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Discussion Board - Re: Bottle calf stopped eating/help

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Author  [Modern View]

09-16-2012 09:07:12

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Another question would be where are you located and has it been hot out? Has he eaten today guessing it's been 36-48 hours since?

Casey in SD

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Dean Olson

09-16-2012 17:18:32

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 Re: Bottle calf stopped eating/help in reply to caseyc, 09-16-2012 09:07:12  
I'm located just outside Houston TX. Weather's been mid 80's and we had a cool front come through and got down into the low 70's about the time he went off feed.

He does have access to calf starter, fresh water, and is on pasture. He's not touching the starter yet. I measure and monitor it.

No scours! Bm's show he's just starting to nibble on some grass. He's moping around and just seems off a little. If not for that I'd think he's supplementing the milk replacer with grass.

Calf is small at about 50 lbs.

He just took 3 pints this evening. None this am or last night.

Seems to be the consensus of opinion that you don't give calves all they want.

We did back in the day when I was growing up. We didn't raise many bottle calves but the ones we did got all they would take 2-3 times per day, milk replacer, access to a creep feeder and of course a water trough.

The hogs, chickens, geese, ducks and calves all had access to bulk feeders.

Horses where the only livestock we rationed. The horses where pets and didn't need to be fattened up to market weight.

Please express some opinions on why you don't give bottle calves all they want.

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John in La

09-16-2012 18:21:44

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 Re: Bottle calf stopped eating/help in reply to Dean Olson, 09-16-2012 17:18:32  
"Please express some opinions on why you don't give bottle calves all they want."

Because their Rumen is not working at such a young age.
A calf is born with an esophageal groove, which consists of muscular folds from the reticulorumen that come together to by–pass the rumen, reticulum and omasum through to the abomasum when the calf drinks milk. The suckling reflex (reason I do not like pails)the milk protein and the antisapation of being fed (reason I told you to feed at the same time everyday) stimulate the groove to open. Milk off tempature will upset the grove.

If you feed to much the abomasum will fill up and the milk will spill over into the rumen, reticulum and omasum sections. Since the rumen action is not working the milk is stuck there and will sour making the calf sick and scour.

It is a lot more complicated than this because their are things like the milk clot that forms normally but we are getting into details way more than his forum.
Just bottle feed the calf and do not let it have any water for a short while after the milk feeding.

Are you feeding whole milk or replacer.

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John in La

09-16-2012 18:28:06

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 Re: Bottle calf stopped eating/help in reply to John in La, 09-16-2012 18:21:44  
Here is a guide to feeding milk replacer.

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