• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

moving bottle calves into a field

dgott

Active member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
If you were moving bottle calves out into a small lot about 2 acres from a shelter how would you get them adjusted to being outside. There eyes seem to always run, sometime just one eye? When they are a few weeks old I let them out to play and put them up in the evening. Unless it is raining or very cold then I keep them in all day.
 

Bez+

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
0
Location
Still trying to get back to even.
dgott":rqo15x4t said:
If you were moving bottle calves out into a small lot about 2 acres from a shelter how would you get them adjusted to being outside. There eyes seem to always run, sometime just one eye? When they are a few weeks old I let them out to play and put them up in the evening. Unless it is raining or very cold then I keep them in all day.

Just leave the door open and let them decide what they want to do.

Locking them up inside is the best way to get a sick animal - in and out is far, far worse than leaving them out.

While we only do bottle calves under protest anymore, when we do they all live in a very large three sided shelter that lets them run on about five acres.

Exposure to the great outdoors is far healthier than any barn.

Bet you clear up that runny eye problem too.

All they need is the ability to get out of the elements when they want.

You will be surprized at how often they do not care about the weather.

Calves here are born on snow, live outside year round - rain, snow, wind, mud - whatever.

As long as they have a dry place to lay down when they want to - you will be fine.

Do not panick when you see one laying on wet grass in a rain - if it is healthy and has a full belly - it is quite content.

You will worry about it much more than they will. Like you are right now.

Sometimes you can literally kill them with what you think is kindness.

They are tougher than you realize.

Bez+
 

SRBeef

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
2,931
Reaction score
0
Location
SW Wisconsin
Bez+":1cy5ngox said:
dgott":1cy5ngox said:
If you were moving bottle calves out into a small lot about 2 acres from a shelter how would you get them adjusted to being outside. There eyes seem to always run, sometime just one eye? When they are a few weeks old I let them out to play and put them up in the evening. Unless it is raining or very cold then I keep them in all day.

Just leave the door open and let them decide what they want to do.

Locking them up inside is the best way to get a sick animal

While we only do bottle calves under protest anymore, they all live in a three sided shelter.

Exposure to the great outdoors is far healthier than any barn.

All they need is the ability to get out of the elements when they want.

You will be surprized at how often they do not care about the weather.

They are tougher than you realize.

Bez+

Great post. Thank you Bez.

I think many of us over "anthropomorphize" our cattle (= think of them as people) not sure of spelling, don't get to use that word very much!

They are designed by nature to be outdoors. The breeds are somewhat acclimated for different climates, some more heat tolerant some more cold tolerant. However if you have a breed which is proper for your climate they are far healthier outdoors as nature designed them.

In nature cattle do have the ability and sense to get out of a cold wind by looking for some sort of windbreak so we should give them, as nature does, someplace to get out of the wind in a draw or woods or fence etc. Their coats change for the season. Many illnesses like Johne's are transmitted by contact with manure. Inside a building manure concentrates and warm damp conditions are ripe for growing all sorts of evil disease organisms.

However in nature calves (like many other wild animals, deer, etc) are also generally born in the spring when its warm and there is grass. Nature doesn't generally calve in Jan or Feb cold and snow. If we intervene in nature's way by forcing calving at "unnatural" times then we do have a responsibility to provide what that calf needs for survival. However the closer to nature's way we can raise them, maybe the better off they will be. If we force nature by removing calves from their dam or forcing calving at unnatural times we often end up having to deal with the consequences. jmho.
 

LoveMoo11

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
1,090
Reaction score
0
Location
Maine
I think your idea to let them out for a few hours at a time and bring them back in is a good idea to get them adjusted-or you can just keep an eye on them for a few hours when you first let them out. Make sure they know what the fence is and that they have their vaccinations. If you have problems with wild predatory animals take precautions against them as well-such as bringing them in at night or using a guard animal until the calves are a little bigger. Like Bez said, being outside is probably going to improve their health, if anything. Just make sure they have a lean too or three sided shelter of some sort. Good luck.
 

msscamp

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Wyoming
dgott":zihdrkvs said:
If you were moving bottle calves out into a small lot about 2 acres from a shelter how would you get them adjusted to being outside. There eyes seem to always run, sometime just one eye? When they are a few weeks old I let them out to play and put them up in the evening. Unless it is raining or very cold then I keep them in all day.

My bottle calves were never confined to a barn - keeping calves locked up in a barn is the fastest way there is to make them sick because they don't have fresh air, sunshine, and they cannot become acclimated to the temperatures/conditions of the area. Even 1 day old calves were housed under a 3-sided shed, bedding was provided(usually straw, or old crappy grass hay), and the calf could wander in and out as he/she saw fit. If I were you, I would open the door, make sure it stays open, and let the calf decide whether to be in or out.
 
Top