Help with new calves please!!!

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rickeyo

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 :!: I just bought 6 calves. 1 red baldy, 1 angus x and 4 angus. all feeder steers, all were banded when we picked them up, except 2 were banded at birth. 3 bigger calves (about 250 lbs) are weaned and in the pasture while 3 bottle calves are in a small pen. question is the 3 smallest calves are 115 lbs, 150 and 160. the 150 lb black calf is bottling well, he will jerk the bottle away from you lol. other 2 calves you have to force to bottle. little 110 calf isnt hard to wrestle and get a bottle forced in his mouth but the red baldy 150 lbs will kick the fire out of you. kicks a lot, very strong and hard to handle... got him down and forced some milk down today. they all 3 are eating hay, calf starter some, and water plus milk i put in the bowls. the 1 that bottles good eats the most of everything, other 2 (that wont bottle) barley pick at the food and water... im scared they arent eating enough, is the 150 lb red calf able to just be weaned? if he starts eating more can i just wean him? i just dont want to loose any of these calves, first time messing with any bottle calves ever... some ppl say they will eat when they get hungry enough, but what if they dont? i cant sleep very well at night worrying about these calves. what should i do? i didnt see the littlest one drink milk but he at least sniffed the water, and put his mouth to it for a minute... any help.please? thanks
 

Nesikep

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rickeyo":3pp06noe said:
:!: I just bought 6 calves. 1 red baldy, 1 angus x and 4 angus. all feeder steers, all were banded when we picked them up, except 2 were banded at birth. 3 bigger calves (about 250 lbs) are weaned and in the pasture while 3 bottle calves are in a small pen. question is the 3 smallest calves are 115 lbs, 150 and 160. the 150 lb black calf is bottling well, he will jerk the bottle away from you lol. other 2 calves you have to force to bottle. little 110 calf isnt hard to wrestle and get a bottle forced in his mouth but the red baldy 150 lbs will kick the fire out of you. kicks a lot, very strong and hard to handle... got him down and forced some milk down today. they all 3 are eating hay, calf starter some, and water plus milk i put in the bowls. the 1 that bottles good eats the most of everything, other 2 (that wont bottle) barley pick at the food and water... im scared they arent eating enough, is the 150 lb red calf able to just be weaned? if he starts eating more can i just wean him? i just dont want to loose any of these calves, first time messing with any bottle calves ever... some ppl say they will eat when they get hungry enough, but what if they dont? i cant sleep very well at night worrying about these calves. what should i do? i didnt see the littlest one drink milk but he at least sniffed the water, and put his mouth to it for a minute... any help.please? thanks
Dang I can't read that.

150 lbs is NOWHERE NEAR big enough to be weaned, thats just when they start eating solid food.. usually the *earliest* people wean is 3 months, and they definitely benefit from being on milk longer
 

Son of Butch

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Dairy calves are often weaned at 6-8 weeks as long as they are eating a couple of pounds of a textured calf started
and drinking clean fresh water readily available and most started nibbling at calf starter feed at 7-10 days.

The problem is your calves weren't started on a bottle but allowed to start on their mamma's then yanked off them
way too early. Some will reject the bottle bcs they know it's unnatural. You may have to skip the bottle and teach
them to drink milk from a bucket. First you have to get them to suck on your fingers... easier said then done with a
stubborn beef calf upset from being separated from it's mom and the herd. Some will just clamp down on your fingers
and refuse to suck at all. As you teach him to drink also teach him to eat calf starter.
A Sweet textured starter feed is easier to get them to start eating than pellets. Once he's eating the starter you
can wean him if he still won't drink his milk.

The calf is fighting you out of fear, he doesn't understand you are trying to help him... so frustrating.
Hopefully getting the taste of milk on his tongue from the bucket will make it easier to teach him to drink from a pail
than sucking on a rubber nipple of the bottle.

p.s.
Brown Swiss dairy calves are notorious for being difficult to teach to drink milk from a pail. So stubborn.
Seems like they'd sooner die than drink and my gut tells me your red baldy ain't gonna be easy either.
 

RanchMan90

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I've bought a few 150 lb calves lately to put on a nurse cow. They didn't take up with her but went right on feed. So I turned them out and 3 weeks later they're still doing well. Just keep an eye on them to make sure they're going on feed, if not tube feed.
 

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