Early weaning

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steveaust

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I dont know if this is a problem or not.My son brett is rearing a small mob of calves for me on his 2 acre house block,the youngest calf is 4 weeks old and has decided along with all the rest that it prefers to graze on the abundant green grass instead of milk and pellets.In my view they should all be drinking the milk replacer and eating their pellets.Should i restrict access to the grass so as to force them back onto the milk? :D
 

dun

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I wouldn't worry as much about the milk as I would the supplement. They need the higher plain of nutrition then is available from most forage. Freqently bottle calves are weaned at 4-6 weeks, but they're kept on a creep feed or grain supplement.

dun
 

Brett Enright

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I'm steveaust's son. Actually the older calf drinking barely any milk is 45 days old, over 6 weeks. All of a sudden the other day the calves cut down the amount of milk they drink by half. It funny that the older the calf, the less milk they are now drinking. Tonight the last calf to stop drinking was the youngest. There are unlimited calf pellets available, tonight, for:
one 45 day old calf
three 35 day olds
one 28 day old
...I put out 15.5 litres of milk replacer. I feed them twice daily. My dad is asking if it is possible for older calves to 'self wean' or just decide to eat grass (lota of it, thick lush green - had access to since arrival at 4 days old). Obviously it is of low nutritional value. He wants to know if he should take them to his house and put them in a shed without grass so they are forced to eat pellets & milk.

They're NOT sick, no scouring and they're hypo. I watch them running round the paddock, fighting, playing. It seems the last thing they're interested in are milk & pellets unfortunately.

Thanks for any help. :D

Brett Enright.
 

Marty

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Most of the bottlecalves I've rasied have been weaned at 6 weeks. A lot of people wean at 30 days but I've always thought an extra 2 weeks really helps them along. Check with your feed dealer if they have a sweet feed to get the calves started on grain, if not then get some dry molasses and mix in.
 

certherfbeef

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Brett Enright":3d8dh0rc said:
I'm steveaust's son. Actually the older calf drinking barely any milk is 45 days old, over 6 weeks. All of a sudden the other day the calves cut down the amount of milk they drink by half. It funny that the older the calf, the less milk they are now drinking. Tonight the last calf to stop drinking was the youngest. There are unlimited calf pellets available, tonight, for:
one 45 day old calf
three 35 day olds
one 28 day old
...I put out 15.5 litres of milk replacer. I feed them twice daily. My dad is asking if it is possible for older calves to 'self wean' or just decide to eat grass (lota of it, thick lush green - had access to since arrival at 4 days old). Obviously it is of low nutritional value. He wants to know if he should take them to his house and put them in a shed without grass so they are forced to eat pellets & milk.

They're NOT sick, no scouring and they're hypo. I watch them running round the paddock, fighting, playing. It seems the last thing they're interested in are milk & pellets unfortunately.

Thanks for any help. :D

Brett Enright.


How much water are they drinking? We often had to limit the amount that a bucket holstein could drink. They would fill up on water and then have no room for the milk. Espically if you have auto waterers. They thought it was a game to push the ball or the lever to make the water flow.
 

Brett Enright

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Now that you mention it, they are drinking quite a lot of water, I can't provide measurements, but perhaps they are drinking as a whole as much milk as thry should drink a day. I'm thinking that in winter here, they should be drinking next to NO water. Sorry I can't restrict water, its in a big blue plastic crate under a tap - I should put a float valve in it. But they are drinking quite a lot of water.

Brett Enright.
 

dun

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Unless it's severely cold, it's surprising how much water they will drink. At the old farm the cows were on a seperate water meter from everything else. Water comsumption went down less the 1/4 from the rest of the year. Other then July and August when it almost doubled.

dun
 

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