Restrict water in grassy paddock so more milk/pellets eaten?

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Brett Enright

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I have 2 6 week old calves on 1 acre of very grassy paddock. Lately they have not been drinking much milk and eating nil pellets.

I cannot restrict the grass, but WILL next time, but to ensure more milk and possible pellets are consumer, can I make water ONLY available at night (except on warm days)??? Right now its still winter-weather.

I just need them to drink more milk and eat more pellets otherwise weaning will be delayed. Can I remove water during the day when ample milk has been fed/is available?

Brett.
 

txshowmom

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No. I would not reccommend restricting their water. Grass is a lot cheaper that milk and pellets so why "make" them eat it. As long as they are getting enough out of the grass then whats the big deal? If they are hungry they know where the pellets are. Leave it alone.
 

Ann Bledsoe

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Brett Enright":17mebet4 said:
I have 2 6 week old calves on 1 acre of very grassy paddock. Lately they have not been drinking much milk and eating nil pellets.

I cannot restrict the grass, but WILL next time, but to ensure more milk and possible pellets are consumer, can I make water ONLY available at night (except on warm days)??? Right now its still winter-weather.

I just need them to drink more milk and eat more pellets otherwise weaning will be delayed. Can I remove water during the day when ample milk has been fed/is available?

Brett.

Why delay weaning?
They're obviously getting enough nutrtion if they've voluntarily reduced their milk consumption.
Most dairies wean calves at 4 weeks, personally I wean them between 6 and 8 weeks. I'd be booting these guys off the bottle/bucket, then watching them closely to make sure they're doing okay.

Ann B
 

dun

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Ann Bledsoe":12eknhdb said:
Why delay weaning?
They're obviously getting enough nutrtion if they've voluntarily reduced their milk consumption.
Most dairies wean calves at 4 weeks, personally I wean them between 6 and 8 weeks. I'd be booting these guys off the bottle/bucket, then watching them closely to make sure they're doing okay.

Ann B

The only caveat would be as long as they're eating at least a couple of pounds a day of calf starter.

dun
 

Running Arrow Bill

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NEVER restrict water or access to salt & minerals!

Note that DAIRY calves are weaned as BABIES; and BEEF type calves are usually weaned on average of 205 days.

Check their manure: if it looks OK then they are probably getting enough of what they need. Again, never restrict water.
 

Ann Bledsoe

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Running Arrow Bill":3hqr3xht said:
Note that DAIRY calves are weaned as BABIES; and BEEF type calves are usually weaned on average of 205 days.
.

No matter what anybody says, calves is calves -- I raise just as many beef calves as I do dairy calves, and they're all raised exactly the same way.
It's great to be able to leave a calf on his mama or on a nurse cow until he's 205 days old, but it's a lot cheaper to put real food into a calf than it is to put milk replacer in him.
Where most people have problems early weaning is with the calves not getting enough protein, so they end up potbellied.
My early weaned bottle/bucket beef calves look just as good and sell for just as much as, if not more than, the calves that are fresh off of mama.

Ann B
 

txshowmom

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No matter what anybody says, calves is calves -- I raise just as many beef calves as I do dairy calves, and they're all raised exactly the same way.
It's great to be able to leave a calf on his mama or on a nurse cow until he's 205 days old, but it's a lot cheaper to put real food into a calf than it is to put milk replacer in him.
Where most people have problems early weaning is with the calves not getting enough protein, so they end up potbellied.
My early weaned bottle/bucket beef calves look just as good and sell for just as much as, if not more than, the calves that are fresh off of mama.

Ann B

I think we may be talking about 2 different things. If you have a mama cow that is producing milk and raising a calf why in the world would you want to wean that calf off and feed it. You guys have to remember that the reason dairy cattle are weaned ASAP id because they point of a dairy cow is milk production for human consumption. If the calf is drinking it all then the dairy farmer does not make any money. But a beef cow?? Why wean so early and feed??
 

Ann Bledsoe

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txshowmom":3ub51jpm said:
No matter what anybody says, calves is calves -- I raise just as many beef calves as I do dairy calves, and they're all raised exactly the same way.
It's great to be able to leave a calf on his mama or on a nurse cow until he's 205 days old, but it's a lot cheaper to put real food into a calf than it is to put milk replacer in him.
Where most people have problems early weaning is with the calves not getting enough protein, so they end up potbellied.
My early weaned bottle/bucket beef calves look just as good and sell for just as much as, if not more than, the calves that are fresh off of mama.

Ann B

I think we may be talking about 2 different things. If you have a mama cow that is producing milk and raising a calf why in the world would you want to wean that calf off and feed it. You guys have to remember that the reason dairy cattle are weaned ASAP id because they point of a dairy cow is milk production for human consumption. If the calf is drinking it all then the dairy farmer does not make any money. But a beef cow?? Why wean so early and feed??

The initial post describes bottle/bucket calves -- not calves on mama.

Ann B
 

txshowmom

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No matter what anybody says, calves is calves -- I raise just as many beef calves as I do dairy calves, and they're all raised exactly the same way.
It's great to be able to leave a calf on his mama or on a nurse cow until he's 205 days old, but it's a lot cheaper to put real food into a calf than it is to put milk replacer in him.

You said you treat you beef cattle the same way you treat your dairy cattle. Are all your beef cattle orphaned bottle fed babies?
 

Ann Bledsoe

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txshowmom":2xs5pfxf said:
No matter what anybody says, calves is calves -- I raise just as many beef calves as I do dairy calves, and they're all raised exactly the same way.
It's great to be able to leave a calf on his mama or on a nurse cow until he's 205 days old, but it's a lot cheaper to put real food into a calf than it is to put milk replacer in him.

You said you treat you beef cattle the same way you treat your dairy cattle. Are all your beef cattle orphaned bottle fed babies?

Orphans or "salebarn specials".

I milk Jersey cows. At certain times of the year I get more milk than I can use up, so raising calves seems the logical thing to do with it.
I can raise 19 calves plus her own during a Jersey cow's lactation by bottle/bucket feeding, then weaning and getting them onto feed early -- or I can leave 3-4 calves with her to 205 days.

Ann B
 

dun

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txshowmom":25lczzt0 said:
You guys have to remember that the reason dairy cattle are weaned ASAP id because they point of a dairy cow is milk production for human consumption. If the calf is drinking it all then the dairy farmer does not make any money.

Most dairys feed milk replacer then milk. It's cheaper to buy the replacer then what milk is worth in the tank.
The reason they wean early is because there really isn't much need to bottle feed them past 4-6 weeks as long as they're eating well. Plus it cuts down on the amount of "other" type of work that needs to be done.

dun
 
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