agmantoo

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by myersfarm, May 4, 2005.

  1. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    i guess you and i are the only ones that only feed what the calf can drink .... i feed 1 3/4 quarts 2 times a day..most ppl feed 2 quarts or more 2 times a day ...on a other site i visit lady says she feed 2 quarts 3 times a day....don't know how they keep there calfs alive feeding that much......john
     
  2. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    How much milk does a calf get off a cow?? Do you think a beef cow can only give a gallon a day?? We start our Jerseys off at 2 quarts and gradually put them on buckets where they get almost a gallon per feeding twice a day.This is straight Jersey cow milk. Yes they have runny manure but it is not scours. Some off the bigger breeds get over a gallon per feeding. We wean around three months or whenever they can pull the hutch around. We lost two calves last fall to some Scours but that is two out of 100 plus in three years. I know the saying of a hungry calf is a healthy calf, but I think a Hungry calf is a calf not growing like it should. This at least works for us and may not for you.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Many inexperienced first time calf owners want their calf to have the best and often that is interpreted as quantity when it comes to feeding. We often see these new owners asking why is their calf scouring and why is it just lying about. Typically in a stressed calf this is from over feeding and the calf is having digestion problems and an upset stomach/belly ache. Certainly limiting the calf's intake is not going to harm it nor will it limit the calf's adult size. It could delay the calf reaching its mature weight but that is little consequence as we do not want to breed a too young of an animal and create calving problems. A gradual move up in the amount of milk or milk replacement can be tolerated by the calf. If I were raising veal calves certainly I would want to put a bloom on them. On the other hand, if I have a family milk cow and small children that can consume the milk I would need to rethink how I was feeding the calf. Milk replacer is over $1 per pound, milk itself is expensive and good growing rations are 16 cents per pound. Therefore it would benefit to get off the milk replacer and get onto the calf crumbles ASAP without negative impact on the calf. If the calf is limited fed milk/milk replacer and given full access to the crumbles it will soon adjust to having adequate intake and will be growing. It will not be having the scours and what milk or milk replacement it consumes will be benefiting rather than blown out the discharge chute.
     
  4. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    yes i agree a beef cow gives more then a gallon a day...but to me ...calfs on a cow are like calfs in a feed lot........put one in a feed lot pour out 30 lbs feed he will not eat that much at once but will eat then rest then eat somemore......but put 2 calfs in the same pen and pour out 60 lbs they will try to eat it all at once to keep the other from getting any.....same thing to me for the calfs ones in the field with mom only eat what they want then lay down if they get just a little hungry the get up get another sip or two..untill they get like 2 months old then they drain the cow every time they can catch her..by then my calfs or only on feed...calfs in the pen get real hungry so they overeat if you let them ....john

    ps evermore was wondering do you buy these calfs from sale barn or do these come from your cows
     
  5. swamp_deb

    swamp_deb Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'm reading to learn as I know absolutely nothing about raising calves and certainly don't want to lose one. We are thinking about buying 2 calves to grow out to butcher. These will be dairy bulls. How much milk replacer do you need to feed, how often, and tell me about the calf crumbles, when do you start putting it out there for them, when to wean off milk replacer totally?

    Is there anything else tht they sould be given in the first few days or weeks that will make a difference?

    If this is too many questions, point me to the right web addy or book, please.

    Thanks so much for letting me pick your brains.
     
  6. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I never feed more than 2 quarts twice a day. I agree with agmantoo; I want them off the bottle and on the feed as soon as possible. If they stay full on milk, they don't get any encouragement to start eating.
     
  7. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Our calves all are homegrown with only a few exceptions. I would really hate to buy calves at the auction and got my others privately . Colostrum is always the key to keeping calves alive. Lots of it quick as you can. Sanitation,attention to details, and basic common sense are also vital. In my sitution I have excess milk from cows so I spoil them. I have worked with dairies that wean at thiry days or when calves eat X amount of starter. They had a lot of headaches. This was a college farm who does "everything right". They had a good colostrum feeding excellent sanitation, even took fecal scours and temps on a daily basis. However the replacer(well known tri state product) fed was inadeaquate. Did you know that calves can die from hypothermia because they starve on replacer in extreme cold??? This is why I do everything almost opposite of what :experts say. Again only my opinion.

    Swamp Deb try to find local calves that will have colostrum. If they are Holsteins start them off with one bottle twice a day after two or more feedings of colostrum. If you use milk replacer go for a high fat and protein medicated one. Crumbles or calf starter (16%protein or more)should be offered right away though they will not eat much at first. TRy putting a little on your hand and let them suck it. It seems once the rumen starts to develop scours are less of a problem. Gradually increase starter and see how they do. You can mantain one bottle twice a day or feed more (be cautious). Generally wean at two months or when they are eating 5 lbs of starter. Take temp if calf is off, or seems depressed. When our calves scour we take them completely off milk and feed electrolytes ( Merecks Blue Ribbon), sometimes give excenel or nuflor for respitory. Our calves are outside in hutches year round, hutches moved and allowed to be sunbleached for a month. If it is nice I stake calves out on grass. There is a lot of good advice and experience from these members so put it all to use.
     
  8. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    evermore....not trying to ruffle your feathers but in your first post you said you start your jerseys out on two quarts..then when your telling swamp deb..you say if they are holstiens i bottle twice a day if you feed more be cautious.....to me a bottle is 2 quarts so you feed a jersey 70 lbs 2 quarts and a holstien 110 lbs 2 quarts......i only feed jerseys and i give them 1 3/4 to 1 1/2 quarts 2 times a day
     
  9. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Yes I did say that. As mentioned earlier inexperience and overfeeding is a bad combo. I figured that level would be safe for a newbie, then gradually up the amount ( also can increase the concentration of mix). All the breeds large and small here start out on a bottle twice a day then increase, unless very small, weak, or such. Do you think this would be okay for someone getting started?? Try upping the amount on your calves around two or three weeks, whenever safe from scouring. Just try it on one or two and do a side by side comparision. Granted it is way more expensive to keep the calf on milk then early wean and push grain. However this is when a calf gains the most lean mass in comparison to body size. Imagine doubling weight every sixty days on steers! This is why I justify feeding a more expensive system. I also am into showing and need large heifer calves to compete