Twin - Bottle Feeding Question

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Well-known member
May 16, 2012
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West, TN
Ok, I've been raising cattle a little over 11 years now but have never had a twin, that I know of not saying I haven't. The mother is an angus influenced heifer that had been sick so we were keeping her up and feeding her separate to nurse her back to good health. Well today she had twins(tiny things weighing about 35-40 lbs) and rejected one. I bought colostrum supplement at stockdales and mixed up 2 quarts. He took 1 quart in the first 4 hours pretty easily. I tried feeding him a minute ago and he wouldn't take it. Took a couple of gulps and that was it. He is definitely not filled out but has pooped as it was on my leg. 8) I was going to try and feed him in the morning again before heading to work and have a couple of questions.

1.) Can and how do I save the other quart I mixed up or should I pour it out and mix new in the morning.
2. Am I on the right track? I know the supplement isn't exactly the recommended to the T but that is all I could get and we ain't exactly in Dairy Country. It is 20% CP, 20% fat though.

Calf is alert and keeps it's head up but isn't filled out. I'm new to bottle feeding and just want to give the calf it's best chance.

Son of Butch":11p6tvb5 said:
Search youtube for How To Use An Esophageal Feeding Tube

You don't think a quart was enough. Hour 1 - found calf, hour 3 - fed calf one quart, hour 7 - tried feeding again but only took a couple sips.

You think a tube feeding is necessary. I was only thinking that if he didn't take another quart in the morning. He only weighs between 35-40lbs. I figured a quart was pretty descent.
first few hours are the most important...
for future reference would have tubed 2nd quart at or before hour 7 after he only would take just a few sips of the
2nd quart... but make sure you know how to properly tube before trying and be gentle.

Getting him to take the bottle is better, if you are too rough and scrape the inside of his mouth and or throat tubing,
it could set him back from taking his next bottle because of a sore mouth or throat too sore to swallow..
A colostrum supplement as opposed to a replacer certainly is not ideal but I've been in your situation before and that calf is now due with her 5th :). I now always keep replacer with my calving supplies. Aforementioned calf was also a 40 lb preemie. When they're that small they simply can't handle as much milk so don't be discouraged; one quart per feeding is sufficient but I agree w/Butch that a 2nd quart within 8 hours would have been beneficial. You may want to try a smaller nipple (like for goats) and essentially hold it in his mouth, he should eventually start sucking. If you do have to tube I would also recommend getting a smaller tube because the bulb on standard calf tubers is too large for their tiny throats (we borrowed one from our vet the 2nd time we had a preemie). I have refrigerated & re-used colostrum replacer/supplement, milk replacer & electrolytes but if they don't finish the bottle on the 2nd try I throw it out & start fresh the next time.

You may want to consider a shot of Vitamin B Complex (5cc IM) to give the calf a little extra energy. Good luck!

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