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Orhaned calf

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Well-known member
Jun 27, 2005
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Can any one please offer info on caring for an orhaned calf. She was about 1 -2 days old when we found her. Her mother was down(hip lock?) and I was never sure if the calf got any colostrom. She is a fair sized calf(92lbs) and I have been feeding her 2 bottles plus of a calf mix formula. She is red angus and approx 12 - 14 days old. She looks good, balls when she see's me and seems to be in ok health. My question is how long do I need to bottle feed her? Weeks, months????? Also her poop was comparable to dog turds when I first brought her home. Now they are loose like juicy oatmeal. I never had an orhaned calf before, scours or much other problems to deal with. Can she become depressed from being without other cows? Please any info will help.
You should not have any problems with this calf if you are feeding her the right amount of milk replacer for her. We have a calve that i have been feeding for a month now as she showed up after our branding the end of May and think she was a month old and we didn't think she would suck a bottle but no problem and she is now getting a gallon of milk replacer 2 times a day and also on good starting pellets for her.
I would think this calf would have gotten some colostrum if her mother didn't go down to soon but you can buy here in teh states some that comes in a bag called first milk and mix it with warter and give that to her even tho you have started to feed her and it should help her immune system and then the recommended feeding time for calves is usually 8 weeks but is entirely up to you how long you want to feed it. When they start on pellets good and eat grass or hay they should do really well. WSe have bottle fed quite a few orphans in our time on teh ranch and never lost one yet.
Good luck and hope it makes for you.
Bev M :)

Some of this is too late... but you are still ok,lol,

First, I hate the directions on these milk replacers. I feed a new calf a lot less, but 4 times per day. This two large feedings are not the best in my mind..

Second, I had given a twin to some freinds. Found the twin on the other side of the fence the net day, if he got first milk, he got nothing else and wasn't in the best of shape to start. These girls fed like I mentioned above, but also started on a Purina calf feed designed just for this. I am telling you what, I was impressed. they took the calf off the botttle after 30 days. He ended up bigger than the calf left on a very good cow. Granted, he was the larger of the two to begin with, but with the poor start, I was amazed. he was blind the first two weeks!!!!!!

I also say turn this calf out with pairs. He'll still come in at feeding, he'll get acclimatized to the herd and he'll likely rob some meals from the other cows that will help him along,

Good Luck,

Feed her like bev said. It sounds like she is dooing fine. Milk replacer is expensive so ger her in feed as soon as you can. If you have a small groop of young cows with young calves in a small pasture let the calf run with them and she may well learn to steel from the other cows. When she starts steeling enough milk she will no longer take the bottle.
If she did not get colostrum, she most likley will not last a week. And if she is over two days old it is too late for colostrum.
good luck
If you will scroll down to feeding orphaned calves you will find several more great tips
Sounds like you are doing fine, but, if possible I would break her milk up into 3 feedings as close to 8 hours apart as possible. That way the baby doesn't get quite a hungry between feedings and will drink a little slower, thus avoiding choking, etc. Also, I have found that feeding a calf that much milk twice a day can cause scours. Just my thoughts.
Thank you all for the info, I am still wondering about how many weeks, months to feed her - that question did not seem to get a response. I have her here at the house with me. The cattle are out to pasture, so she's in a pen outback. I understand that when she goes with the other cows - she will possibly feed off the others Mamma's? So at what age do I release her into the rest of the herd? I will not be able to supervise her 24/7 as I am now. We have plenty of water and grass to feed on. I have also started her on a calf started feed. Will she bond with the other cattle? Or will she prefer humans?

She really loves our 6 week old yellow lab pup - she nearly nose nudged her into the next provice looking for TLC! LOL!!!! :eek:
The sooner you get her with the other cows the better but she does not need to be on open range. I would say keep her in a small pasture with a few cows if you can. You may be able to bring some paires in with the calf if you have room in the pin?

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