Problem bottle feeding

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Savanna_Wilson

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Hi guys! I have a question. I have a almost month old calf that won't suck the bottle but she will eat hay. I don't want her to go hungry but she just won't suck the bottle at all. She will put it in her month and hold it but not much more. Any advice?
 

TCRanch

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A few things you can try: make sure the hole in the nipple isn't too small, you may want to enlarge it with a knife. Try a different nipple, like a Peach Teat or goat nipple. Put a little molasses or syrup on the nipple. Hold it in her mouth and squeeze the bottom of the nipple to get the milk flowing. Gently clamp down on her mouth while the bottle is in and move the bottle/nipple in-n-out (but not all the way out). Stroke her throat. Scratch her butt dangerously close to where her mama would lick for stimulation. Been there - good luck!
 

cow pollinater

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If she'll pick at hay then she's starting to ruminate. I'd get some sweet feed in front of her and don't worry to much about the bottle. It is better if she'll take some milk but she won't starve. You can also sprinkle the replacer dry in her feed and help her that way.
 

ChrisB

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She must be drinking water so maybe she would drink milk out of a bucket instead of a bottle?
 

Rafter S

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TCRanch":32h5jqfu said:
A few things you can try: make sure the hole in the nipple isn't too small, you may want to enlarge it with a knife. Try a different nipple, like a Peach Teat or goat nipple. Put a little molasses or syrup on the nipple. Hold it in her mouth and squeeze the bottom of the nipple to get the milk flowing. Gently clamp down on her mouth while the bottle is in and move the bottle/nipple in-n-out (but not all the way out). Stroke her throat. Scratch her butt dangerously close to where her mama would lick for stimulation. Been there - good luck!

Back her into a corner and straddle her while you're doing this to safely immobilize her.
 

farmerjan

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At this age I would try the milk in a bucket. Some just prefer that. The trying to force her to drink from a bottle/nipple will only aggravate her. If you have tried the suggestions that TCRanch made and she still won't, try it in a bucket. Have one that was orphaned at about 3 weeks, could not get it to take a bottle. Guess it just wasn't enough like momma. But when she got a taste of the milk in the bucket she figured it out and did fine after that. Take the water away so that she has to drink the milk or go without for a day or 2. It won't hurt her to go without for 24-48 hours if it isn't 90 degrees out.
 

Air gator

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If she won't take the milk you need to give her electrolytes and check her for fever
Tractor supply has electrolytes....you need to give her by syringe if necessary. Electrolytes are more important than any medicine unless her fever gets over 103.5...that's when you have to use antibiotic.
 

darcelina4

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I've raised quite a few bottle calves. Unless they are eating 2 pounds of grain everyday they need to be on the bottle. I try to wean my at 6 to 7 weeks but they have to be eating grain well. I've gotten some beef calves the last few weeks that were a couple of weeks old. They were wild and not thrilled about a bottle. We got them in the corner, shoved the bottle in their mouth and rubbed their throat so they would swallow. By the third bottle they come to you and start nursing. Don't starve them because they need some extra guidance getting started. Hay will just fill them up at a month old and hay will not provide them with the nutrition they need. After they finish the bottle, shove a handful of grain in their mouth. Everytime you walk by them put more grain in their mouth.
 

TCRanch

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I really doubt this has anything to do with the OP's calf but I had an interesting conversation last night about bottle calves: Friend of mine has recently had a problem with calves not taking the bottle & resorted to drenching. It suddenly dawned on her that they had another water well drilled for the house about a month ago and had evidently hit a salt table (common in Kansas). The solution is to drain the well as often as possible but it can take months for the water to clear. In the meantime, they are drinking bottled water but she was using the tap water to mix the colostrum replacer/supplement/milk replacer and the calves didn't like the salty taste (don't blame them!). She started using bottled water for the calves, they started nursing, problem solved.
 

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