Orphan calf feeding on bottle well, still nursing dry cow

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mbraun

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Little heifer 3 days old now, and is drinking three 2L bottles a day. Is that too much? I mix the right amount of replacer, then let her have all the warm water she wants when the milk is gone.
 

TexasBred

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mbraun":1pursr4o said:
Little heifer 3 days old now, and is drinking three 2L bottles a day. Is that too much? I mix the right amount of replacer, then let her have all the warm water she wants when the milk is gone.

Sounds fine to me. If she's penned I'd make water available there as well along with a good textured calf starter. She'll eventually get curious and learn to drink the water and nibble on the feed. I'd find some way to keep her away from the "dry cow"
 

Keren

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we had a calf one year who sucked her mother, but also sucked a dry cow. The dry cow looked after her all the time, licked her, etc. So I dont really see any harm in letting your calf suck the dry cow as well as the bottle. The cow will socialise the calf and you wont have a friendly bottle fed nuisance when she grows up

I'd stop giving her the water in the bottle, just the milk. She needs to learn to drink water from a bucket/trough etc
 

msscamp

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mbraun":3mtq58sq said:
Little heifer 3 days old now, and is drinking three 2L bottles a day. Is that too much? I mix the right amount of replacer, then let her have all the warm water she wants when the milk is gone.

I'm not up to speed on the conversion of litre to quart. Your calf should be getting at least a gallon of milk per day, split into at least 2 feedings. I prefer to feed milk based on the individual needs of each calf - some do well on a gallon, some need 2 gallons, etc. I never bottle feed water, as water is provided from day one and the calf will drink as needed. Keep in mind that bottle feeding is totally alien to what would take place if a calf was raised by his/her mother, and this calf is probably nursing the dry cow to satisfy her instinct to nurse regularly throughout the day as it is very common for bottle calves to suck penmates ears, tails, etc. to satisfy that need. If your dry cow is a good producer, I would seperate her from the bottle calf as the nursing can cause problems.
 
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mbraun

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So the little heifer went through the fence and took off after I last tried to catch her about two weeks ago. I had noticed what appeared to be urine coming from her navel, and the vet had told me don't bother with her. I had decided to put her and the adoptive mama back out to pasture and just watch to see how she did, as I didn't have the heart to put her down when she seemed to have so much energy and was already eating clover. The cow is slated to go in the freezer this fall, so I thought this was a way to make her summer count if she could bring this little purebred Red Angus through. Anyhow, they both seem to be doing well, so we're going to leave them alone. It has been suggested that the urine from the navel could be a sign that she is actually a hermaphrodite.
 

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