Moderators if you would title this as a sticky called "Raising your first bottle calf" I feel that it would be beneficial to homesteaders....Thanks Hi all, sure hope the follow tips can help prepare you for buying your first bottle calf. Little background, I am currently raising 15-20 calves per year. I started off raising dairy bull calves; once my confidence level rose I shifted to raising dairy heifers. The majority of my calves are purchased from a dairy auction. Enough about me, follow these auction house tips closely, this is the first step in raising a healthy calf..... Good luck,,,,,Topside The Auction House: Calf Hunting 101 1. Have a paper and pen 2. Have a pre-written healthy calf check-list 3. Don't be intimidated by the sale barn environment 4. You MUST enter the calf pens to inspect the animals 5. Once in the pen use you checklist as a guide and look for the following: a. brittle dry cord b. check to see if youâre looking at a heifer or bull calf c. look into its eyes for brightness/alertness d. good vision out of both eyes e. does it walk correctly f. good broad standard size nose/snout g. make sure it wants to suck on your hand h. if it poops the dropping should be mushy, not liquid i. if it's tail is WET from poop, pick another calf j. dried poop on tail is ok, clean tail is best k. rub your hands all over the animal feeling for abnormalities l. some calves may have a lump on their necks (usually heifers) from farm vaccinations m. don't buy any calves that are coughing or struggling to stand n. write down (4) numbers of the calves your interested in buying. The Auction Begins: Stress Level Rises 1. Stick with your calf numbers or you will be sorry 2. If you ignored my list written above, you will be sorry 3. You will only get what you pay for, bring extra money and spend it. 4. Once you have won the bid and own your first calf, pay up, load up and head out, no delays. Stress is the #1 killer of calves. 5. Buying a cheap calf will only haunt you and end up costing you more in grief and supplies. 6. Only buy one calf. It does not need a friend; you will be its barnyard friend. 7. Donât let anyone tell you that calf raising is easy, be prepared.