When to ween a calf

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randumchatress

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I have been feeding a little bull calf for six weeks. He is eating a little calf stater and is grazing or nibbling the tops of grass. I am feeding him three bottles a day. He weighs about 115 lbs he is a big boy. My question is when do I stop the bottle? I havent tried the bucket yet, should I do that and just stop the bottle altogether?
Also, I have a first time momma cow and baby. When do I seperate them?
 

Bama

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I wouldn't go from a bottle 3 time a day to nothing yet. I would take him off slowly. Maybe go to twice daily, once a day. Then cut him off. I generally fenceline seperate mine at or near 205 days. It depends on conditions. A few days either way won't matter much. Also depends on the condition of the cow. If she is milking good and holding her shape I may leave them a little longer. You will get all kinds of differant replys to this as differant people are in differant circumstances. I don't do any bottle calves if I can help it. Some here do only that and will be of more help to you.
 

dun

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Typically a bottle calf is weaned when they're eating a minimum of 2 lbs a day of calf starter grain. They should have access to fresh water by the time they're a coupleo fdays to a week old. Frequently the proglem with feeding that much replacer/milk is that they don;t really develop a enough hunger/desire to start eating solids.

dun
 

Beefy

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I would probably start reducing the milk to encourage him to eat more calf starter and just feed him until you run out of milk unless you are planning to need some more in the near future. depending on the heifers condition i might wean her calf a little early. 6 or 7 months is about the average age a calf is weaned. as well as they are selling now (assuming you will be selling the calf) i wouldn hesitate to sell it a little early to help the heifer out. she'll probably pay you back next year.
 
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randumchatress

randumchatress

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Beefy":3h8v4et7 said:
I would probably start reducing the milk to encourage him to eat more calf starter and just feed him until you run out of milk unless you are planning to need some more in the near future. depending on the heifers condition i might wean her calf a little early. 6 or 7 months is about the average age a calf is weaned. as well as they are selling now (assuming you will be selling the calf) i wouldn hesitate to sell it a little early to help the heifer out. she'll probably pay you back next year.
Starting today I have been feeding him in the barn where the troft is set up for the young calfs to eat. After feeding him I take him to the troft and put handfulls of feed up to his mouth, he will eat only 4 or 5 mouth fulls. I cut his afternoon bottle down to half and will eliminate in a few days. Please tell me what I should be watching for by changing his diet.
Thanks for the response.
 
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randumchatress

randumchatress

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buckaroo_bif":33tldnyt said:
hi randum chatress

this might be helpful> http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/an_sci/extensi ... y/202D.pdf

did your cow ever get up awhile back???
No I am sorry to say, my husband had to shoot her. The baby I am bottle feeding is hers. We had four heifers pregnant all to the same bull. All the babies had to be pulled. I am no longer afraid of that aspect. I have learned so much from this forum. I read the posts all the time.
I did read what you suggested it was a little helpful. The actual weeining process is my concern. I would love to have him eating two pounds of calf starter a day after six weeks. I dont see it but will decrease the bottle feeding and keep my fingers crossed. :)
 

buckaroo_bif

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I think the problem with raising bottle calves is that their rumen does not develop properly. I was reading something about raising bottle calves awhile back and a Big percent of them die. Don't remember the numbers but it was astounding. The more solid food the better before weaning I would say, but I am certainly no expert. We don't raise them we ship em to the sale barn.
lots of luck!
bif
 

Wewild

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buckaroo_bif":2t8ojokc said:
I think the problem with raising bottle calves is that their rumen does not develop properly. I was reading something about raising bottle calves awhile back and a Big percent of them die. Don't remember the numbers but it was astounding. The more solid food the better before weaning I would say, but I am certainly no expert. We don't raise them we ship em to the sale barn.
lots of luck!
bif

Raised only three out of three when I was a kid. Inky, Spot, and Saturday. Had to shoot Saturday when she was 6 or 7 after she got lock jaw. I must be ahead of the curve.
 

