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Starting a calf on a bottle

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flyingS

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OK, I really don't lick their butts to get them to suck, but a little butt scratching goes a long way. So here is my question. I bought a calf that lost it's mother. She is about a month old and very healthy, she's been without a mother for 2 1/2 days and still won't suck a bottle. I don't have a nurse cow but sure wish I did. Any suggestion on how to get her to suck a bottle. And yes I did mix milk replacer and put in the bottle for her, just in case the smart ars's out there were wondering.
 

hillsdown

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At That age it is really hard to get them to take a bottle, especially with milk replacer (make sure it is real milk and at least 20 20 20 ). Keep trying, try putting corn syrup or something on the nipple so she likes the taste of it.
If all else fails, make sure she has lots of good leafy hay and a dairy ration (not pellets) calf starter, 24 % with decox is best. Can she steal from a group of cows that are nursing their own calves ?


I had a 1 month old calf that lost his dam to a broken leg. He drank one bottle and then no more, no matter what trick I tried. I threw him in with the others and he learned to steal, as well as pig out on calf starter. He weened the same average as the rest of the calves that fall. That was the first time I have had too many mouths and not enough mom's. 5 sets of twins and lost two really good cows that year.
 

JF Ranch

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flyingS said:
OK, I really don't lick their butts to get them to suck, but a little butt scratching goes a long way. So here is my question. I bought a calf that lost it's mother. She is about a month old and very healthy, she's been without a mother for 2 1/2 days and still won't suck a bottle. I don't have a nurse cow but sure wish I did. Any suggestion on how to get her to suck a bottle. And yes I did mix milk replacer and put in the bottle for her, just in case the smart ars's out there were wondering.

Well... if all else fails, maybe you should get to lickin'!
 

gcreekrch

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JF Ranch said:
flyingS said:
OK, I really don't lick their butts to get them to suck, but a little butt scratching goes a long way. So here is my question. I bought a calf that lost it's mother. She is about a month old and very healthy, she's been without a mother for 2 1/2 days and still won't suck a bottle. I don't have a nurse cow but sure wish I did. Any suggestion on how to get her to suck a bottle. And yes I did mix milk replacer and put in the bottle for her, just in case the smart ars's out there were wondering.

Well... if all else fails, maybe you should get to lickin'!


Either that or knock another calf in the head and give the orphan to it's mother. :wink:


Free advice...... what would one do without it? :lol:
 

Faster horses

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Same here, at that age you probably won't get it to suck. We taught
one we had to drink out of a bucket. You could try that. And we fed
the calf pellets to it as well and it grew out fine. You really need to watch
the milk replacer you buy tho. Some of it is junk. Like HD said, "real milk
milk replacer".
 

Faster horses

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I also had another thought of what I used to do. But the calves weren't this old. I used a plastic baby bottle and X'd across the nipple
so more milk could come out, and squirted milk
into the calf's throat. Once they swallow some milk, they seem to want to
nurse.Sometimes you have to hold their head up and rub their
throat to get them to swallow. FWIW

Might help, can't hurt.
 

LazyWP

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We got rid of one of ours!!! :wave: :wave: :wave:
 

flyingS

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FH thanks. I got her to take a bottle last night. I had been squirting milk into her mouth and trying to to get her to swallow but it hadn't worked. I put the nipple in her mouth and used my finger to squeeze some milk down her throat, once it was in her throat she ate like crazy. She drank good again this morning.
 

littlejoe

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flyingS said:
FH thanks. I got her to take a bottle last night. I had been squirting milk into her mouth and trying to to get her to swallow but it hadn't worked. I put the nipple in her mouth and used my finger to squeeze some milk down her throat, once it was in her throat she ate like crazy. She drank good again this morning.

I back them into a corner with head between my legs. I hate lamb nipples--wife likes them. I cut the hole in calf nipple bigger, so it'll kinda run. One hand holds the bottle, the other the head, with thumb in mouth, manipulating the tongue---kinda front to back a little. With milk flowing you're almost manually inducing swallowing.

If i was gonna raise it by hand, i use a bucket. Put some milk on your finger, get it to sucking and lower head into bucket. They''ll fight you, as instinct is to raise the head. But a few sessions and they'll pick it up----

When we were kids, follks were adamant about washing and keeping things clean. Kiwis got like a battery of nipples---hard nipples to make them work and increase saliva flow---and they hardly ever wash them---thinking is bacteria etc that developes is actually good for them---hoots got theirs weaned by 6 weeks or so---many dairy farmers figger milk replacer is too $$ to feed to calves
 

flyingS

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It's the little things I guess. We are pretty excited. I bought the heifer from the gentleman that I am calving for. I know the cows and have spent enough time with him to know that we are on the same page as far as what we like to see. He has one heck of a set of cows and we are trying to build a herd. She may just make one heck of a breeding heifer. Besides she will give the kids some chores to do. They like babies.
 

mrj

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Just be careful about how the kids play with the calf. It may get to thinking it is a 'people' and walk through a glass door to play with it's little buddies. Our grandkids had one a few years ago and it TRIED to do that when it was a pretty big weaned calfl. It climbed half a dozen steps to their deck, chewed up some Christmas lights, then tried to get into the house with the kids, till someone got after it and chased it off the deck and put it in the pasture instead of letting it graze around the buildings!!!

mrj
 

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