Anyone ever bottle fed a Dexter?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by quailkeeper, May 13, 2005.

  1. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever bottle fed a Dexter calf? I am getting two 12 day old dexter calves (unrelated) this week and not sure what to feed them. I know that most beef type calves are fed around 1 gallon a day. I have a surplus of Jersey milk in the freezer so should these calves also be fed the gallon a day? Or since they are smaller should they be fed less? The bull calf is around 60 lbs and I would guess the heifer is about the same. Thanks!!
     
  2. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Are they being bottled at the moment? If so just ask when you pick them up how much and how often they are being fed. I don't think I'd be giving a gallon just yet though, I know someone bottleing one at the moment I'll ask him how much he's giving his. Also the Jersey milk would be ideal although maybe a tad rich if it's real creamy, it would be better to underfeed them when you get them than to overfeed them and have them scour. I guess if they were mine I'd feed 3 times a day and more if you are at home and can manage it, just smaller quantities.
    Out of curiosity, are the people you are getting them from milking? Just wondering as it's unusual to hear of getting a Dexter as a bottle baby let alone 2 of them. I'll let you know when I find out on the amounts.

    Carol K
     

  3. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    My vet says feed a calf 10% of their body weight, or a 60lb calf ought to be getting 6lbs daily. He went on to say "A pint's a pound the world around." So 6 pounds would be 6 pints.
     
  4. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Ok I talked with the guy who is bottle feeding his Dexter, he is using a milk replacer which says on it to use about 1.5 quarts twice a day (that's 12 hours apart) for small breeds. Let us know how you get on.

    Carol K
     
  5. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    No, both of them are on their mothers. I was afraid that a gallon would be too much. One of the cows had a difficult labor, she is 12 years old and weighs about 600 lbs. The dexter bull she was bred to weighed 1200lbs. She was having a hard time recovering. Apparently she took a turn for the worse and the owner called and asked me if I could get him Wednesday. She is going to run the cow thru the sale barn Thursday. The bull calf is going to go into the freezer this winter (I'm trying to avoid the large dexters). Then she said she found me a heifer out of a smaller line of dexters. I haven't found out why she is being sold so young.

    Is three quarts too much? This will actually be my first time to bottle feed any calf other than a Holstein that I fed for two days. I have several books on calves and milk cows but of course they don't mention Dexters at all. Thanks for any help!!!!!!!
     
  6. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Beat me by two minutes :haha: Thanks so much!! So three quarts it is.
     
  7. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Quailkeeper,
    just go slow, better to be cautious than to over do it. You may find they take less to start with, play it by ear.
    One thing though, you said you wanted to butcher in the wonter? He's going to be very small and only 6+ months old, are you sure you mean this winter?
    By the way this dexter site has a ton of info for you on Dexters.
    http://www.dakodan.net/dexters/forum/

    Carol K
     
  8. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    His sire was so large that I don't think we are going to have problems with him being big enough to butcher this winter. We may wait until next spring but that would be the longest we'll wait. We're just going to have to wait and see how big he's going to be. Should I start them on a little less than three quarts to be sure I don't overfeed them? I'll check out the website and see if I can find out some more on the dexter. I've been researching them for a long time just not sure about a couple of things. Like when a heifer can be bred. I know that in dairy cattle they should be bred around 15 months. Are dexters the same? We didn't breed our angus until they were two. When can a bull calf be banded?
     
  9. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    Breed your Dexter to calve at 2, just the same as most breeds. Check out the Dakodan site, lots of good info on most subjects. Let us know how it goes with your calves. Good luck.

    Carol K
     
  10. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's pretty young to butcher a steer. They don't have enough time to put on the marbled fat that makes good beef so tender and tasty. You should wait until it's 2 years old.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  11. quailkeeper

    quailkeeper Well-Known Member

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    No way!! I wouldn't put two years into a calf just to butcher it. We tried that once with an angus heifer. She ended up calving right around two years old, so we had to keep her for the calf and then she was pregnant again. So we just kept her and no beef in the fridge. I don't want veal but I don't want a half a ton of meat either. I'm thinking a yearling would be about perfect. Thanks for all the help!! :haha: I can't wait until the new babies are here!!!!
     
  12. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How are the bottle baby Dexters doing? I'm curious how they came to be bottle babies and what happened to their mothers?

    G. Seddon
    Mineral, Virginia