• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Calf bottle 2 qt/3qt?

Help Support CattleToday:

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
375
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
So I have always fed 2qts, twice a day.
The calves I've reared have done ok. Seven is doing well. Shes a yearling now.
BUT!
The bag says.....
Feed 1 and a half to 3 quarts, twice a day. Adjust as needed. I'm using ultra 24 if your curious. 24% protein. 24% fat. I think. Calves seem to do well on it. NO SOY ingredients.

This lil bull calf is taking 2 qts twice a day like no other! I'm also keeping calf manna out free choice. Only hay is bedding. I have no way to weigh him really but I'm wondering if anyone has fed this much and how it went? He almost looks like a lil butterball show calf. Only miniature. Lol
I'd like to keep his condition but dont want to over do it either. Or waste valuable milk replacer. Should I just keep on with what i know has worked in the past and get him eating feed? Or ya think i should give it a shot and keep on with the feed too?

Thanks!
Interested to hear from you's guys..
 

simme

Old Dumb Guy
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
423
Reaction score
543
Location
South Carolina
I have not raised a bottle calf in many many years. Had a bottle fed goat this year. So, you can correctly assume that I am not the smartest. I think you can slowly step him up as long as he takes more without getting the squirts, I would think the issue is cost of the expensive milk replacer. Will he be worth enough more to cover the additional cost of milk replacer when he is weaned?
 

Allenw

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
482
Reaction score
29
Location
NW OK
Throw the calf manna away and buy an actual calf starter feed.

I've fed holstein calves 3 qts st a feeding and they did well. I think it's going to depend on the calf's growth potential.
 

farmerjan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
152
Location
Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Several of my dairy farmers will feed a 3 qt bottle to their heifer calves after they hit 2-3 weeks and are not scouring. But, dairy calves also are not as chunky and seem to need more of the nutrition. Many are in small calf hutches too so restricted for 6-10 weeks from exercise and choices of possible feed.
Again, dairy calves are leaner, and take more actual feed/milk to get that nice healthy look. I personally would not feed an average sized beef calf more than 2 qts twice a day. If they are calling for temps to drop to 0 or something where a little more might help then okay, feed a little more. But you have to be careful of scours if you start changing. Good milk replacer is expensive. I would rather have feed out for the calf to work on so that it gets off milk and onto solid feed sooner which is also cheaper. Don't get me wrong... I keep bottle calves on milk for 8-12 weeks, but I want them to be getting a little hungry so they will explore and eat grain and hay.
Just my 2 cents.
 

farmerjan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
152
Location
Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Agree with the calf manna...... I would feed a good calf starter... calf manna is rich and a little goes a long way. I will add a little to their feed but never fed it straight.
 
OP
MurraysMutts

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
375
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
Very nice. Thanks guys!
This is the first time I've tried the calf manna. My hopes were that it would encourage him to start eating feed faster. It smells great! He is only a couple weeks old. He does nibble on it after his bottle. Every calf I've had b4 wouldnt touch feed. Only if fed by hand. My goal this time is to NOT do that. I dont want him thinking that's the only place he gets fed. I do have a good calf starter on hand already. He doesnt eat much. So far just a cup every 2 days or so. But I keep it in front of him. Tonight he really went to town on it after his bottle. Maybe I'll give him a couple more days and start him on the real feed with some manna top dressing and see how it goes.
The milk I'm feeding is nearly double in price of the cheap soy based crap that always causes problems. But its what's readily available around here.
I dont really have a plan for this calf. But I have an interest in growing him to the best of his potential. Kind of an experience/experiment if u will.
He may just end up in my freezer. Idk.
May be a future herd bull. May just sell him later.

I've always heard a hungry bottle calf is a healthy bottle calf.

I may just continue on with 2 qt bottles and see how his feed consumption does. If hes full with 3 qt bottles I'm afraid he wont want feed at all.

O! Hes in a 8x16 pen with a shelter right now. May keep him in it for a while. Til his feed consumption comes up. I have a 30x30 pen for him for later.
 
Last edited:

Allenw

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
482
Reaction score
29
Location
NW OK
At his age he will just nibble on feed. The textured start seems to get their attention better then pellets does.

Evergreen made a feed called Sur Blum a supplement similar to calf manna . I preferred it over the calf manna.
 

