Fat-Bellied Calf

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Anonymous

I have a 2 1/2 month old Brangus/Jersey cross bull calf. He has a "Pot" (Fat) Belly...a rancher told me that I should feed him a high-protien diet & it would help get rid of his pot-belly. He told me that otherwise his pot-belly problem would lead to worse problems later on in life. Exactly WHAT is wrong--what is it called? I know he eats alot & I just figured his fat belly was because of this. (I have another calf that is a few weeks younger & doesn't have a big belly) They'll get weaned off the bottle within the next couple of weeks; they are both eating a whole big coffee can of creep feed/alflafa pellets per day + grass & hay (all they want). Thanks for any help/advice!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> I have a 2 1/2 month old
> Brangus/Jersey cross bull calf. He
> has a "Pot" (Fat)
> Belly...a rancher told me that I
> should feed him a high-protien
> diet & it would help get rid
> of his pot-belly. He told me that
> otherwise his pot-belly problem
> would lead to worse problems later
> on in life. Exactly WHAT is
> wrong--what is it called? I know
> he eats alot & I just figured
> his fat belly was because of this.
> (I have another calf that is a few
> weeks younger & doesn't have a
> big belly) They'll get weaned off
> the bottle within the next couple
> of weeks; they are both eating a
> whole big coffee can of creep
> feed/alflafa pellets per day +
> grass & hay (all they want).
> Thanks for any help/advice!

The advice was good. Its partly because of protein. At this age they should be getting about 18% protein (total ration). If they are eating grass hay, I would be questioning someone on its probable protein content. The other half of the problem is genetics, a lot of jersey cross calves are just fat-bellied. Doesn't hurt their feed conversion, growth rate, or finishing characteristics. Just don't look fancy. It will fatten nicely and will taste superior to most.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Thanks for the info....Personally how he 'looks' doesn't bother me--I just want him eventually in my freezer! ha They have grass hay...but don't eat much of it. They prefer the pasture grass and the feed mix I give them. (I live south of San Antonio--so yes, I still have grass growing out in the pasture.) Trying to find a few bales of Alfalfa down here is like pulling hens' teeth, and I've heard its expensive! (I grew up in SE Nebraska; grass, alfalfa and brome hay were easier to come by & cheaper!) Oh well, just another one of life's learning experiences!
 
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