Calf Three Weeks Early

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kucala5

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We had a first timer calf at least 3 weeks early (if she was bred the day bull was put in). Mama doesn't have much of a bag at all. Is that to be expected with an early birth? Calf is doing good, will not take a bottle, but is nursing every time it's awake. It's active and seems ok, just very small, maybe 35 lbs? I'm sure it's not getting all it wants but maybe enough to get by. Suggestions?
 

C-Ranch

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I'd give it colostrum and supplement with a little milk until dams milk comes in. Just my 2 cents!
 

C-Ranch

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If calf is over 24 hours old, the colostrum will not help. You can keep trying to supplement with a bottle, but I find it very difficult to get them to suck a bottle if they are sucking a cow's nipples.
I was under the impression the calf was born today, but you are correct giving colostrum after 24hrs has little if any benefits.
 
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kucala5

kucala5

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Hereford2

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She's getting some nutrition from the cow, otherwise she would be about dead by now. I have had people give me Calves that hadn't had any milk for the first 3 days of their lives and they were about dead, but I managed to save 3 of the 4, I also always give clostrum to weak calves,it helps.
 
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kucala5

kucala5

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Calf never would take a bottle so she’s getting by on what Mom is producing. Calf is strong and active but still nursing often. We turned them out yesterday. Mom came in for her grain like clockwork though. 🤠
Another week or so we will have more calves on the ground. Maybe the little thing will learn how to steal.
 

MurraysMutts

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Keep an eye on the lil booger.
Last one I had, took about 3 months to die.
Calf got to filling up on grass. Seemed like a pretty normal calf other than she was getting potbellied. I should've pulled the calf at that point and started her on grain.

Learned something from them. I hated it. But I learned something.
 
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kucala5

kucala5

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Calf is growing ok on what Mama is producing. Saw the little thing sucking a 3 year old that didn’t breed back last year. At least she’s trying to be a thief!
 

Dsth

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Just saw your post otherwise I would have replied sooner. I AI everything so I know all my due dates. Had a first calf heifer calf 3 weeks early 3 years ago. Due Dec. 28 and calved around Dec. 8. heifer had absolutely no udder that would indicate that she could care for the calf. did not attempt to bottle feed since it was at least finding the teat to suck on. raised a nice calf and udder slowly increased and udder looks nice and snug even now with her third calf. I guess back in my dairy days we were always told you can't judge the amount of milk based on the size of the udder. like your calf, mine was seen nursing often but generally seemed satisfied when done. it is never too early to start creep feeding. I start my calves at about a month old in an area where the cows can not get into. calves start slow but they learn early where the extra feed is at. They made a very noticeable increase in feed consumption this past week with the cold weather.
 
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kucala5

kucala5

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We have the creep feeder stocked and the calves are finding it. I’m keeping fresh water in there as well. We are a muddy mess right now. Thaw and now rain. Nothing new but I seem to forget just how bad the sloppy mud can be.
 

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