Buck Randall

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
831
Reaction score
286
Progressive dairies here are feeding 3 quarts three times a day by a week of age. I consider 3 quarts twice a day to be the minimum to get acceptable growth. It costs more, but you'll have a healthier calf that performs better for the rest of its life.
 
OP
MurraysMutts

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
375
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
Progressive dairies here are feeding 3 quarts three times a day by a week of age. I consider 3 quarts twice a day to be the minimum to get acceptable growth. It costs more, but you'll have a healthier calf that performs better for the rest of its life.
Thanks Buck. I remember u saying something similar a while back in another thread but cannot find it. I think it involved ol greggy too. Lol
I'm still on the fence about it. Mulling it over. I may go ahead and try it. If he doesnt scour, which is my biggest fear really, maybe itll make for a good growth calf. He is really doing well so far. No scours at all. Ready for his bottle when I show up. Eating/nibbling feed. And the lil turd cant help but eat his bedding too. Just seems to me he needs more than I'm giving.
20201126_085629.jpg
I put a cup (measured) out this morning. Dressed with half a cup of manna.
We will see how that goes..
 

farmerjan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
152
Location
Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
That feed that you showed the picture is not a calf starter. It is for weaned beef animals on pasture.That's calves in the 4-600 lb range. You need a calf starter that is 14-16% protein, but has more grains in it and less grain byproducts. Many calf starters are a "sweet feed", textured, not a pelleted feed but some pelleted feeds are fine if they are a starter feed.

We did a little experiment a several years ago. Had a beef cow (1/8th jersey) that lost her calf. She would not take another calf but would stand to be milked. She was a bit of a pet (ya think???)... So I milked her twice a day and fed calves with her milk. She produced about 2 - 1/2 gal a day... just on pasture.... with some alfalfa hay while I was milking her. So in essence she could feed 2 calves. But there was the dairy influence though diluted. I read somewhere there was a study done ...this was years ago... that said a beef cow could produce up to 3 gal a day at peak production but the average was under 2 gal a day. Depending on the grazing conditions. Remember that the calf is drinking in small doses..... many times a day. 1-2 pints at a time... several times a day. So the cows never get a real "full" udder. Beef cattle also have a higher fat than most dairy animals. 4.5 to 6% fat has been considered to be the norm.
If things are going well with the calf, I would not change. By the time it hits 3-4 weeks, it will be looking for the feed as well as the bottle.
 
OP
MurraysMutts

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
375
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
Ya caught me!
It's 14% creep. He ate a bit today, as well as his manna.
Tomorrow I'll be in search of a more appropriate starter. Lol
Hard to get feed on Turkey day. Was kind of surprising he chowed down on it. Most of it was gone this evening.
In the past I've used what they called a hi-grain sweet feed. I'm going label chasing tmrw. Thanks again guys!

O and hey @farmerjan
Dangdest lil bull calf. As soon as I'm out of the pen. He goes right to his feed bucket. I have NEVER had one so easy to get on feed. It just boggles my mind!

@Allenw
Where do I find these products u are mentioning? I see u are in ok too. I've never ran across them.
 
Last edited:

Allenw

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
482
Reaction score
29
Location
NW OK
Evergreen is history, they closed several years ago. There is a Purina dealer in Fairview right at the stop lights east of the sale barn
 

farmerjan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
152
Location
Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
I think your bull calf likes your company. Then when you leave he says, okay, now I can eat.....LOL..... I think you and he are doing good. Some are real smart; seems like he is one.
 
OP
MurraysMutts

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
375
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
He got a full cup of 14% hi-grain sweet feed and a bit of calf manna this morning.
All gone but a few crumbs this evening. Even the leftover 14% creep pellets.
Fingers crossed. Itd be nice to get him off milk after only one bag. That's 2- 25lb bags for me. But we will see how it goes. Still on 2- two qt bottles a day. He sure can drain a bottle.
 

Lucky_P

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
3,284
Reaction score
237
Location
Western KY
Once they were eating 1.5# of calf starter per day, we stopped milk feeding and rapidly bumped up grain to 5# per day about as quickly as possible.
I'd cram a handful of calf starter in their mouths after every feeding, or any time I happened to pass by, from Day One, and kept fresh starter in front of them at all times.
Most steers were off the bottle around 4 weeks, but I'd routinely feed heifers to 6, and rarely, to 8 wks.
 

Latest posts

Top