We are new at having cows! And we desperately need help. We recently bought a calf that is 8 weeks old and she had been taken off of her mom for 3 days. She doesn't like the bottle and will not use it. She will eat hay and grain and drink water. I'm afraid she isn't getting all of what she needs to grow big and strong. Should I put her on one of my cows that I am milking? I have two and they will both let her nurse. I have a calf that is 5 months old and I am just now weaning her. She is with her mom all day but not at night. I turn them out together after I milk her mom in the morning. But I am not sure at what age a calf should be weaned? I don't want anything to happen to this sweet little girl I just got. I just don't know what to do, I even tried replacement milk but she won't take anything from the bottle and I tried putting raw milk in a bucket and replacement milk in a bucket and she won't even try to drink it. Please does any one know if I should just let her eat the hay and grain and water. Or should she be on milk? I don't want her to be small and skinny I want her to grow big and stong.
I, personally, would just keep her off the cow instead of trying to force her into nursing and the stomach upset that will accompany her having to digest milk after not having it for a while and then fighting to wean her all over again. If she is healthy and eating grown up food well she should be fine. Find a good calf starter grain, give her pasture and the nicest hay you have and she should thrive.
Missing my Isabelle, cow of my heart
28 January 1998 to 4 May 2015
I've only had two calves in my life, am expecting my third one this Sept. I let them nurse until 4 months old, if they ate some hay/grass as well, that's fine with me. I see this as a more gradual and more natural transition to becoming a ruminant as might happen if they were left to their own devices without human interference. When the vet saw my Camellia he said she would never look as well as she did if she hadn't been nursing so long. Weaning was a gradual process for me. I guess I'm just lucky but I never encountered the aggravations others on this board have experienced. If I had a cow who would nurse her I would allow her to do so.
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