Post by brownchickenbrowncow on Jul 29, 2013 8:47:10 GMT -5
So I have been clicking around the TOK and I have a few questions I didn't find answers to. Our bottle baby is on an all milk replacer (Purina Nurse Chow 100... it was all I could get around here) She got Mama's milk for 10 days before we bought her. The bag says 2 bottles of 2qts a day at AM and PM til 4 weeks and then drop to one 2qts bottle AM or PM for a week and then wean by the end of the week. What I gathered from the TOK is that milk replacer and real milk are not interchangeable and should not be fed too much or for too long. She will be 6 weeks tomorrow. I dropped her to one bottle a few days ago (not exactly on the 5 week mark like the bag said to) and I have noticed some runny poop. It is a dark dark green and it doesn't smell bad so I am not sure if it is scours. Could it be? Or just stomach upset from dropping the bottle? She has 24/7 access to mineral, water and decent pasture. She is running with our sheep and they have taught her how to graze/ browse. I don't feed our sheep any supplemental feed but I know the calf should have calf starter. Should I feed that to her when I was feeding her a bottle? Or is that something she should have access to at all times?
Post by freetodream on Jul 29, 2013 10:36:24 GMT -5
You can only early wean a calf like that if its eating at least 2-4lbs of calf starter per day. She doesn't have the digestive system to get nutrients out of grass even though she may eat it. So you either have to keep feeding milk until 5-6mos (real milk increased and fed at a percentage of body weight) or if they're on milk replacer they have to have calf starter. Milk replacer is designed to be fed for the shortest amount of time possible until the calf can be put on calf starter. Most calf raisers that do it sucessfully also limit hay and grass until a certin age so that they will consume more calf starter instead of wasting time eating stuff they can't digest. The nutrition they get in the first six months will determine how we'll they keep weight on and digest their food for the rest of their life, making a mistake like early weaning a calf onto just pasture will stunt their growth and digestive system forever. There's really no way to get a grass fed only calf with milk replacer, you either have to raise them on a cow or feed Increasing amounts of real milk until they're 5-6 months old.
Post by freetodream on Jul 29, 2013 10:41:07 GMT -5
If she was mine I'd put her in a smaller area all by herself so that she has access to calf starter all the time. She won't eat very much at one time but rather munch on it all day. So keep giving her 2 bottles a day until she's eating a minimum of 2lbs of calf starter a day.
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This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'