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Heifer too young No milk

Donnybrook

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Ok.. I am not exactly new to cattle but new to this situation... have a 14 month old (accident) angus heifer that calved 2 wks ago, had a really tiny bull calf, no problems & calf is perfectly healthy. Had them locked seperate for a few days & he got colostrum etc but heifer has hardly any bag & looks to have hardly any milk. She held her placenta for 7 days & finally cleaned so thought that had something to do with the lack of milk problem but it is still the same. He tries & tries every faucet & looks to be getting some but is now robbing off of another heifer & we have just let him as that heifer has more than enough to share. Calf still looks really thin & bony & tiny & I am sure he is still not getting enough. I know it's not a great idea to let him nurse another heifer. Any thought as to what we can do to get his Mom to have more milk?? Any advise would be greatly welcomed. We are seperating them (the heifers)today & would like to feed the cow what ever we can to help but not sure what is the best?? Should we suppliment the calf also? Have tried a bottle but he fights it really bad. Thanks so much in advance!
 

backhoeboogie

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Graft the calf onto a nurse cow or bottle feed him. The cow will never be able to hit the potential she would have. Sell her for slaughter. If she was 20 months or better and acceptable, you might retain her. 14 months can put you into serious complications and you have already experienced some it seems.
 

angie1

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I have been told by a vet I have much respect for that supplememnting a beef heifer/cow ALREADY IN GOOD CONDITION will not increase her milk production in any meaningful way. I strongly suggest you supplement this calf with 2 bottles a day, and start as soon as possibe. Maybe corral the pair together so he easy to access until he gets to know you as a source of milk, it will take no more than a few days.
 

grubbie

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angie":1bo5yk6b said:
I strongly suggest you supplement this calf with 2 bottles a day, and start as soon as possibe. Maybe corral the pair together so he easy to access until he gets to know you as a source of milk, it will take no more than a few days.
Im thinking as long as that calf can get milk from it's mother, it will be nearly impossible to get the calf to take any milk replacer. I would seperate the calf from the cow and bottle feed it, the sooner the better. Just my opinion.
 

Donnybrook

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Tried tonight to get him to take the bottle & he will not suck on it for nothin! Just snakes his tongue out each side or just sulls up & bites down & holds on. Had milk running but he did not try to suck even once.???
 

msscamp

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Donnybrook":3a3lpo18 said:
have a 14 month old (accident) angus heifer that calved 2 wks ago, had a really tiny bull calf, no problems & calf is perfectly healthy. Had them locked seperate for a few days & he got colostrum etc but heifer has hardly any bag & looks to have hardly any milk. She held her placenta for 7 days & finally cleaned so thought that had something to do with the lack of milk problem but it is still the same. He tries & tries every faucet & looks to be getting some but is now robbing off of another heifer & we have just let him as that heifer has more than enough to share. Calf still looks really thin & bony & tiny & I am sure he is still not getting enough. I know it's not a great idea to let him nurse another heifer. Any thought as to what we can do to get his Mom to have more milk?? Any advise would be greatly welcomed. We are seperating them (the heifers)today & would like to feed the cow what ever we can to help but not sure what is the best?? Should we suppliment the calf also? Have tried a bottle but he fights it really bad. Thanks so much in advance!

Supplement the calf with a bottle a couple times a day, seperate mom from the herd and give her high quality hay, and a lb or two of grain once a day. I would not use corn - it only has a protein content of 8%. I would look into one of the show feeds that offer around 14% protein and, if that was beyond my financial capabilities, I would go with COB. It has a protein content of around 11-12%, and is not expensive. It will take some work to get him on a bottle - he knows the difference between an artificial tit and the real one - but it can be done. You might try coating the nipple with something like Karo Syrup, or molasses - calves tend to like sweet things, and a sheep nipple or a Pritchard nipple would be easier for a small calf to nurse than a regular calf nipple. The Pritchard nipple is generally available at feed stores, and screws onto a regular soda bottle. We used an old 16 oz glass coke bottle for the sheep nipple, but I would imagine it could be fitted onto a plastic soda bottle, as well. I would also consider creep feeding him. If there is a Hubbard feed dealer in your area, they carry a very good medicated receiving ration called AS70. It is wonderful at enticing calves to eat solid food - I've used it on several bottle calves with excellent results, and we've used it for a number of years on weaning calves with the same results. I would not remove him from his mother unless absolutely necessary, because that will increase his stress level, and his nursing will help to stimulate her milk production. Given the length of time it took for her to clean, I would give some serious thought to giving her a pretty strong dose of long-acting penicillin to help prevent any possible problems with her reproductive health. Good luck, and let us know how it goes. :)
 

msscamp

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backhoeboogie":50uzdm3l said:
Graft the calf onto a nurse cow or bottle feed him. The cow will never be able to hit the potential she would have. Sell her for slaughter. If she was 20 months or better and acceptable, you might retain her. 14 months can put you into serious complications and you have already experienced some it seems.

