Help skinny calf : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We bought a jersey heifer. We were told she was 2 months old(a neighbor said she didn't look that old) She scoured right away & we got that under control. She is off the bottle and eating calf starter (1 coffee can 2 x's a day). She refuses hay, but eats grass. Drinks water. The problem, she seems really thin to us. I've read dairy cows have protruding hips and so forth, but you can feel each rib and bone and her stomach seems sunken in. Off & on she has had a discharge (white)from her eyes, but they don't mat and arn't pink. She doesn't act sick and is always eager to eat. How do we fatten her up or is there something wrong? As you can tell this is our first calf & we intend to milk her eventually, so we want to do it right. Any advice is greatly needed & appericated.

-- Sherrie Holcomb (, March 29, 2000


She may need worming.

-- Jim Roberts (, March 29, 2000.

Didio the worming! Also my calves love bread , and I know what it does to my hips and rear end.Dairy cattle will look thinner , up the feed and worm her.Good luck.

-- Patty Gamble (, March 29, 2000.

Do worm her, but take a fecal sample to your vet for testing first, all wormers don't work on all types of worms, and there is no point in stressing her with something that's not helping her problem. For fattening her up, I would suggest adding some shredded sugar beet to her ration. It's a good, high energy suppliment, with a high fiber content. You can usually get it in 50lb bags at feed stores that cater to horse folk. Our Jersey gets some with her daily ration whenever she seems to need a bit of a boost, and it makes very nice milk.

-- Connie (, March 29, 2000.

Sugar beet I never thought of that ! Thats good to know,thanks

-- Patty Gamble (, March 29, 2000.

Thanks to you all! I'm going to take a fecal sample to the vet Wed. & I'll check at the feed store for the beets. Sure is nice to be able to get some information this way!

-- Sherrie Holcomb (, March 29, 2000.

Can I trouble you all with another question? We want to halter break her and teach her to be let on a rope. Any suggestions?

-- Sherrie Holcomb (, March 29, 2000.

I too would like to know the best way to teach a calf to lead. I've got a collar on my Jersey/Dexter and I've tried to teach her, but she is rather stubborn and either runs as fast as she can forward, backs up or doesn't move at all. Her mother will follow you anywhere and comes when you call her name. Maybe it comes will age? What about shaking grain in front of her nose? Thanks!!

-- AbigailF. (, March 30, 2000.

I put halters on my calves when I get them .I find its easier to hold the halter to lead them .For some reason when they are on a lead they give me a hard time. You can try to get them used to it by leading them with a bottle or feed bucket.When all else fails dig your heels in and pull, it sometimes helps to have someone behind the calve and to bend there tail to the side and give a little push.I can laugh with you ,I have 3 new calves who are not trained yet!

-- Patty Gamble (, March 30, 2000.

Have you ever seen a jersy get fat??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

-- farmer pete (, March 30, 2000.

Sherrie , I just reread your thread.How old is the calve know ? Calves left with there mothers nurse a lot longer than we tend to give them milk replacers.It wouldn't hurt to give her 1 bucket of milk a day.I know myself I have taken calves off milk to soon only to put them back on.

-- Patty Gamble (, March 30, 2000.

I got my sister to bend her tail while I pulled on her collar, but we lost. Blossom is nearly a year, is that too late? A.F

-- AbigailF. (, March 30, 2000.

Patty-The calf (Rosie) is about 3 months old. That's if the person who sold her to us is telling the truth. Our neighbor has one the 3 months old that is twice as big as ours. The reason we took her off milk was because she sucked so hard she would pull the nipple right off the bottle. By the way I gave her the sugar beet(shredded) today and she refused to even try them. I mixed them with her sweet feed hoping she is getting some of them. I also tried to feed her some bread, she refused that to. Are all calves so picky? Also I haven't had anyone answer about the eye discharge. Her eyes look good but, she always has this white discharge running down the corners. I put a halter on her today (the smallest I found was for a foal) it's way to big, which tells you how small she is, anyway she was real happy about it. I clipped a dog leash to it and drug her forward a few inches then would pet her and talk to her her, then drag her some more. Although she never came willingly she didn't really fight it. So I think with some work she'll come around.

-- Sherrie Holcomb (, March 30, 2000.

I'm sorry nothing seems to be working for you . Don't go back to the bottle ,just mix her milk in a bucket you use for water .I really think it will help .As far as bread or beets just leave them with her .My animals are funny the eat anything .I have a local grocery and bakery save me day old bakery and produce , so the get alot of different things to eat.My cows love oranges !Keep trying she'll come around .How did you make out with the stool sample ? I envy you all I have are beef calves .I want a milk cow ,but right now they are so high .Dairy heifer calves are $200.00 - $300.00 now , so I have to wait for things to settle down .

-- Patty Gamble (, March 31, 2000.

Patty, Don't give up just because you have beef cattle. My sister and I milked one of her simmental cows. They are cansidered beef cows here, but she gave wonderful milk. She had a stillborn calf and we hated to waste all that good milk. She supplied our two families all the milk and butter we could use and the various animals in the barnyard still got their share. She was a kind spirited animal and would let us milk together; one on each side. My dear sister and her cow have both passed on. Thanks for letting me reminise a little. Susan

-- Susan DeFrancisco (, March 31, 2000.

Patty- we did pay a lot and wondered at the time if we were being taken. But after what you said I guess we got a deal at 150. Anyway, I haven't heard from the vet, I didn't get the sample to her until late today. I didn't know you could feed cows anything except grains & grasses. And yes it's nice to be able to get attached to an animal for a change, we've raised pigs and I have to limit my time with them or I get attached. So Rosie is mine and I get to love her. Thanks for everyones help and thoughtfulness.

-- Sherrie Holcomb (, March 31, 2000.

I dont know If it would work for cows but when a horse wont lead we use a butt rope [ a rope with a loop in it that you put over there butt then run lead up to halter] when you pull the halter you pull the butt rope if they dont move forward.

-- kathy h (, April 01, 2000.

Sherrie, Hows the calve doing ?

-- Patty Gamble (, April 05, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