Orphaned calf What to do?

Help Support CattleToday:

tjdbard

New member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hi I am new at all of this. Last year we got cows for the first time. Three of the heifers had calves in early Feb. Yesterday one of the heifers died. I have tried to catch the calf but have failed each time. I am ready to bottle feed the calf but need to catch it. Today I noticed the calf feeding on another heifer who has a calf the same age. Should I stop trying to catch the calf? Will she continue to feed him?
 

hillsdown

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
9,930
Reaction score
9
Location
Alberta, Canada
It is doubtful that you can bottle feed a 2 month old, once they have had real milk form a cow for that long they usually will not go to a bottle especially milk replacer it's yucky to them..

I would however separate the calf and get it on grain asap and good hay. The other heifer more than likely does not have enough milk for two so you will get to [email protected] calves instead of one a little behind.. Keep trying to separate them ...
 

TexasBred

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
30,765
Reaction score
269
Location
Heart of Texas
tjdbard":16yqgrph said:
Hi I am new at all of this. Last year we got cows for the first time. Three of the heifers had calves in early Feb. Yesterday one of the heifers died. I have tried to catch the calf but have failed each time. I am ready to bottle feed the calf but need to catch it. Today I noticed the calf feeding on another heifer who has a calf the same age. Should I stop trying to catch the calf? Will she continue to feed him?

Had a similar situation last year. Only time the orphan could nurse was when the cow's calf nursed. Raised both calves and bred back but did milk quite a bit of flesh off her in the process.
 

jasrnch

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
I have caught orphaned calves on the range in the summer and got them to suckle a bucket, Not all of them will but sometimes they will I would get the calf in by itself and try to get it to suck. Sometimes they have to get pretty hungry. But it's better than to starve two calves. Or you can graft on another cow if you have one.
 

angie1

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
4,179
Reaction score
0
Location
minnesota
I have thought about this one all day. I see you are getting some conflicting information between this post and your other one. If it were mine I would let it continue to nurse as opposed to seperating from the herd. It is a bull calf... Any chance you can creep feed these babies? hd is right ~ grain would sure help all involved. You could also try to catch then sell the calf if you were concerned. I would leave it though. I have had cows nurse 2 calves, and do fine.
 

msscamp

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Wyoming
tjdbard":1y1za5pi said:
Three of the heifers had calves in early Feb. Yesterday one of the heifers died. I have tried to catch the calf but have failed each time. I am ready to bottle feed the calf but need to catch it. Today I noticed the calf feeding on another heifer who has a calf the same age. Should I stop trying to catch the calf? Will she continue to feed him?

Well, my course of action would depend on how well the "adoptive" mother milks, since you have less than a 50% chance of transitioning this calf to a bottle at his age. If she produces enough milk for both calves, I would probably leave them alone but watch her. If she starts losing condition, then I would either pull the orphan calf and pen him, or possibly pen her with both calves so I could fed her some grain to help maintain her condition. If she is allowing him to nurse now, she will probably continue - yet another reason to watch her. The key thing at this stage is to watch them, and make sure she does not lose a lot of condition, and that the orphan continues to grow and do well.
 

mnmtranching

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
5,061
Reaction score
1
Location
MN
The orphan has learned how to survive. It will steal milk at any chance from any cow. Usually while a calf is nursing its mother the orphan will get between the hind legs of the cow. The cow will move around but a persistent 2 month old calf will get its share. If your cows are on good feed and you don't notice any of the calves doing badly, leave them be. Starting a creep feed is a good idea. At 2 months the calves are also grazing and getting nutrients other then milk.
 
OP
T

tjdbard

New member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Thank you for all your help. I think I will try and up the amount of grain given to the heifers and the calf. I have noticed the calf steeling milk here and there but he gets very little befor being kicked off. But he also is eating hay and and a little bit of grain. So I will keep an eye on him and if he drops too much weight I will try again to catch him and seperate him.
Thank you for all your help.
 

Latest posts

Top