Blind Calf Update

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Anonymous

Dodger is three weeks old now and I guess permanently blind. He is healthy and energetic. He manages to run, buck and jump in our yard and has only minor run ins with the trees and bushes. He has a very big appetite. I feed the regular 1 1/2 qt. milk replacer in the bottle, twice a day. My question is how to get him to eat grain? Since he can't see, I have been putting some in his mouth. He just wallows is around and spits it out. Is he too young to eat grain? I have been grinding the grain up in a coffee grinder and feeding it with the milk in the bottle. He really likes it in the bottle. When should he be started on hay?

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A

Anonymous

On a bottle calf, I have calf starter there in the pen from birth. Now since he's not in a pen, he will be able to learn where things are if you don't keep moving them around. Ensure that he cannot get into severe trouble that you can't imagine but is possible--such as getting stuck in a bad fence, falling in the creek etc. He should also have access to hay but it will be harder to get him on that since he can't see anyone grazing or eating hay. I've had good luck with clients manually introducing some really soft hay such as trefoil into the mouth and then leaving beside the calf starter--up here blind calves usually don't have the run of the pastures because of coyotes etc. killing them. He should also have a safe source of water to drink. There's likely more, but my mind is not coming up with it! Good Luck! V
 

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