Is calf getting enough to eat

Help Support CattleToday:



I had a limo first calf heifer calve yesterday. Her bag seems to be small and I was wondering if the calf is getting enough to eat or should I supplement it. Calf is perked up. Just seems to lay around quite a bit.
First of all, the size of the udder doesn't necesarrily correlate to the amount of milk. Calves frequently spend the first few days sleeping an laying around. If the calf nurses and doesn't keep buggin the heifer every few minutes it's probably getting enough. But, there is alwasy a but, if you aren't sure or haven;t seen the calf nursing, a supplement of high quality milk replacer is pretty cheap insurance. If you can milk another cow from your herd and feed that it's a betteer deal, last choice would be milk from a different herd.

Here's few things to look for if you're worried that the heifer isn't milking enought for the calf:
1. If his flanks are sucked in and guant looking, and he never seems to "fill" out during the day.
2. When the calf nurses, does he suck one teat, then the next, etc. etc. in rapid succession?
3. Does it seem like every time you check him, the little guy is up and sucking?

These are rather general, but I've noticed that calves that exhibit this behaviour are getting short changed in the grocery department by their mother.
The fact that your calf is lazing around might be an indication that his belly is nice and full, especially if he's looking bright and alert.
I agree with Dun that a small udder doesn't neccessarily mean a lack of milk, as some cows produce a very high fat milk with a small bag, and their calves grow like weeds in the garden.

Take care and best of luck.

Latest posts