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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My family is getting a 1 to 2 day old jersey girl. What Questions should I ask. And when do we dewormer her. What vaccines will she need. IS there a book I can read on this matter. Thank you for the help.:cow::happy::happy:
 

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I'm new to this too, but I'll offer what help I can.

A two day old calf should have had colostrum from it's mother or another source. It's a must have. Don't take the calf is she didn't get colostrum within the first hours after her birth.

Look at her navel for signs of infection. It should look dry and healthy, no redness or swelling.

Clear, bright eyes and a wet nose without any colored discharge is good. Her back end should be clean too.

Make sure she's not a twin calf with a bull calf as the other twin. She would be a freemartin and be sterile as an adult. (90% chance freemartin, 10% chance of an intact heifer)

The experts will be able to help you more than I can.

What are your plans for her?
 

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Don't do it. Taking a 2 day old calf without already knowing what you're doing is completely irresponsible. At least give her a couple weeks to get going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK,Then how old would you say 2 weeks or more. what is the best for newbie that want a calf to be a pet and milk cow.
 

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Suppose to do your learning and research before buying a cow. Yes, there are books but you need time to read and ask questions of other cow people. Are you set up for a cow, fencing, shelter, water? And a 2 day old calf will need to be bottle fed for months. Like DaleK said, don't do it.
 

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I'm skinny
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Greenhome, this is an article from Mother Earth News which has some information that will help you. MEN has changed their online format and now, instead of being only a one page article, it's quite a few pages long. Read the entire article to glean the information you can use.

I inherited a calf when it was only about two hours old, didn't know squat about raising a bottle calf, but she was raised successfully using the advise in this article. I didn't know if she got colostrum so I bought some and fed her that then started her on milk replacer. I don't remember all of what the article said to do but, if I remember correctly they said to give some kind of vitamins. I didn't do that but she still drank her milk, grew, and didn't get the scours.

It is better if you can let the calf be on the momma for a week or two but if it isn't possible, your calf should be fine. Just watch out for head butting behavior, it can be painful. Oh, something I almost forgot, you will probably have to cut the hole in the nipple of the bottle in an X pattern to enlarge it a little. Depending on how fast you want the flow to go you can also loosen the screw on cap a little to allow some airflow too. It will be as frustrating for you as it is the calf but both of you will learn to adjust rather quickly.

Good luck with your family cow to be. :)

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1978-03-01/Starting-Right-with-Bottle-Calves.aspx
 

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Feeding colostrum after the first 24 hour window is pointless as the calf is unable to utilize it, the intestine has changed so that the larger fat globules found in colostrum are no longer absorbed.

As for a book, Keeping a Family Cow by Joann Grohman is highly recommended.
 

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Greenhome I'd listen to Dale K. Most people who are asking questions right before a purchase will more often then not doom the calf. I want you to get a calf but not until you are well read on the subject. I won't sell a bull calf to anyone until it's at least four weeks old. The reason way is because I don't want to hear about how it died. I won't sell a heifer calf until it's weaned 8-10 weeks old. Most calves only die because of a lack of owner knowledge....I could go on and on, sorry about being so negative...TJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you all for the help . I'm reading mother earth right now and buying the book monday. As for the cow will see.
 

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This topic comes up often on Homesteadingtoday. There are two basic versions. There is the one like yours, full of excitement, ready to jump in with both feet and totally unprepaired for it, no scours medication, no milk replacer and no electrolites. The selection process was based on how pretty her eye lashes were or that she was real cheap. To them scours is how you clean a frying pan. The other version is from folks a few days after their purchase. Thet write about the yellow "poo" and the listlessness of their brown eyed beauty. Generally Mother Nature doesn't wait for them to run to the store and get the needed supplies. Having a calf die in your lap isn't the same as flushing a goldfish down the toilet.
There is a search box in this site, use it. Read about what you need to look for in a healthy calf. See what you need to buy ahead of time. Learn what to do at the first sign of trouble. Understand that overfeeding kills lots of calves.
There is a good reason that Jersy calves are cheap and Jersy milking cows are expensive. It is a labor intensive, expensive process that can easily lead to death, even with people that know what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Listen haypoint, you are not talking to a hayseed. And for thse who don't understand that's dumba##. That is why I'm asking questions and haven't bought the cow. Thank you to the people like Slats who are not here to talk down to others. And for those people who are willing to give advice, here are a few questions...What are the best electrolytes and vitamins. What is the best brand of milk replacers. One last thing...Haypoint, Do you have any goodadvise. I'm not just going to jump in without any research. That is why I am asking questions. The reason I am on this forum is to get advise so I will have everything I need on hand to care for the calf. I may be new to this, but if I'm not prepared for this calf, I am smart enough to let this one go and catch the next one born. I have successfully raised three children and seen many different colors of "poo" and every time I have called the MD. I would not just sit back and watch the poor calf die. I will have the vet on speed dial and since this will be part of the family I will not hesitate, no matter the cost, to give propper care to our "baby".
 

