Quantcast HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.










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Offline bringing purple

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HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« on: February 15, 2012, 05:19:44 PM »
Have a calf that is  still nursing momma, however we are concerned she may not be producing enough milk. We attempted to supplement the calf with some replacer milk and he would not take to it at all. I hear that it  usually will take a few tries before the calf will take to it? What is a good method of teaching the calf to nurse from the bottle? Thanks
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Offline frostback

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 05:22:54 PM »
Why do you feel the cow is not producing enough?
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Offline bringing purple

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 05:26:20 PM »
Her udder ALWAYS looks sucked down and today i tried to "milk" her and nothing more than a few dribbles came out of any teat. Could be over reacting here but i like to play it safe. The cow really and truly is not in the best health condition also. She is not my cow though.
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Offline WB ShowCattle

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 06:21:32 PM »
best way is to take the calf right off the cow then if it is hungry it has to nurse from the bottle ... i had a calf that we turned out in the morning it stole milk off the and it wouldn't want to suck on the bottle that night so we stopped turning him loose

Offline Duncan Livestock

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 06:39:44 PM »
Just a thought to help to see if the calf is full.  Stand directly behind it and use both of your hands and grab it by the flank on each side with 2 fingers and lift up.  If the flank is tight, the calf likely has a full belly.  If it's floppy, it's been awhile since the last nursing.

Also when bottle feeding, rub the calf's tail head, this will help with the sucking movement.

Our past experience says if the calf won't take the bottle, they are already full.

Good luck!

Offline bruiser

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 08:19:24 PM »
You  need to watch the temp. of the water you use. Just like your mother did when you where nursing- if it feels "nice and warm"  on the inside of your wrist it's good to go. I've raised bucket calves for a few years and they can be finicky but if they get hungry enough they'll eat. Keep an eye on the calf tho- if the milk's bad he'll look poor quickly.

Offline firesweepranch

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 08:58:11 PM »
Gee, timely discussion here. We had a first calf heifer calve on Saturday. I did not expect it since she was not due for 5 more days and had no real udder to speak of. We pulled her inside and tubed the calf with colostrum because we were not sure if the cow had milk. The next morning, we put the heifer in the chute and were able to squeeze some milk from all four teats, but she still looked like she had no milk! The calf is sucking often, so that tells me she is hungry, no? We have tried to offer her a quarter bottle twice a day, backing her in a corner and working her jaw on the nipple. Sometimes she takes a few sucks but then refuses and keeps chewing the nipple and spitting it out. When you let her loose, she goes right to the udder and sucks. We have been doing this since Sunday, and finally I called the vet today, who told me to just watch her. If she refuses the bottle, she does not need it (she is not hungry?). Tonight we decided to kick the heifer and calf back out with the group, and within an hour the mom was running around the pasture bawling for her calf. We found the calf had slipped through the hot wire, through the pipe fencing, and back into her warm straw barn because she did not like being out! How funny is that? We put the heifer back in the pen with the calf and when we looked closely at the heifer's udder, it actually looks like she has one, albeit small, which was exciting. We left them in the warm straw barn, and figured we will kick them out tomorrow morning so she can commingle with the other two new calves. We named the calf "hope" because we hope she lives! Her dam is out of some of our best genetics, and by a sire with top milk numbers so no reason why we should be having these problems. How long can it take for the heifers to come into their milk?
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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 09:22:47 PM »
No calf will drink that milk replacer while moms milk is still an option.   If the calf is over a mnth old, they will get far more benefit from a textured feed than from milk replacer.   Sell the cow, feed the calf. 
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Offline Gargan

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 09:40:49 PM »
a cow can also hold her milk back. ive had stubbern cows before that dont like being milked and they wont let their milk down. when u try to milk them, they appear to be dry, but actually they are just being stingy with it. (lol)
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.  -Ronald reagan

Offline WB ShowCattle

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 09:43:10 PM »
a cow can also hold her milk back. ive had stubbern cows before that dont like being milked and they wont let their milk down. when u try to milk them, they appear to be dry, but actually they are just being stingy with it. (lol)
funny how they can do that isnt it haha

Offline CAB

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 09:37:59 AM »
Take the calf away from the cow for 12 hours then take the bottle to the barn and back the calf into a corner and rub it some until it calms down then try to give the calf the calf the bottle. It needs to have a moment to calm down to think a bit about what is happening & to take time to taste and decide that it isn't a bad deal. Over the last few years, we've had to supplement a few HW heifers & I can tell you those calves will take a bottle while running with their companion,( their mother). By taking the calf away it will give you quite a bit better chance of getting the calf to accept the bottle along with giving you a chance to access the heifer's milking ability & milk quantity. Good Luck.

Offline WJ Farms

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 09:45:09 AM »
Sometime they wont drop their milk............you can try giving her a show of Oxytocin and feed her alfalfa

Offline bringing purple

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Re: HELP!!! Bottle Feeding a calf.
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 12:39:48 PM »
Thanks for all of the replies! I took your advice this mornig and straddled the calf put my thumb in its mouth along with the bottle and he went to sucking a little bit, towards the end he sorta got the hang of things. Tommorow moring we will see if he remembers. Thanks all
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