First time heifer with calf and has no milk

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Mar 4, 2009
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I have a first time heifer that just had her calf yesturday late morning. 030309 around 1030a.m. The calf is eating but the cow just doesn't have much of a bag. Her teats are getting skinny after the calf sucks and her bag just isn't refilling. I'm afraid the calf isn't getting enough to eat. At this point should we start the calf on milk replacer also to help supplement the not so much milk the mom is giving? The calf isn't down yet. It will get up and walk around and is using the bathroom but i just want to get ahead of it maybe before the calf does happen to go down? Also is there anything i can give the mom to produce a little more milk? Please any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
If the calf is up and around, and is "messing", then it will probably be alright. Some first time heifers have small bags, and dont look like they are producing milk, but really are. And as time goes on, the mother will produce more and more milk as the calf continues to suck. If you see the calf's sides starting to sink in alot, and it gets to where it lays down more and more, then you need to supplement with a bottle.
As far as the momma cow, you can creep feed her daily, with some 14-16% creep to help her keep prouducing while shes nursing. Make sure she has plenty of water, and some good quality hay to eat also.
If the calf nurses and keeps goiung from one teat to another long after it should be filled, she may not have adequate milkyet. If the cow has any milk at all that is usually adequate for the first few days and then some of them start to come into more milk. If you see the calf really dithering with teat after teat and really wacking her udder, then it's time to start a supplement for the calf
I agree what has already been said-she may have more milk than it looks and she will come into more a few days in. If the calf looks like its having a hard time getting anything to come out or its not going to the bathroom then you have a problem. Make sure the cow is getting plenty to eat and you can start giving the calf some hay and grain too.
The thing is, if you don't offer that calf a bottle right away, it won't suck a bottle without a lot of persistance on your part. It wouldn't hurt to offer it a bottle - if it sucks - it's HUNGRY. But, once a calf has sucked a teat, it is difficult to get them to suck a bottle.
What condition is this first calf heifer? Can you see her hip bones, spine, or ribs?? Low body condition can definately cause her not to produce milk.
Size of udder does not indicate milk production. But, a calf nursing often & going from teat to teat is a good indication that it's not getting enough.
Go with your gut feeling.
If you think the calf isn't getting enough, it sure wouldn't hurt to give it some nutritional supplement. You don't want a weak, under nourished calf.
This is happening to me right now. I have the new baby a couple quarts of colostrum in a bottle at birth which he pounded. Vet said to give momma a shot of SE which can sometimes get them going. Tried giving him a bottle last night and he only drank about 25% before he started objecting. Tried giving him some bottle this morning and he seems disinterested. Momma still doesn't have much bag. Will try a bottle one more time this evening and if he's still disinterested will let them out to fend for themselves.

How did yours turn out?
Went through this last year with a first calf heifer. The calf would constantly switch teats and then would walk away and bawl/ cry it almost seemed. I gave her about 3 days, offered the calf a bottle and he took it immediately. Fed him till I took him and mom to the sale barn in April ! I also tried feeding her to help her milking but, but her bag never improved. She did keep him clean and let him nurse the whole time.
I have the same situation. 5 day old heifer, mother still looks to have no milk. I fed calf a bottle of colestrum replacer and am now bottle feeding milk replacer, and the calf drinks vigorously, mother hangs around licking her. But the group keeps leaving baby behind in the field - as they move. At what point is this a concern? New to farming......
After 5 days it's time for the heifer to take a ride. Either keep bottle feeding the calf or haul it to the sale barn too.

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