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Hey Greenhome - don't pay any attention to the negative crap above!

Before you bring you jersey girl home, make sure you have a smaller paddock kind of area within your pasture so she can be contained and kept separate. All we've done is put 4 cattle panels together within the bigger area. We didn't have a secure stall inside the barn at that time.

Hope she's healthy and you've picked her up by now -we have access to a cow practitioner nearby and we can call him night or day if something goes wrong. It's a blessing to have a neighbor be able to do that - you might make sure you have a contact if you need to call someone too! Our TSC guys have cow knowledge too as well as our county ext dude. Find someone like that and they also might have knowledge about the folks you're getting the calf from.

When were you bringing her home? What will you call her?
 

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Greenhome,
My first thoughts would be where are you located. With this in mind, what kind of shelter you will need for your calf for the winter. With the onset of winter near and if your in a colder climate you need to look at a way to keep teh calf out of drafts and the weather.
I would love to help you on the milk replacer, but we only use cow milk on our claves.
For the first time calf go with at least a 2 week old one even better yet a month will be great. Don't worry about tameing down a month old one. In short oder they will even become a pain in the ash. By the time a month rolls around the main thing you need to worry about is pnuemonia. For that keep a few cc's of Draxxin on hand or even Nuflur. Also a sulfa based drug helps too. Scours at this age usally coinsides with pnuemoina. So treat the pnuemonia and the scours are treated too.
And if you want more info just ask. I have offered to some here my number too. If you want to call just ask.
Bob
 

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Greenhome,
Do you currently have or have you had any other animals? The younger the calf and the less interaction it has with other calves (or their housing) the less chance there will be for scours. Pneumonia is a concern. Make sure you have a warming blanket (or in a pinch an old blanket that can be tied around the calf). I don't think there is a big difference in milk replacers. Make sure you feed milk and water separately with at least 10 minutes in between and rinse the bottle well after the milk. Milk and water go into separate stomaches, if there is any milk in the water it goes into the wrong place. Feed only hay until she is weaned. Grain at that age decreases the formation of the little finger things that absorb nutrients (do you like my technical terms?) Keep the little gal clean and warm in dry surroundings and you should do fine (as should she). Micotel given under the skin works well for pneumonia, just don't poke yourself with the needle as it is lethal to humans. If you have the number for a vet close at hand that is also reassuring. Watch her close. Being she is going to be the only one (I'm assuming) she will get plenty of attention and it will be easy to spot if something is going wrong.
Good luck!!!
 

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I suggest that you try to get Dale K and topside1 to mentor you over the internet. If you want to know what time it is ask a person with a watch. If you want to raise a healthy calf ask those two. You may have notice that I have not chimed in on how to grow the calf. I have a fair size herd but I let momma cows raise their beef calves. I think I know how to do this very well. I do not know how to raise calves nearly as well as these two. However, I do know who has the "watch"
 

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Agman,
Not to step on any toes here. But, there is just more then them guys that raise calves on here. Maybe I come across wrong or something, but raiseing calves on our small dairy for 20 yrs. I think I might have some knowledge as to raising them. Besides the cold weather we put up with here. Its the constant up and down temps in the spring and fall we have to deal with.
In the last yr we calfed about 75 head. out of that there was 2 born dead. No helping them. Out of the 73 I lost 2. One calf died with teh vet even thought short of posting it was a twisted stomach. The other was a sever case of pnuemonia/scours.
So this is what I deal with every yr. This was last winters crew. Or just a few of them
Bob
 

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Agman, I sure hope I'm passing thru you neck of the woods soon...Toting a camera with a big memory card...Your place is spectacular, as is your cattle....TJ
 
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