I misled everyone...i am using a nipple bucket and have been since day 2.. i found out the bottle was a lot of trouble...he is begining to eat a good scoop of starter grain now and does eat some grass and a little hay..thanks for everyones help
 
OP
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Anonymous

I worked on a dairy farm for a few years and also for the last 15 years have been buying holstein bull calves to bottle. Both the dairy farm and I each weaned at 6 weeks, which is normal for my area. Some push it back to 8 weeks and if it is real cold in the winter, I will wean a 7 weeks, but in the past 15 years, haven't had any problem weaning at 6 weeks. The key is to get them started on grain as early as possible and make sure they are eating enough to support them, which in your case it sounds like the calf is. Just feed in once a day for a couple days and then quit feeding it milk. You shouldn't have any problems.
 

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