New Calf coming

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by preciouszoo, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. preciouszoo

    preciouszoo Member

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    We are getting a new calf born this afternoon (feb 16,2004) to raise, it's a beef calf from our neighbour. The calf will be coming in a few days to make sure it's gotten enough colostrum form it's mother, as I believe to be very important. Is ther any tip or trick that I should know to start him feeding on a bottle? do most calfs take to the bottle or does it take a few tries? This will be our first time raising a calf. we have raised other animals, and do have other animals here for him for companions, such as goats, llamas, and horses.I'm sure my neighbour will give me some information on what to do and so on. But any tips , Tricks and suggestions would be welcomed. Could I safely house him with the goats or llamas?
    Thanks in advance, Preciouszoo
     
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Bear in mind you are making a drastic switch from mom to milk replacer. Totally different taste. Some calves take to it right away, others don't. If they don't you may have to use your legs as stantions. Stand the calf up and straddle it. Then you have the head at your crotch. Try sticking a couple of fingers in its mouth first to see if you can get a suck action going. If so, quickly replace the fingers with the nipple. If the calf refuses the milk replacer, wait a couple of hours and try again. Hunger can work wonders.

    I had my calf taking the bottle readily so put him back with mom today. This evening he refused to take the bottle so I had to tube feed him. I hope he will take the bottle again in the morning. No more mom for quite a while. She appears to give just enough milk to take the edge off his hunger to where he doesn't want to tank up from the bottle.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Ken is right. They do not usually take right to the bottle, unless they are pretty hungry. When holding the calf with your knees, it's good to back their butt up to a wall. That helps hold them still. It can take patience, but keep at it and he will eventually come around.

    Make sure you buy a good milk replacer, not the soy based stuff.

    Buy some calf starter and put that out for him to check out.

    He should be ok with other animals, just make sure no one is getting beat up.

    Jena
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would keep the new baby away from the llamas or at least let them learn about each other over the fence for a while cause llamas are guard animals and may not take to the dog sized calf. I know I had a bad time with a guard donkey and calves at one time. The goats will be fine with him. Good luck with your new baby.
     
  5. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Locally calf starter and calf grower aren't the same thing so be careful what they give you. Calf starter has a high molasses content to where it will tend to stick together a bit coming out of the bag. Includes chopped up corn kernels and oats among other things fairly easily digested by calves. Calf grower doesn't have a much molasses in it as an enticement.

    Usually calves don't start getting an interested in hay, water and calf starter until they are 3-4 weeks old. Some earlier, some later. Just make good hay, clean, fresh water and calf starter available for it to find.

    When you go out to feed the calf don't just walk up and plug in the bottle. Play with it first to where it is dancing around and rubbing on you. It is said this helps stimulate their appetite and flow of saliva. It is a bit odd to see cattle licking their lips as they head to the feed trough.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  6. preciouszoo

    preciouszoo Member

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    Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions! I do really appreciate them. Also at what age if it's a male sould i worry about castrating. Can you band them with the elastrators and bands? Or do they have to be cut by the farmer with the knoweledge or a vet?
    I have done our male goats with great success with the elastrator and bands but wasn't sure if a calf would be the same. I'm going to the vfeed mill to get some good milk replacer and some calf starter. as i only have a 16% dairy goat ration that is made much the same as the calf starter that you are talking about with the corn oats and molasses. I'm not sure if that would be sufficient. Should i build the calf his own little hutch? i have some recycled good quality lumber on hand just in case. If so, does anyone have a link to some plans or measurements for one as i know the store bought ones can be quite costly. thanks again for all your help.
    sincerely Preciouszoo
     
  7. NRS Farm

    NRS Farm Well-Known Member

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    We band our calves within a day or so of birth. Anytime after a few days we can't catch and hold them. Ours are with their mamas in a pasture or large pen though. We probably lose some growth enhancement verses non-castrated males but you also set them back some if you wait until they are older. Try to do it before fly season though, to prevent maggots from infecting the wound (you usually have a small wound when the scrotum drops off). To be honest, though, we never had a problem with maggots or anything.

    The procedure is about the same as with goats...but you can't handle the calves as easily as a goat. I find it is easiest for me to band calves when they are laying down. As with goats be sure to count to two ;) .
     
  8. mailman

    mailman Miniature Cattle

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    So, can I use the same elastrator rubber band and applicator that I used for my goats? ....Dennis