Having been there, done that - I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement! Whether she reaches her potential or not depends, for the most part, entirely on her owner and whether he is willing to make a few small sacrifices to help her in her current situation. If he is willing to pasture her seperately, feed her a little grain each day, and supplement the calf, there is no reason why she shouldn't achieve her full potential. I saw nothing in the original post that indicates this heifer was in poor condition to begin with, or that she was on the cull list. If either of the above are the case, and the original poster failed to mention them then, and only then, would I concur with your viewpoint.
 

mnmtranching

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I think the heifer has some milk and the calf isn't starving. Sounds like the calf is very small, what 50 pounds? He isn't going to require a lot of milk. If he were starving he surely would want to suck a finger or most anything. Unless he has other heath problems? The way he goes from teat to teat is a good sign, there's a little milk in all quarters.
I'm am very much of the opinion that raising the food quantity and quality will increase milk production. Give the heifer more and better feed. 5 pounds of 14-15 percent WILL increase her milk production. IMO leave the calf on the cow. Unless its obvious that the calf is starving. Also the calf is at the age it will graze and eat grain if available.
 

BeefmasterB

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Donnybrook":3qpqw9q5 said:
Tried tonight to get him to take the bottle & he will not suck on it for nothin! Just snakes his tongue out each side or just sulls up & bites down & holds on. Had milk running but he did not try to suck even once.???


Have you administered BoSE? Won't hurt and it's worked for me a couple of times. Also, try placing about 2 tablespoons of sugar over the surface of it's tongue and follow immediately with the bottle. They don't like the texture of the sugar but the milk will relieve it when it sucks = the sucking becomes reinforcing.
 

Donnybrook

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Update... ok this might get a little lengthy but here goes... tried the bottle thing again yesterday morn & it would be easier to push water up the wall!! I think you are right as long hes getting the real thing at all he will not want the bottle. We had qite a long fight over the bottle thing & when I let him go he ran straight to Mom & nursed for right at 8 minutes before he did any butting & quit with milk all over his nose. I had taken a good look at the cow before he started & she has no visible bag & just has totally flat teats hangin there. I remember my Dad talking about a cow & a work horse mare that he once had & both had no visible bags but plenty of milk, he said the bags were just up in? A few yrs ago I also had a mare that foaled her 1st foal at 19 yrs old & no bag at all just teats that were not full so I figured that foal was doomed but she had tons of milk?? He still seems so weak & a little wobbly when you try to hang onto him but this morn I watched the 2 calves playing & the other calf is 3 wks older & the little squirt pushed her all over the place & even pushed her so hard that she went down on her side, so I am not worring about his strength any more. Had a discussion with the other half (have to let him get his 2 cents in) & we decided to suppliment both cows with 14% pellets & our best hay (they love it) & we made a creep feeder for the calves with calf manna pellets in it. 1st day they played with it but today the little guy was actually eatting some. I realize it's not the best practice to let the calf rob but he looks to only be allowed twice a day while she eats her hay & the time for a bottle baby would be real rough for us right now. I think we will let him continue until he gets a little bit bigger & eatting better & then pull the other pair. He also had not been trying to nurse that often & would give up real easy so we gave him some paste that a friend makes for us (awesome stuff all herbal) for any new calves that are not aggressive or don't want to nurse & it makes them want to eat anything in sight & he really went after the pellets. It's just amazing as he is so tiny & bony but seems to be doing well. I will post a pic soon if I can figure out how :) Would like a little more imput to what you think the future of the heifer will be for a future productive cow?? She is my nicest reg Angus heifer. We learned a real lesson as some were telling us not to wean the boys & girls together but she actually got bred before we weaned & we bought 2 heifers last yr & later sold them & found at that one calved at 12.5 months so she was bred before we bought her at weaning?? Now on a personal note... I want to say thank you to all on this sight as it has been so helpfull just reading or asking you have no idea how much I appreciate it. As I said I am not exactly new to this but it has been a lot of years (25 to be exact)!!! I grew up on our family ranch doing cattle & wheat with my disabled Dad on a total shoe string & trust me "I learned how to work" & I knew where every penny came from. Lost my Dad several years ago & do I ever wish I had paid more attention & wish I could ask his advice. My Mom now 85 lives with me & 2 yrs ago we dicided to try the cows again. Bought a couple pairs & both cried when we puts Dads iron back on a hide after all those years. This time around the shoe string is a lot slimmer & we are ina legal battle with the family ranch (4generation) & removing a relative that has free loaded off the 3 elderly owners for 20 some yrs & ran the place into the ground! Don't have any idea what we will wind up with but I am quitting the job & we are heading back there to live mid summer totally on a wing & a prayer & no $$$ & just hope we can save the buildings including the house. I have always loved a challenge & this is going to be the biggest one ever. Out of 4000 acres not one fence will hold a cow any more, so wish me luck & hope I can keep seeking advice. Thanks Again So Much!
 

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