New Calf Seems Thin

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by BJ, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    We have a 2wk old angus calf..the first calf born to a 2yr old heifer. He is not putting on much weight. We have watched him nurse and he goes from one teat to another bumping his head against the bag. Eventually, from the tail wag, we see he does get some milk..and he may even have some on his face. The heifers bag is rather floppy and it and the teats don't ever look full like the older cows w/calves. Is this normal? Is there something we can do to make her produce more milk? Should we supplement her feedings with powdered milk? Or...just be patient? He is lively, running, bucking etc. he just spends a lot of time trying to get something to eat. If he would only check out the other cows...they have more than enough milk. Suggestion?:confused:
  2. NRS Farm

    NRS Farm Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2003
    I would basically leave him be. As he nurses more, the heifer will probably produce more milk. By feeding him powdered milk he may get upset stomach and will not attempt to nurse as much which causes the heifer not to produce as much. As to his checking out the other cows...he would probably be kicked or bucked if he tried nursing one of them (although I have seen some steal from behind). If you were going to try to increase his feed intake I would try creep feeding either grain or hay. Probably have better luck with hay. Creep feeding depends on how many others you have...who is running together...etc. I've gone through a similar situation...normally they are smaller calves but seem to grow none the less.

  3. opus

    opus Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    What is the cow eating??
  4. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    washington/british columbia
    First time calves are typically smaller, and the cows bag will develop as the calf gets bigger, two weeks old is too soon to assume there's something wrong, if there was he would be sick or dead by now.
    He will do fine on what he gets from mom, try not to interfere, they grow in bursts, and if you don't have a lot of other calves around sometimes its hard to notice this.
    We just had a calf to an excellent first time mom, and he's about two weeks old now and he isn't any bigger than about a Border Collie, really cute, and very healthy.
    Just leave them alone and give him or her time.
    Don't mess with milk replacers while its still doing ok on mom, too much will give them scours.
    Besides, bottle babies are a pain, you may enjoy at first but it gets tiresome after a while.