SimmAngus

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randumchatress":3h2kimxr said:
buckaroo_bif":3h2kimxr said:
hi randum chatress

this might be helpful> http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/an_sci/extensi ... y/202D.pdf

did your cow ever get up awhile back???
No I am sorry to say, my husband had to shoot her. The baby I am bottle feeding is hers. We had four heifers pregnant all to the same bull. All the babies had to be pulled. I am no longer afraid of that aspect. I have learned so much from this forum. I read the posts all the time.
I did read what you suggested it was a little helpful. The actual weeining process is my concern. I would love to have him eating two pounds of calf starter a day after six weeks. I dont see it but will decrease the bottle feeding and keep my fingers crossed. :)

Hi- Just My 2cents worth......... How long did you wait from water bag breaking or first hoof to assist with the birth? I pull my fair share of calves but I run Simmental Bulls on Angus Cows/Heifers. I normally pull 11% of first calf heifers and less than 1% cows. Your loss/pull ratio seems very high and might be due to the breeding. To answer your question.... After a week get the calf on grain / grass hay. After two weeks cut back the bottle to twice per day. The calf will want to eat, and find something...... dry matter! Then to once per day the following. Make sure he/she has LOTS of fresh water, salt and mineral. Also give the calf some ADE, my 10yr old Daughter calls it TURBO Juice! It will help the calf adjust quicker. After one month give it a 7-way and worm. If it is on good feed and healthy you can pull the last bottle after 70days. IMHI........
 
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randumchatress

randumchatress

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SimmAngus":2qct93jx said:
randumchatress":2qct93jx said:
buckaroo_bif":2qct93jx said:
hi randum chatress

this might be helpful> http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/an_sci/extensi ... y/202D.pdf

did your cow ever get up awhile back???
No I am sorry to say, my husband had to shoot her. The baby I am bottle feeding is hers. We had four heifers pregnant all to the same bull. All the babies had to be pulled. I am no longer afraid of that aspect. I have learned so much from this forum. I read the posts all the time.
I did read what you suggested it was a little helpful. The actual weeining process is my concern. I would love to have him eating two pounds of calf starter a day after six weeks. I dont see it but will decrease the bottle feeding and keep my fingers crossed. :)

Hi- Just My 2cents worth......... How long did you wait from water bag breaking or first hoof to assist with the birth? I pull my fair share of calves but I run Simmental Bulls on Angus Cows/Heifers. I normally pull 11% of first calf heifers and less than 1% cows. Your loss/pull ratio seems very high and might be due to the breeding. To answer your question.... After a week get the calf on grain / grass hay. After two weeks cut back the bottle to twice per day. The calf will want to eat, and find something...... dry matter! Then to once per day the following. Make sure he/she has LOTS of fresh water, salt and mineral. Also give the calf some ADE, my 10yr old Daughter calls it TURBO Juice! It will help the calf adjust quicker. After one month give it a 7-way and worm. If it is on good feed and healthy you can pull the last bottle after 70days. IMHI........[/quoteThe first calf came with out us being there, The calf was dead partially out of the mother and the mother was paralyzed. She is up and doing fine now. The second cow, I found in labor trying to expel a calf the legs and nose was all I could see. I went and got my neighbor and he helped me pulled that calf. She was also paralyzed and we had to eventually shoot her. The third we waited for over an hour watching her try and listening to her bellow. I should mention we checked on her steady and watching her. In this case mother and baby did fine. It took her time to get up but she was ok. The last one we needed to get assistance from the neighbor again. The calf was so large she had to be cut to get it out. The calf didnt live She did. I will also mention in this small span of time with all the cow drama someone fatally shot my dog. We never expected nor were we prepared. WE made allot of mistakes and unfortunately we lost a cow and two calfs. I appreciate your answering my post. I do apologize for the lengthy answer to your so small question.
 

jgn

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On the bottle feeding I would drop down to two bottles a day, one morning and one afternoon. Make sure he has grain, hay, and fresh water available. I would give him a week and then drop to one bottle. One more week and I would cut out all bottles provided he is eating plenty of the grain. He should start eating more as you decrease the bottles to compensate. I usually seperate my calves from the cows at 6 months for weaning.
 

