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rollinhills

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We've had a cow lay down with her back down the hill and croaked on us about a month ago, she had a three week old calf, needless to say been bottle feeding ever since. My question how can we get her to eat the calf starter, she will nibble at it but doesn't eat very much, my understanding she should be going after it pretty good by now, she's nearly 8 weeks old. anybody got any tricks to get her on it better this milk replacer is a sure way to lose money on cattle, she's getting 2 bottles of the morning and nite. I know this keeps getting beat to dead but tried everything I know now I'm at a loss.
 

Craig Miller

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Have you tried to put some milk on the feed? Also hold the calf and put some in her mouth. Kind of like when you started bottle feeding her it take patience.
 

M-5

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Right after a bottle I will open mouth and put a hand full in it , it will chew it up , do this every time. I also put a cup of fresh feed in a pan where I feed milk. They will start nibbleing on it in between feedings. It helps to have hay for them also.
 

farmerjan

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If all else fails, there is a bottle made to "feed grain". I have never used it but a friend has. They will go to "sucking" the nipple which has a larger opening and will get some grain and give them the idea of it being a good alternative. The whole putting some in their mouth after a bottle is what I do, and they will start on their own.
One question, as I'm not sure if I understood it right. You are giving the calf 1 bottle morning and 1 bottle at night? or was it 2 morning and 2 night? If it is 2 bottles per feeding, cut back to one each. I also keep hay available. A beef calf will start to mimic it's mother and I have 2 week old calves act like they are "eating" grass; cute and I know they aren't getting much from it. Do you have any other calves that she can go with and learn from also? Like another older orphan or something?
 

Son of Butch

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Craig Miller":2p1hpjyk said:
Have you tried to put some milk on the feed?
You can try sprinkling some milk replacer powder on the calf starter feed, wetting feed with milk promotes bacteria
growth and in a few hours wet feed will be unpalatable and start going stale.
Buy Textured calf starter, in the past my calves have always been very slow to accept any of the pelleted starters.
 

Craig Miller

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Son of Butch":3jsah2lu said:
Craig Miller":3jsah2lu said:
Have you tried to put some milk on the feed?
You can try sprinkling some milk replacer powder on the calf starter feed, wetting feed with milk promotes bacteria
growth and in a few hours wet feed will be unpalatable and start going stale.
Buy Textured calf starter, in the past my calves have always been very slow to accept any of the pelleted starters.

Thank you for clarifying.
 

Katpau

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I have always struggled getting bottle calves to eat any starter. As has been pointed out, they learn through imitation, so if you could put her with an animal that will eat she will likely pick it up fast. I just went through the same struggle with a twin. I had some success by switching her from the bottle to a bucket. She learned the bucket with only one lesson. I put my finger in her mouth and brought her down to the bucket and when she was sucking I removed my finger. Once she was using the bucket, I would let her empty the bucket and while she was still trying to get more milk, I put her grain in that same bucket. She would then go after it expecting it to still be her milk but instead would end up eating the grain. It did not work when the grain was in a different bucket. It had to be the one she had just emptied of milk. Prior to that I had been putting the starter in her mouth, so she knew what it was, but did not seem smart enough to figure out that she could eat it without my shoving it in there when she tried to suck on my hand.

Your calf is already 8 weeks, so old enough to be weaned if she were eating. I put good alfalfa hay out for mine, and she was eating that pretty good by six weeks. The starter was more of a struggle, partly because I had been feeding 3 times a day. I cut back on the times and the amount and that helped. They need to copy another cow or be a little hungry to learn.

A few days ago my last cow to calve ended up loosing her calf. It was coming head first but both feet back and I did not realize it in time. I was able to put my bottle calf on her, so now she will get to be a regular calf with a mother and friends to run with.
 
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rollinhills

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been putting the feed in her mouth, put dry milk on the feed, she is getting 2 bottles of the morning and 2 at nite. we've got the southern states select calf starter, has grain, molasses and some pellets, is there anything else I can get. also has alfalfa and grass hay
 

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