This little calf butts alot after her bottle feeding!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Momof8kiddoes, May 16, 2005.

  1. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    One more ? for you all,
    Im bottle feeding this 6week old jersey heifer. She gets 4 pints monring and night, plus whatever she eats of hay/alfalfa during the day, and Ill start this week with some pellets too.
    BUT-whenever Im done feeding her, she keeps butting me on my rear as Im walking away-looking for an utter I guess?. Should I be feeding her more? OR, is this normal-and if it is normal, should I allow it? What do I do? Really felt bad, she butted a neighbor gal in the crotch tonight...bad timing that she happened to stop by just as I was finishing up feeding. :eek:
    Also, while I have you....should I start bucket feeding her, and if so...is there a certain way I should do it?
    Mary F.
     
  2. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mary,
    Because we now work in litres I had to go away and find a conversion chart :haha: If the calf were mine I think I would bump it's feed up another pint but not in one hit - half a pint today and tomorrow and another half pint over the following couple of days. Apart from that though, hand reared calves usually carry on in the way you have described. I'm rearing 4 at the moment and once they've finished their milk they start bunting each other, sucking each others ears or chasing around after me if I'm in their feeder pen.

    Why do you want to change her to a bucket at this stage of it? Over here we can purchase what we call calfaterias - containers that can be hung on a fence or rail, that hold milk with a teat that the calves suckle. They come singly, twin, three or as many as you wish. Within a couple of feeds the calf/s have got the idea and away they go. I'm sure you must be able to get the same and they really are very good. I prefer a calf to suck rather than drink as the action of sucking stimulates the stomach - and sucking is what a calf should be doing.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     

  3. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Everything sounds normal. SAme thing happened to my bro in law while showing off to future wife. Still worth a good laugh! Uping it a pint should be OK too. I'd probably leave her on the bottle for now. It cqn be a pain to switch them at this stage of the game, cause they usually wean themselves rather than drink out of the bucket. Maybe you can get a bottle holder to hang over the fence to avoid the untimely butting and free up your hands.
     
  4. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    Ok, got it. Thanks a bunch there. I will look into investing in one of those hangers. Dont mind holding it, just the butting that insues :p
    Why go to the bucket...well, someone asked me why I did bottle instead of bucket....so I figured I was doing it all wrong :)
    I was thinking/hoping Id have a more friendly calf if I bottle raised her, so Ill keep going with what Im doing now.
    Thanks y'all!
    Mary F.
     
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I would suggest that you modify her behavior soon, it's cute now but not so cute when she's 700 lbs and even less funny when she's pushing at you as a full grown cow. Calves do need to learn that you are NOT another cow and it is not appropriate to treat you as another bovine. I'm sorry if I sound pushy but I know too many people who have been badly hurt by bottle babies with no manners, including one strong healthy man who was litterally squished to smithereens by a bottle fed bull that thougth it was okay to push/bunt him in the chest and the man thought it was cute till he got him up against a pipe fence and literally crushed him to death.
     
  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    WR, your going to give Mary the heebie-jeebies - and bulls are a whole different ball game. Every one of my cows was hand reared by me and that includes several that have since departed this world. Not one of them bashed me about after they were weaned and Mary will learn that a sharp smack across the nose accompanied by a strong "No" will teach her girl some manners.

    I do not recommend hand rearing a bull calf that is to be kept for breeding unless the person understands bulls and respects them as a large powerful animal that is the male of his species. I hand reared my own bull and he's now a rising 5 year old. When I stand on the far side of him at his shoulders, my husband can just see the top of my head - but he knows what my stick is for and he knows the words "no" and "come on" plus a few other riper ones that I shan't repeat. I also know not to do stupid things with him especially in small areas like cattle yards, and never to turn my back on him. He's never given me cause to be frightened of him but that isn't to say he won't so I don't invite the problem.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  7. Momof8kiddoes

    Momof8kiddoes Well-Known Member

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    WR and Ronnie,
    both of you helped me out, honestly.
    Im so new to this all, Im not sure when to smack, and when to let be.
    I will post a seperate thread on cow disipline..lol. Look forward to the input,
    Mary F.
     
  8. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Ronney, I disagree that it is just bull calves that become pushy and over familar with humans. Granted they are more agressive but the bunting game is not restricted to bulls. The greatest problem animals I've had is retired show cattle and I find the cows quite agressive with humans when tagging & wieghing calves or at feeding simply because they don't hold the same respect for humans. It's only my opinion but I don't believe thlivestock makes great pets and people new to livestock tend to think of their stock as pets or buddies.
     
  9. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Ronney, I disagree that it is just bull calves that become pushy and over familar with humans. Granted they are more agressive but the bunting game is not restricted to bulls. The greatest problem animals I've had is retired show cattle and I find the cows quite agressive with humans when tagging & wieghing calves or at feeding simply because they don't hold the same respect for humans. It's only my opinion but I don't believe thlivestock makes great pets and people new to livestock tend to think of their stock as pets or buddies.