Question about bottle feeding

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Jenn

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I am bottle feeding two calves. One is two weeks old, he was with his mom for about 5 days before she decided to not have any more to do with him. The other is one week old today, his mom died giving birth. After cleaning him up we got clostrum from the vet. They are both on a good medicated milk replacer and eating very well. I give them two quarts twice a day each. Now my question, are they getting enough? They both still act hungry after eating. I am feeding them according to the instructions on the bag. Do you think I should give them more each feeding, add another feeding? Will they over eat?

This is the first time I have ever bottle fed a calf, they are doing so good. I just want to make sure that I am feeding them enough. I found this site several days ago. Thanks to all of you who post, I have learned alot and had a few laughs in the process. Jenn
 

D.R. Cattle

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Sounds like you're doing a good job. I probably wouldn't hesitate to offer more than the recomendation though. Just not a lot more. The recomendations are usually just a good starting point and you make adjustments based on your observations. When they nurse their mothers they are only prohibited by how much milk the cow can produce. Top wean weights are acheived by good milk producers and genetics.
 

dun

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They're alwasy hungry. Give them a little high quality calf starter grain when they finsih the bottle. Dribble a little in their mouths at first. Then when they get the ideas start leaving a little for them after each feeding. We also used to start overing a little good grass hay for them to munch on. Gives them something to do between feedings.
Too often folks start giving them more replacer and start having scour problems. We've fed big holstein calves as directed on the bag and have never had problems.
Remember good sanitation both in the pens and in the feeding equipment, avoid drafts, and you'll be surprised at how well they'll do.

dun


Jenn":38d8tplz said:
I am bottle feeding two calves. One is two weeks old, he was with his mom for about 5 days before she decided to not have any more to do with him. The other is one week old today, his mom died giving birth. After cleaning him up we got clostrum from the vet. They are both on a good medicated milk replacer and eating very well. I give them two quarts twice a day each. Now my question, are they getting enough? They both still act hungry after eating. I am feeding them according to the instructions on the bag. Do you think I should give them more each feeding, add another feeding? Will they over eat?

This is the first time I have ever bottle fed a calf, they are doing so good. I just want to make sure that I am feeding them enough. I found this site several days ago. Thanks to all of you who post, I have learned alot and had a few laughs in the process. Jenn
 

Jay

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Jenn-
I just weaned 2 'brats' off the bottle a month or so ago---They were about 2 1/2 months old then & eating quite well. (After not doing it for about 25-30 years--talk about learning all over again!!) I never gave them more than 4 quarts each 2 times a day. I started them out with what you are giving them & slowly increased it. Some folks feed 3 times a day...but that can be hard if you have work outside the farm/ranch!
I let them eat all the hay & grass & creep feed they wanted during this time. Yes, they will sound & act like they are starving. Keep 'em on the medicated replacer--it's worth paying the extra $$ for it (voice of experience here!). Much cheaper & easier in the long run to buy that than a bunch of scour pills; etc not to mention the worry time & the calves feeling crappy. (No pun intended!)
This is an EXCELLENT board--we get alot of great advice from folks--they'll be glad to help ya!
Jay
 
A

Anonymous

we have been bottle feeding calves for about 3 years and we feed them 4 quarts 2x a day.Our replacer says to feed 4 quarts 2x day on it ,, fill the bottle up. how much replacer do you put in it. Ours says 8 ounces to 4 quarts
 

Jay

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8 oz. to 4 qts. is about right. Some will say 10 oz. for that much....(For an 'accelerated' program) but I found it didn't mix up as well & no matter how long I took a whisk to it. It still managed to clog the nipple with what I call 'milk replacer sludge'. :(
Good Luck! :D
 
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Jenn

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Thanks to all of you for the info. The milk replacer I am using says 8 oz. per 2 quarts of water. I use the blender so it does not clump. I gave them a little more today when I fed them and I am going Monday to see about some starter food. Thanks again for all the information. I am learning alot with these little guys. They are alot of fun.
 

Jay

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Your'e correct on the amounts--I made a typo on my previous post. Blender, eh?! I didn't think of that...good idea! :D Guess I've been spending too much time outside with the critters..LOL
 
A

Anonymous

Hello:
Well I do buy calves to raise on the bottle. When the calves are about two to four weeks of age I do start feeding the a small about of grain from my hand so they will learn how to eat grain. Also if there starting to do that ok then I do start feeding the calves good alfa hay along with there bottle. I do not wean my calves from the bottle untile there eating two pounds of grain a day, and there also eating hay both a grain hay and a alfa hay.

One nice thing about bottle calves they do like to lick and nurse your fingers and that is one nice way to slowly start feeding them grain. You can take the green leafs off of green leafie alfa hay and mix it with the grain your feeding your calves and some times that does help with the process. There is calfmana.

Also check with your vet or other livestock experts in your area and see when is the best time to give your bottle calves a shot for CDT.

Bottle calves do not have a mom to show them how to eat grain and hay and that is why you do have to put forth some effort and teach them hay and grain is good for them.

It does seem like some calves are quicker than other calves about learning to start to eat grain and hay, but there are some calves you do have to work with longer and some calves it is more of a effort.

I also use pobotics to help a calf get things going, I do think that it does help.
Regards
LS
 

la4angus

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Most calves nursing their mothers in the pasture do not have a mother showing them how to eat grain either. Not much grain in their natural environment.:lol: :lol: :lol: known as pasture. :) :) :)
 
A

Anonymous

Jenn, I would still stick to the label. We have about 12 dairy calves on a bottle at a time, and if you give them too much milk, they are prone to getting scours. We feed them 2 quarts of milk twice a day no matter what the size or age of the animal. With about 1 week of age we put out and keep calf starter in front of them and they start nibbling on it. Since calf starter is more nutritious and easier to digest for the calves, try to stay away from hay until about six weeks of age. We usually wean at six weeks of age if they are eating enough. Keep fresh and clean water in front of them.
Also, they are going to act hungry after feeding because they don't know how much is too much. After a bit, they should act content and stop looking for milk.
 
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