Post by cottonwoodjersey on Jun 18, 2012 10:59:34 GMT -5
Our precious two year old Jersey milking cow, Flora, died this weekend. It has been one of the most profoundly sad experiences I've ever had. The short of it is that she had gotten into our chicken feed and overloaded on it. Our vet treated her and within two days she developed pneumonia. Flora was then treated for that, but too late for a turn around. Flora has a five week old heifer calf, Buttercup, that was still nursing. She had been nibbling on grass and tasting the water in the trough. Since her mom died, Buttercup's grass consumption has increased, she is chewing the cud and drinking water from the trough. My question has to do with her bawling. I understand that the calf is going through with- drawl and separation but is she just missing her mama or does she NEED milk for a little longer. We did try to give her some milk replacer to no avail, which didn't surprise me. We do, now, have access to raw milk from a friend's cow if need be. Any thoughts for newbie calf parents would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.
I'm not the best one to answer your question, but the short answer is YES, SHE NEEDS MILK STILL. In some form, either the fresh milk if your friends cow is healthy or the replacer. Sorry, I won't be helpful with the details because I lack experience in this area.
You can look through the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE for more specific info and also post your question to THE FAMILY COW section that gets more traffic than the 'welcome' area.
Sorry about losing your cow - that is a tough one.
Good luck with your little one... There is lots of help available for you - we just have to get you in the right section... -Lisa
The Re-Treat Farm
Ronnie, my love of 31 yrs - 2 grown kids
Pete the cowdog, cats - Molly, Buck Kitty
horses - Rex & Ruger/ mules - Zeke & Josh
Jersey girls - Molly and Margo
various chickens, calves, occasional turkeys, pigs
Post by simplynaturalfarm on Jun 18, 2012 11:22:35 GMT -5
That little girl needs milk immediately and at least for the next 3 weeks and then you can wean her only if she is eating appropriate amounts of calf starter. It is better for heifers to keep them on raw milk for at least 4 months. Please go get some milk ASAP before you lose the calf. She can not live on nibbling grass and water at this age! Thinking good thoughts! Heather
She may or may not take milk at this point, but she definitely needs Calf Starter - as much as she'll eat. She may be curious enough to sample it on her own, or you may have to put some in her mouth to show her that it's food. I'd start with Calf Manna, up to a pound a day. When she takes more, keep the Calf Manna at a pound and add a regular Calf Starter to make up the extra. Let her have as much as she wants, Calf Starters have all the roughage needed. Don't introduce hay for a while yet, this calf will need the concentrated nutrition in the Calf Manna/Calf Starter.
I don't really have any advice except I would do whatever I could to get that baby some milk. Do you have access to other milk? We were feeding our baby raw goat milk after her mama died.
I'm so terribly sorry you lost your cow I lost my cow just over 2 months ago and then her calf about 3 weeks ago and the says that I don't cry are getting more frequent but sometimes I still just burst into tears. Take care of this baby and take care of yourself.
The earliest I have weened bottle calves is 6 weeks but found they do better if you can keep up milk or replacer longer get some calf starter pellets. It is very important there is plenty of clean fresh water as they can dehydrate very quickly in warmer weather.
I put out hay in a feeder in the calf shed at night and find they drink the milk first then eat the pellets then the hay they work out pretty quick what is good for them.
Trying to get older calves to start bottle feeding can be a bit of a challange occasionally you geet lucky but I find that backing them into a corner stradling them with one hand under their chin and the bottle in the other.
Some pick it up pretty quickly other can take up to a week of force feeding before they will drink off a feeded on the fence
At 5 weeks, it would be a miracle to get that calf to accept another "mama", not all calves are natural "milk thieves".
It would also be VERY hard to get the calf on a bottle - not many of us are big and strong enough to manhandle a 5 week old calf into a corner and straddle it to force the bottle. Heck, I've been "thrown" across a stall by a 3 week old beefer!
MANY calves are weaned at 4 weeks, it CAN be done without detriment to the calf - IF the calf will eat Calf Starter. No, it's not ideal - but then neither is having the cow die.
Post by cottonwoodjersey on Jul 19, 2012 17:53:37 GMT -5
Thank you so much to all who responded to my cry for help. It has been invaluable information and extremely helpful; not only with the practical advice but also the words of heartfelt comfort.
Our calf, Buttercup, is 10 weeks old today and is doing fantastic! We were able to get her to drink out of a nipple bucket and eat calf starter using some of the advice that you gave. She now gets very excited when she sees the blue buckets afar off. (We'd like to think she's excited to see us as well)
Your kind words and timely advice helped us through an extremely difficult time. I am so grateful for this forum. Thank you all again.
I am happy to hear Buttercup is well. You might cinsider putting a little mollasses on the calf starter. It helped my calf learn that the starter was "good stuff" when we were transitioning to feed. Good luck
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