Feeding Goat milk to calves

Discussion in 'Goats' started by R.Adams, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. R.Adams

    R.Adams Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    west of Houston, TX
    For those of you who feed your extra goat milk to calves, how much milk do you feed them? I have a baby holstein bull calf i'm feeding and he's eating 3 calf bottle size bottles a day and still seems extra hungery. He's showing no signes of loose bowels, his stools are pretty thick. I thought maybe he was just digesting his milk much faster than he would a milk replacer. Should i feed a little more milk to him while he's still young (he's just 4 days old)? Does goat milk cause constipationg in baby calves? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. geminigoats

    geminigoats Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like he is a fairly healthy little guy and off to a good strat. Has he had his colestrom from his mother? The reason I say that is from experiences with raising baby calves off of goats milk, its critical they have their colestrom. I wouldn't push him with too much milk right now because his tummy is sensitive and he may scour on you. What we found that worked for us was to give them immediately after we got them, and usually at a day old, was a 7 way tab for scours, etc, can't recall the name of it exactly, but Jeffers sells it, and then we gave Immuno-g, an immune system booster to them and were able to successfully raise them without scour (e-coli) or pnemonia problems. We found that goats' milk didn't cause any constipation problems at all. It was the right millk to feed them compared to milk replacer.

    The ones we had problems with had no colestrom and pretty much that was a disaster.

    We waited about a week before raising their milk intake and then gradually increased it to a gal a day by the end of their second week. With the method we used we found they were able to tolerate the milk increase easily with no problems.

    That was what worked for us, now someone else may suggest something different. They grow very well on goats milk I think. We also found milk replacer does not work as well for calves and goats. Hope this helps.

    Bernice
     

  3. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our holstein calves get a 2 qt bottle morning and night -- that's it. Overfeeding is a much greater danger than underfeeding. Cross bred calves get half that.

    Grain and haynets go into the pen the first week.

    We do some preventative medicine too -- when we first get them, they get 15 ccs of Polyserum SQ, and 5 cc's of penicillin orally. had never done the penicilling before, but tried it on the last batch with good results.

    Susan at Waiilatpu told me they have raised calves free choice on goat milk -- said they worked them up to it gradually, and did just fine.

    Tracy
     
  4. R.Adams

    R.Adams Well-Known Member

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    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    west of Houston, TX
    Thanks for the replies. He is pretty healthy, I got him right off the dairy farm. Those sale barn calves are hit and miss on getting one healthy thats had its colostrum. He weighs close to 100 lbs at 4 days so he's pretty big. He's taking 1 1/2 gallons a day right now with not a bit of scouring. He just seems like he's still starved after every bottle. I've raised alot of calves on milk replacer and he's my first one on goat milk. The milk replacer seemed to be more filling longer than the goats milk. I was just making sure I wasn't overfeeding him. Just seems he's taking alot of my milk. Good thing I get over 3 gallons a day still.
     
  5. DWFarms

    DWFarms Member

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    Sep 25, 2004
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    Tennessee
    We purchase them at 2 days. That will give them time to get there first milk. We never purchase them any earlier. We start them out on a quart twice a day and work up to 2 quarts twice daily. We only feed a gallon a day per calf all the way threw weaning age. We have done this for years and had no problems with the calves. We introduce calf manna at two weeks. They won't start eating it good until around a month of age. After they hit a month old we gradually mix calf grower with it. They seem to fatten up nicely. Buy the fall the goats has made a extra profit and no milk has went to waste.
     
  6. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    having raised calves and having goats, working up to a gal, a day is plenty of milk. your averabge size calfs, are around 115 to 125 pds. when born under that is small, unless, it is a jursey or something along those lines. I woudl start out with a quart in the morning, and a quart at night. with water inbetween. then work up slowely to 2 quarts a feeding. over that is over feeding. and problems with the tummy. at 2 days, I start giving calf peppets, at 5 days, hay. and these increase over the next few months.