feeding a newborn calf

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Anonymous

I have a newborn calf off a heifer, that ran into problems do to our neighbors dogs. I pinned the cow and calf but never seen the calf suck after almost two days. The calf seemed to be getting weaker and weaker, so I pulled the calf out and gave it to my aunt to take care of. She has been feeding it starter milk, one quart twice a day. The calf is now 5 days old and doing fine, no scours and spry. Can anyone help us with a feeding schedule and other supplements that will account for its growth? This calf is exceptionally small, around 40 pounds.

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Anonymous

increase the milk as the calf gets bigger but be careful not to overfeed milk. get it started on calf starter and alfalfa asap.watch for signs of scours and respitory problems.

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Anonymous

Thanks Keith! Any help I get is appreciated greatly. I'll just increase the starter milk gradually and keep out hay and water as free choice. Thanks again!

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Anonymous

> Thanks Keith! Any help I get is
> appreciated greatly. I'll just
> increase the starter milk
> gradually and keep out hay and
> water as free choice. Thanks
> again!

If the calf did not nurse at the begining then its growth may be stunted. That happened with our first one. She is a little smaller than our others. Try to have feed with manna mixed in it. We used a sweet feed. The manna is a good supplement. Also, fresh water and hay. If there is anyway possible let it get around other cows so it can learn to be a cow. They seem to eat feed better and earlier once they have seen the other cows doing it. Ours thought she was a black lab for the longest time. Good luck!

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Anonymous

> If the calf did not nurse at the
> begining then its growth may be
> stunted. That happened with our
> first one. She is a little smaller
> than our others. Try to have feed
> with manna mixed in it. We used a
> sweet feed. The manna is a good
> supplement. Also, fresh water and
> hay. If there is anyway possible
> let it get around other cows so it
> can learn to be a cow. They seem
> to eat feed better and earlier
> once they have seen the other cows
> doing it. Ours thought she was a
> black lab for the longest time.
> Good luck!

ps. give it some b-12

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Anonymous

I haven't checked the Cattle Today board in a while and I noticed that there was more advice from you. The calf didn't make it,,,,,, but I have a plan to prevent it from happening again. The whole problem began with me not having a place to hold the cow still long enough to let the calf suck or to milk her myself and bottle feed. I'm in the process now of building a chute with a head gate that will allow me to hem the cow up and do whatever I need to do. I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but it's sad that I waited until I lost a calf to do it. Next time I'll be ready,,,, thanks again for all the helpful advice. Tommy

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OP
A

Anonymous

> I haven't checked the Cattle Today
> board in a while and I noticed
> that there was more advice from
> you. The calf didn't make it,,,,,,
> but I have a plan to prevent it
> from happening again. The whole
> problem began with me not having a
> place to hold the cow still long
> enough to let the calf suck or to
> milk her myself and bottle feed.
> I'm in the process now of building
> a chute with a head gate that will
> allow me to hem the cow up and do
> whatever I need to do. I've been
> wanting to do this for a long
> time, but it's sad that I waited
> until I lost a calf to do it. Next
> time I'll be ready,,,, thanks
> again for all the helpful advice.
> Tommy

For future reference: If you don't get that colostrum (first milk out of the cow after calving.. the yellow colored milk) into the newborn calf within the first 24 hours of life..at least one gallon in the first 24 hours, then you will likely have immunity problems with the calf...their immune system comes from the natural antibodies in the mothers milk. there are studies that have shown longterm negative effects in calves that did not get colostrum as a newborn. i have even tube fed it to the calf before, when they wouldn't suck. i am not suprised that the calf did not survive for this very reason. also, i will comment on what someone else said about exposing the calf to other cows. this is true. however, the most important part of this is that when a young calf is exposed to other cattle, they get inoculated with certain bacteria (transferred from the other cattle) that are important for proper rumen development and digestion. if they are not inoculated with certain bacteria, they will have a hard time digesting solid feeds. if you cannot expose them to other cattle, you can buy a probiotic paste from the feed store that contains the bacteria that you need to inoculate the rumen of the young calf. this paste is also good for cattle that have gone of feed for several days due to sickness. the bacteria population in the rumen starts to die down when animals don't eat much. starting calves on a roughage at a young age (as soon as they will eat it) is also a very good idea. if the calf is not offered any roughage, the rumen will not develop properly or may be stunted in development.

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