KY

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we usually take ours off the bottle at 6 to 8 weeks depends on how they are doing. We usually just take the bottle away and they are eating the grain so good they dont care, might get a couple moos but thats about it.
 
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randumchatress

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KY":hy1q0gd1 said:
we usually take ours off the bottle at 6 to 8 weeks depends on how they are doing. We usually just take the bottle away and they are eating the grain so good they dont care, might get a couple moos but thats about it.

I wanted to follow up on my bottle calf.
I took the bottle away completely and put his milk in a bucket. It took a few head dunkings and some spilt milk but he got the hang of it. After the milk is gone I put in the grain he is eating more but not enough to take him off the bottle. I really made a mistake by petting him and staying with him one I am trying to rectify now. I think it wont be long till he is eating and the buckets will stop. Thanks to all for the advice , encouragement and concern. I appreciate it. :D
 

preston39

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randum........"I really made a mistake by petting him and staying with him one I am trying to rectify now".

Why do you say this...what are you experiencing that you think this caused? :roll:
 

milkmaid

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In the past I've always found that bottle calves tend to transition to eating grain best when they're fed out of a bucket vs. a bottle. Calves completely on a bottle from birth to weaning just don't seem to understand looking for grain in a bucket.

I'll bet three feedings a day has that calf so full he isn't interested in eating much else. Off topic, but I've got four young calves on a nurse cow right now that are getting so much milk they drink until they're full and stand around with the same look on their face kids have after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. LOL. Those calves aren't interested in eating grain or hay during the day! And that cow still has so much milk left over that I have to strip out another 2 gal/day by hand. Ugh. Hopefully soon the calves will start drinking enough I can throw all of them out to pasture and leave cow and calves together 24/7 without worrying about the cow getting mastitis.

I don't usually like weaning earlier than 7 weeks, though I've done before. Usually about 7-8 weeks and they'll be eating hay/grain enough to wean them without worrying they'll drop weight. I'd suggest cutting him back to two feedings, then after a few days just go to once a day. Most calves only need 2-3 days on a once a day schedule before you can eliminate the milk completely. Of course, if you have more milk replacer there's no reason not to feed it. =)
 

Bama

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randumchatress":26bx9mrz said:
KY":26bx9mrz said:
I really made a mistake by petting him and staying with him one I am trying to rectify now. I think it wont be long till he is eating and the buckets will stop. Thanks to all for the advice , encouragement and concern. I appreciate it. :D

Sounds like your doing a great job. I have saw bottlefed calves grow up and still wanted petting or playing. They can come up from behind you with a playful headbutt to them but a pain in the back for you. Also a extremely gentle cow is had to herd. This is just my opinion I have a few that like a scratch on the ear occassionaly but they are the exception.
 

preston39

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Bama":4ud82byv said:
randumchatress":4ud82byv said:
KY":4ud82byv said:
I really made a mistake by petting him and staying with him one I am trying to rectify now. I think it wont be long till he is eating and the buckets will stop. Thanks to all for the advice , encouragement and concern. I appreciate it. :D

Sounds like your doing a great job. I have saw bottlefed calves grow up and still wanted petting or playing. They can come up from behind you with a playful headbutt to them but a pain in the back for you. Also a extremely gentle cow is had to herd. This is just my opinion I have a few that like a scratch on the ear occassionaly but they are the exception.
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bama,

I suspected that was the type of experiences...he was having.

I don't believe in making them pets....to some degree. Although, I can go into the fields and we have about 10-12 that come running for the occasional bite of sweet feed out of the back of the truck.... that helps...when we want 'em in the corrals...they bring the whole herd.

One swing of that big head can replace a hip...uh...cause a hip replacement ....wheither one needs it or not.
 
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randumchatress

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jerry27150":zwsofjne said:
now you are getting the hang of it



:D Another update. The calf is eating more grass following me less he still isnt eating much sweet feed. I started to pour a little of the milk substitute on it and he is eating a little more. It took me a while but I am getting the hang of it. :cboy:
 

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