Bottle feeding calf : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Sorry about forgeting to ask the Calf question. How much should a week old calf be fed and how many times a day.. with goats the more often the better is this true with the calfs? Thanks again and God Bless.

-- Charles Steen (, January 19, 2002


I feed my bottle calves 5 times a day 2 pints per feeding until they are 2 weeks old. I then drop it down to 4 times a day 3 pints per feeding. It is a little time consuming, not to mention a lot of work, but I get the best results using this method. Be sure to offer free choice calf pellets and some hay or feed the coarser the better. The calf should start to ruminate by 2 weeks of age. Good Luck!

-- Joni (, January 19, 2002.

Charles, Whenever we bottle feed a calf, we only feed morning and night. We try to do it about the same time(7:00am, 7:00pm)We fill one of those big calf bottles full. I think they hold a half gallon. Make sure the calf has fresh water and all the hay it wants. We start with a grain around a week old too. Sometimes it takes a while for them to get the hang of the grain though. We get our calves from a dairy and they told me that the worse thing you can do is overfeed a calf. That will make them scour quicker than anything. We have done this with all our calves and I've never had them scour. Good luck, Becky

-- Becky (, January 19, 2002.

The problem with the standard 1/2 gallon bottle with the red nipples is the nipple openings are so large the calf gulps down the milk or milk replacer. Were it still on momma, it would have to suck hard to get it. Having to suck hard generates additional saliva which aids in digestion. Two solutions. Contact McCarville Dairy Supplies, 820 Center Street, Mineral Point, WI 53564 - 608-987-2416 and inquire about their Mac Teat. It is a hard rubber nipple which can be used in one of two ways: Just insert it inside the red rubber nipple. Be sure you have an air hole or the bottle will collapse while the calf is sucking. What I did was to just take a five-gallon plastic bucket and drill two appropriate sized holes as close to the bottom as possible and snapped in two of these Mac Teats. The bucket was then hung on a fence with a piece of 2"x4" secured at the top to tip the bucket forward a bit. Pour the milk or milk replacer in the bucket and train the calf to use it. You will probably see saliva drop to the ground as the calf uses it. (Second teat is for raising two bottle calves at a time.) A lot easier than holding the bottles. I believe it is better to raise two at a time as they keep each other company.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, January 20, 2002.

To top the calf off, you can either dilute the milk or milk replacer or follow it with warm sugar water. With the bucket w/nipples technique, I just waited until they had finished the milk replacer and then poured in the warm sugar water.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, January 21, 2002.

Never feed a calf more than twice a day.Milk replacer twice a day is enough. You will have major problems when you get the scours started. Get the calf to eat calf creep a.s.a.p. and to entice the calf we always put a little milk replacer on the feed and then put some in our hand for it to learn.Should the calf get scours (God Forebid) then the best scour fixer is a product called BOUNCE BACK,just follow the directions on the container, and move the calf to a clean stall.

-- Carla (, January 23, 2002.

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