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Calves and Water

A

Anonymous

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Here's a question that will earn me a spot at the next "can I own cattle test". I have some two and three week old calves, how old do they need to be before I need to make sure they have good access to water? Do they get enough from milk? I have 100 gallon tub but at two weeks old it's a little to high for the calves. These are my second crop of calves, I have two steers from last year that didn't have the growth I had hoped for, but I blamed that on genetics, poor quaility cows. I have since bought 5 nice cows and a better then good bull these calves are out of this bull and first time hiefers, as well as the poor cows.

Last years crop, from a diffferent bull, I pulled one, one was still born, one was 28lbs and two decent bull calves. This year all calves, five so far, hit the ground at a run, strong and lots of vigor(?) and not any smaller than last year birth weights, about 90lbs. My only complaint is I'm trying to build my herd...all 5 calves are bulls, I have two more to calf but wont keep the hiefer if they had one. But happy I looked into epd's, buying on calving ease and milk production. With all of these bulls I hope the beef prices stay up!

Thanks for the help on this novice question
Alan
 

Hawk

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When we have had bottle babies, I always kept water available to them from day one. I would use a bucket rather than the water trough. I don't think that they will drink much water at first, but I would rather they have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
 

dun

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Our calves are drinking water by a couple of weeks, pretty much as soon as they can get their heads over the rim. But they're also chewing their cuds by a week to 10 days so maybe the require the water to make the stuff mushy enough to chew.
Our ground is slopey enough that one end of the tank may be high, but one end is only about 20-24 inches above the ground.

dun

Alan":3t73nbuw said:
Here's a question that will earn me a spot at the next "can I own cattle test". I have some two and three week old calves, how old do they need to be before I need to make sure they have good access to water? Do they get enough from milk? I have 100 gallon tub but at two weeks old it's a little to high for the calves. These are my second crop of calves, I have two steers from last year that didn't have the growth I had hoped for, but I blamed that on genetics, poor quaility cows. I have since bought 5 nice cows and a better then good bull these calves are out of this bull and first time hiefers, as well as the poor cows.

Last years crop, from a diffferent bull, I pulled one, one was still born, one was 28lbs and two decent bull calves. This year all calves, five so far, hit the ground at a run, strong and lots of vigor(?) and not any smaller than last year birth weights, about 90lbs. My only complaint is I'm trying to build my herd...all 5 calves are bulls, I have two more to calf but wont keep the hiefer if they had one. But happy I looked into epd's, buying on calving ease and milk production. With all of these bulls I hope the beef prices stay up!

Thanks for the help on this novice question
Alan
 

MR3

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I like the 250 lb supplement tubs for a water tank for the calves. I put a float valve on them and set them next to the big tanks. Like Hawk said it is nice to know the little guys can get water when they need it.

Rod
 

eric

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I also keep a small (25 gallon) wash-tub size tub next to the large float filled trough. I just use a 5 gallon bucket and fill it up from the big trough if the cows drank it empty that day. I also find the big trough a little to high for young calves, especially when it goes down after all the cows drink from it at once. I only have the valve running at a trickle in case the hose bursts and I dont get a chance to check it that day. Its about a 500 gallon tub, and they have yet to drink it empty yet, as it is always full when I come home from work and check it. Seems cows only drink about 3-4 times a day, and most always all of them make the trip to the watering area together.
 

MR3

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eric":uw9o3cs0 said:
I also keep a small (25 gallon) wash-tub size tub next to the large float filled trough. I just use a 5 gallon bucket and fill it up from the big trough if the cows drank it empty that day. I also find the big trough a little to high for young calves, especially when it goes down after all the cows drink from it at once. I only have the valve running at a trickle in case the hose bursts and I dont get a chance to check it that day. Its about a 500 gallon tub, and they have yet to drink it empty yet, as it is always full when I come home from work and check it. Seems cows only drink about 3-4 times a day, and most always all of them make the trip to the watering area together.

They make a plastic pressure valve that screws on your garden hose. This will reduce the chance of your hose bursting. They are real cheep. Feed store should carry them. I'm not sure but I think they go down to 5 lb even a 15 lb pressure would help.
 

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