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I have never posted over here on the cattle site - but I have a "cow related question. The kids and I have a chance to get a couple of really nice dairy bull calves that are less than one week old. They are from a healthy herd and are on replacer now. (I would switch them over to goats milk when we get them.)

Just have a couple of questions -

1) How much at a feeding/how many feedings a day?
2) When do you start hay/grain?
3) Any shots I need to worry about?
4) How much shelter do they need?

I am really green at this. We have raised bottle kids and lambs before with good success. Only one other calf and that was not successful. (Neighbor at the old place gave the kids a runt calf for Easter one year. It only lived about 10 days. Was not a good experience!) Anyway - any help or advise would be appreciated! We are going to pick them up on Thursday.
 

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We fed ours goat milk 2 qts twice a day. We run em 50-60 days on that.
All of our calves have fresh water available from day 1. And I like to have an 18% medicated starter grain and good quality leafy 2nd or 3rd crop hay available almost as soon. You can wait till week 2 or 3 I suppose.
We usually try getting them to gum a handful of the starter when they finish their bottle.

Draft free dry shelter with a good layer of bedding. We have used pens in a barn and hutches. We don't get quite as cold as you do out in the Dakotas but we get close.

We castrate with the bander and some folks say you should give them a tetanus shot for that but we never have given any sort of shot and it hasn't been a problem.
 

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I'd see how much the calf is getting currently & go from there. It also might be worth it to see what type of replacer they're currently being fed and buy a small bag of that to feed for awhile so that you can slowly switch them from full replacer to goat's milk. While I personally think there'd be less stomach upset switching from replacer to actual milk than vice versa, I'd still hate to start them on that slippery slope of scouring.

A jersey or other small breed or small framed calf might not be able to handle a full 4 pints at a feeding ~ even though they might be able to drink that much it could cause scours. If you have the time/inclination you can feed more often than twice a day which I personally feel is beneficial. I'm not too gung ho on shots, either. I generally keep Pen G on hand and that's about it, I'll buy something else if it's needed but I've not had to with the calves I've raised lately. I won't wean before 3 months; ideal, IMO, is 5-6 mo. and I wouldn't wean a heifer calf any sooner than that. I'm in the minority with this opinion anymore, though.

I too would have water, a bit of grain, & hay available to them. They might not eat it right away but they will begin to nibble it if they have it. I agree w/ sammyd on the shelter, too, as draft free as possible & plenty of bedding.
 

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I have never posted over here on the cattle site - but I have a "cow related question. The kids and I have a chance to get a couple of really nice dairy bull calves that are less than one week old. They are from a healthy herd and are on replacer now. (I would switch them over to goats milk when we get them.)

Just have a couple of questions -

1) How much at a feeding/how many feedings a day?
2) When do you start hay/grain?
3) Any shots I need to worry about?
4) How much shelter do they need?

I am really green at this. We have raised bottle kids and lambs before with good success. Only one other calf and that was not successful. (Neighbor at the old place gave the kids a runt calf for Easter one year. It only lived about 10 days. Was not a good experience!) Anyway - any help or advise would be appreciated! We are going to pick them up on Thursday.
Feed two quarts in am, and two quarts in the pm.

Start feeding starter grain the day you get him. Shove a small handful in his mouth after each feeding.

No need for shots for a month or so.

Shelter needs to be draft free and dry. It does not need to be warm. DEEP bedding.

Buy GOOD milk replacer (pay $50-60 for the bag).

You will only need one bag.

Do NOT buy it if its tail had manure stuck to it. Tail and backside should be clean.

Ask how much colustrum (sp?) the calf got. If they hedge on the answer, walk away.

Introduce hay at about 120 days of age, maybe a bit sooner based on calf.

When it gets below 10 degrees, break out feedings to 3 per day, 8 hrs apart if you can.

If you drop to you knee and and stand up with damp pants, you need to add/change bedding. I just add to it.

Keep it isolated for the first 14 days.

If it lives past the first two weeks, band or cut into a steer.

At 30 days or so, first round of shots, and then second round 45 days later
 
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