Raising an Orphan Calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by SapphireFarms, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. ufo_chris

    ufo_chris Well-Known Member

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    We were trying to tell u that 3 weeks on milk replacer is not enough.
     
  2. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    You've misread or misinterpreted something, 3 weeks is normally where they are eating enough starter feed you can cut back to a single feeding per day not totally wean them from the milk. Calves are usually fed milk 6 to 12 weeks before weaning. Also starter feed is from 18% to 22% protein depending on preference and source, much higher protein then you can achieve just feeding grain. The better start you give a baby calf the better he will do his entire life.
     
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  3. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There has been a lot of good advice given here, but out of concern and the seriousness of the topic, some advice comes across as argumentative. Over all, I think the OP has taken it well.

    A lot of this makes no sense, so we draw all sorts of conclusions. Reading between the lines saves time, but results in false assumptions, too.

    It doesn't make sense to wean a calf in a few weeks, sell a healthy beef calf twin, feed oats instead of calf starter, that the farmer offered the calf, but didn't mention freemartin.

    Being puzzled, 'cause nothing makes sense, when we want to help turns to frustration and that frustration bubbles out as criticism.

    This is the perfect time of the year to get a calf. Keep an eye out for yellow diarrhea, scours and listen for any cough or lung congestion, pneumonia.

    Twice a day feeding is fine. Four times a day better and a tiny bit every hour, around the clock is great. What level of care you select is up to you. Over feeding is the number one killer of calves.
     
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  4. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I'm entering the game in the ninth inning, but would like to recommend a 16-18% calf starter for your new calf. It's a higher crude protein, vitamins, minerals and has a sweet yummy flavor verses dry oats. Protein is the name of the game for young calf muscle development. The calves that I've raised will eat very little grain until they are 3 weeks old. Even after three weeks old the amount they eat is negligible but increasing. My two cents from Tennessee
     
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  5. SapphireFarms

    SapphireFarms Member

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    I just want to clarify something...I never said not to feed calf starter. I have a bag in the barn already. Once the rumen development has developed enough... Usually at 21 days after calf starter was begun to be introduced... And is eating at least 1.25#/day... You can go from using calf starter to a grain mix... My calf starter is 18%. I was subduing at 4 weeks after feeding it started... Which what it says ON THE BAG... go to a grain mix. All the while having offered hay and pasture since day 1. I wanted a definition of what this grain mix would consist of. No one here addressed that question at all.

    I have since went into town and spoken with a livestock feed specialist. He said that the grain after week 4 or so (of feeding it...not age of calf... Like I said)... Should be between 14-16%. So a pre mix is still best. That was the answer I was looking to find.

    You all can read whatever you want into anything... That's fine. I appreciate all the genuine help and for those who didn't... Have a nice day.

    I have a game plan... And after taking to the feed specialist I am on the right track. He suggested... Like s lot if you...6 weeks not three if milk replacer... Essentially use an entire bag per calf but there is no need to go longer if it's taking solids and calf starter etc and the rumen development is good. I have milestones to hit the calf to track progress and that tells me when to move to next step.
     
  6. SapphireFarms

    SapphireFarms Member

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    And sorry... Typing on my phone so there are a few typos in my previous response.
     
  7. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I feed the same calf starter/grower for 6 months often even longer. It makes a huge difference when filling your freezer and for the health of the animal....Game plan on, have fun.
     
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  8. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    There is no one answer to all of your questions, every company has different recommendations for their feed and everyone has a different way of feeding calves. Consider your overall ration, the grain, the pasture and what else your feeding.
     
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  9. SapphireFarms

    SapphireFarms Member

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    Past two or three months etc... How much are you feeding a day? Curious.
     
  10. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Calves will consume approximately 1.6 lbs Calf Starter 18% per 100 lbs of body weight. Which is 1.6% of live body weight. I'm nowhere near that scientific, just common sense amounts makes for a healthy calf. The starter bag will have generic feeding directions/amount printed on the sewn tag....Have fun and don't overfeed. Topside
     
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  11. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Please share your experiences with your new calf. As you learn, others can learn from your experiences.
     
  12. soniaramberger

    soniaramberger Active Member

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    So true Mr. Haypoint...I still remember those nights wondering if my calves were going to make it. I am hoping to have past that phase...I wouldn't consider my self victorious as of yet. I am still searching for a vet for castration. Thanks for the advice.
     
  13. Hiro

    Hiro Well-Known Member

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    https://www.jefferspet.com/products/tri-band-bander-1

    You don't need a vet for calf castration. They are more likely to overcomplicate it. Just make sure the band is high up as you can get it and both testicles are well below the band. If you get them early, they don't even feel it (from their behavior, I haven't tried it personally).
     
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  14. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    I band bottle calves at 21 days of age, just wanted to throw that out there...Topside
     
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  15. TripleD

    TripleD Well-Known Member

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    Listen to topside. He wont steer you wrong. I have had the privilege to speak with him on the phone several times. He hasn't steered me wrong yet....
     
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