Raising calf on goats milk

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We have planned for awhile to have a young bull calf this spring to raise for baby beef. My dad does this each year... but he uses his leftover cow milk from the family milk cow. We have goats. I can get a free, young holstien bull, that has recieved cow colostrum, from a friend that I traded services with. How long should he stay on goats milk? I am trying to plan it so that come heavy show season ( goat and horse) I will be able to be away for the day. How do others manage, have him nurse directly from goat in milking stand.... hand milk and feed straight, dilute with water.... I have heard of all these different things. Any other great suggestions?

-- Marci B (daleb@kent.net), January 08, 2001


Marci- I start calves out with 1 quart of goat's milk from a nipple pail twice a day and follow with all the warm water they will drink. I gradually build them up so I don't get scours. (goat's milk is much richer than cow's) Because I really value the udders of my goats (I show) I would never consider letting the calf nurse from the goat on the stand, although I have read that some do. We feed goats milk when we have it and then switch over to a good quality calf milk replacer if we don't have enough. I finish a jersy every 18 months or so and have been know to give them milk until slaughter if I have it around and no pig to feed it to.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), January 08, 2001.

Hi Marci, I raise calves by putting them on the goats. It helps to know how much the goats give first so you know how much they're getting and they wont scour. I let the calves nurse when the goats are in their stanchions, unless the goats let them nurse in the field (some do). None of my goats have ever had their udders damaged or changed in the least from doing this, and some are show quality. I leave the calves on for 12 weeks or so, or until they are eating well. Since this would be one calf for personal use I would leave him on longer.

The first week I let them nurse 3 times a day. If they scour I give slippery elm, acidophilus, and burnt flour, I dont cut back on milk. Diluting the milk with water isn't good because of something to do with the fat or protein. Maybe someone can give an answer about that. After the first week I go to twice a day feeding, but by then they are usually having "sips" from the "mothering" goats throughout the day so it just tops off their tanks.

Watch closely for scours and treat aggressively and immediately.

-- Julie (julieamc@excite.com), January 08, 2001.

Hi Marci,

We raise beef calves on goats milk, in fact, if we didn't we would not be able to afford the goats. Heres what we do that works for us. We purchase calves anywheres from a day old to a few weeks old. We immediately give them 1 cc orally of Immuno-G when we get them home. This is a colestrum based product and is similiar in composition to ID-1 or Goat Stress. if you'd like more information on any of these just go to http://www.springbriar.com for the immuno, go to http://www.goatworld.com, they carry the ID. Hoeggers sells the stress formula. We then give them milk in a bottle and bottle feed them 2 qts within the range of a day and gradually build up. Then we gradually icrease and add hay and grain. We have not experienced scours this way and have been very successful. In the past we had horrible problems with pnemonia and scours. hope this helps.


-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), January 08, 2001.

Bernice, a freind of mine in Oklahoma called the other day talking about Springbriars, minerals. She was so excited about them (excited enough to make a long distance phone call) swears she has improved her butterfat, poundage and protein with them. She is on DHIR and milks her does through extended lactations. Sounds like their site is definetly worth a look, he also has probiotics with life cultures, she told me my Diamond V yeast and Probios have beneficial bacteria but no "live" anything, that definetly is something worth looking into :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), January 08, 2001.

Hi Vickie,

Wyths products are great and he can customize a nutrition and mineral program to fit. i really found his products to be good. In fact, we need to calll him ourselves, we recently noticed that our goats are not doing as well on the Blue Seal and need to locate a mill close by to get our speciality mix formula he created for us. Out of 10 does on test that had not earned stars, they earned their stars last yr on test. And we were using his products at the time. Had great milk production, etc. it will be interesting to see how the switch effects our heavy milkers when they kid next month.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), January 09, 2001.

Hi Marci, We have been raising a beef calf every year for some time now. We get them a few days old from a dairy. We give them 3 feedings a day (in a bottle) of 3 cups goat milk and 1 cup water.Then after 2 or 3 days we switch them over to the goat.You will have to show him and squirt milk in his mouth the first couple of times. The calf usually catches on quickly. We put the goat in an outside stanchion with grain and the calf comes and nurses while she eats. We let the calf nurse until the goat dries up in the winter (8 mos. or so). Doing it this way is much easier than bottle feeding. Also, until he learns to drink from a water trough, tank etc. give him water in a bottle especially if it is hot outside. If the calf has runny eyes or has scours cut back on the milk and put a raw egg in a bottle with a little water or milk. Hopes this helps. Jaclynn and Samantha

-- Jac and Sam in Ca (sonflower35@icqmail.com), January 09, 2001.

We raised lots of calves away from their mothers and never used a bottle or any teat type thing. If the calf is only a couple of days old he will learn to drink from a bucket/pail/trough in about two days, well before he starves! Put the warm milk in the pail and stand astride the calf, slop you hand in the milk and let him suck your fingers, then plunge your hand in the milk while pushing his head down. He will probably only cough and splutter a couple of times. You might have to hold you hand while he sucks your fingers for a feed or so but it only take a day or so. My brother and I raised a few calves for pocket money this way, we bought not-fit-for-human-consumption milk powder from the factories and mixed up about 5 gallons at a time in an old washing machine. We kept the calves on collars and chains tied to roadside telephone poles while we went to school.

-- john hill (john@cnd.co.nz), January 12, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